Post undoubtedly colored by a hearty mix of antibiotics, pain killers, and anti-nausea medication.

Needle acrobatics.

Yarnover and some other googly-moogly stitch, purled together.

Take that, add yarnovers all around, and try, just try, to knit two together on the next row.

The stitches are irregular, some are twisted, some are suffocated at the neck.

Are you kidding me? That thing down there looks like three thousand square knots piled on top of each other!

Back to reality – the googly-mooglies need to be knit two together.

Poke and prod, split and drop, curse. Curse again. One more time, for good measure.

Move them to the right needle, loosening the running thread in the process. Ready to try the maneuver again?

Oh, I see the shiny tip of the dowel poking through!

The delirium prevents me from knitting the stitches in time. Both are dropped.

Curse. Again. This time in Russian – stinky/vile stitches!

Is it hot in here, or is it just my sweaty hands?

Get out the crochet hook. Thank God there’s a lifeline two rows below.

Screw this k2tog, I’m just going to SSK, it’s much easier!

I do it.

I take it out.

I can’t have it – making a mistake is bad enough; knowingly making a mistake is a crime.

This is the part of lace knitting I hate. Maybe I need to get those fancy German needles? Ehh, I hate bamboo and wood, too slow.

Maybe I need to use my teeth.


Try again: loosen the stitches, hold them at the base, bend wrist and elbow at the most unnatural angle imaginable, needle tip in, grinding my teeth, yarn picked up, stitches off needle…. Eureka!


What’s next? Great – knitting other googly-mooglies together. My hands are starting to look like tree branches – stiff, crooked, angular.

So, are all the acrobatics worth it?

HELL YEAH! Look at those gorgeous googly-mooglies! Does that even look knit to you?


66 thoughts on “Acrobatics

  1. Bronte

    WOW! I admire your perseverence with this shawl. (I’ve been watching in lurkdom!) I don’t know whether I’ll ever feel like aattempting such a complicated lace pattern but your progress is ispirational.

  2. twig

    The acrobatics are definitely worth it. Gorgeous.

    For the record, though, I don’t think Addis would be good for your problem. The points aren’t nearly pointy enough. You think you’re having problems NOW.

  3. Judy

    Way to show the googly-mooglies who’s boss! And by the way, swearing in foreign languages has been known to make things cooperate in my experience, too.

  4. Iris

    Absolutely gorgeous! But points up why I rarely knit lace – I don’t think I could stand to block something that needs REAL blocking that my OCD streak would say needs regular washing. Now if it were a tablecloth that could most of the time be covered in clear plastic….. Just kidding. About the plastic.

  5. Laura

    I’m sorry that you are having such a hard time with this pattern, but the results are beautiful! It’s a good thing that your grandmother doesn’t read your blog. She probably would have asked you to stop torturing yourself.

  6. Stephanie

    Googly-mooglies indeed. And cursing in Russian! Wow. I’m so sorry you’re using Addi Turbos for this. So very sorry. However, you’re right. All the pain and suffering is totally worth it! That is one fabulous looking border to go with a fabulous shawl.

  7. Carrie

    LOVE the shawl, and I am deeply coveting the hats. >starts to save pennies for more yarn and that patternLOVE the shawl, and I am deeply coveting the hats. >starts to save pennies for more yarn and that pattern<

  8. Julie H.

    Great Googlie-Mooglies! Sorry, someone had to say it.

    Your hands have reached the state that my boyfriend affectionately refers to as “The Claw.” When there is no way that you can straighten your fingers out without benefit of hot water and they look like little praying mantis claws as a result.

    But the shawl is beautiful and your grandma is worth The Claw!

  9. Kat

    Lovely. The googly-mooglies look like one of the Shetland lace patterns I saw this morning at the Shetland Museum site (it was a link posted by yarnharlot).

  10. jodi

    Oh my g*d. That’s beautiful. Are you human? I can’t believe you can knit that while sick. The best I could ever do while battling infection is some halfhearted ribbing.

  11. Emily

    Pretty soon you’ll need to receive medication for your hands to ease those joints (I always find running my hands under warm water to be a good fix). Hope you feel better soon!

  12. Jayme

    The googly-mooglies are great and gorgeous.

    I don’t know if you want to hear this since it is too late now but when I get into this same situation I knit 1, put it back onto the left needle and then slip the next stitch over it and put it back on the right needle. It all ends up in the same position as a k2tog but can be much easier to do.

  13. Colleen

    Wow. Just. Wow. I’m supposed to be working, but I’m just sitting here staring at that edging. Not that I would have wanted to be the one to attempt it, mind you. But.


  14. Martha

    It is absolutely gorgeous! Yay! It looks like bobbin lace.

    I suggested the Inox, but did you listen? Noooooo. Although even with sharp(er) points, endless knit2tog (or even worse, knit3tog) require painful acrobatics. I just don’t think it can be avoided. And I hate the way, after a while, the Inox finish erodes and then you have metal-scraping-on-metal. Sets my teeth on edge.

  15. Jody

    OMG this that is one amazing looking googly & the mooglie are just to die for! Your determination with this shawl pattern is an insperation – I can only hope to one day get to where you are!! You’ve got one lucky grandma!!!

  16. Mary Lou

    Fabuloso! What beautiful work you do! Can’t wait to see it in its finished state! You have one lucky grandma.

  17. janna

    Wow! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! However, I don’t think a single comment said anything like, “I can’t wait to make one myself!” I think we’re all thinking “This thing almost drove Grumperina to the edge – what would it do to me????” 😉

  18. Lisa D.

    Absolutely beautious! I’ve never even heard of anyone with as much patience as you have.I think this will have to become a family heirloom. The story will probably be passed down for generations.

  19. Mary

    Wow! It’s hard to imagine what the chart must look like. The visual effect, almost optical illusion, must be a welcome sight to your scientific mind.

  20. gigi

    great googly moogly – i’ve been lurking but i must weigh in…this is stunning – simply stunning.

  21. marie in florida

    ohmygreatgods! breathtaking…i’ sick with envy; whenever i see that much expertise i feel i will never learn. i bow to you , master!

  22. Julia

    Hoe-Lee Crap. that is one of the most gorgeous things I’ve ever seen knitted. I think all the crap you went through might just be worth it. It’s unbelievable your grandmother is going to absolutely flip over it.

  23. freecia

    Did you really say “stinky/vile stitches” in Russian? Wow. That’s taking the entire knitting cursing (a specialization of cursing) to the next level.

    Fantastico. Hope you feel better soon. Though if you can produce such great stuff under the influence of antibiotics, pain killers, and anti-nausea meds- well, clearly, you can do anything. If, by any chance you wear contacts, just how well do you knit without wearing contacts/glasses?…

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