How to drive someone crazy from 1100 miles away

23 June 2006

Just when you think you have won...

Henry Rollins comes along and kicks your ass.

I cast on, among other things, the beginnings of the Henry Rollins Doll from Stitch n Bitch Nation. As I learned with Pixie, I made sure to read and re-read the instructions before starting the project, even though finding the appropriate colors of Tahki Cotton Classic has been an ongoing project since time began. I think this may be my new albatross project. Huh, maybe we start at the beginning...

I saw all over the web these rock star dolls everyone had made using the basic pattern laid out in SnBN, so I figured it must be a decent pattern, well-written and simplified to be accessible to any knitter. Not to mention, Yoshi loves Henry Rollins, and needs something soft to throw when his job pisses him off. I put the project on my Dream Shopping List that I carried with me on Swan's and my road trip to Asheville, NC. Great trip, btw. I looked everywhere we went for the colors I wanted; that's about 7 yarn shops in three days, including the ones along the way there and back. When I got back home, still without Henry Rollins yarn, I set out to the LYS and tried there. No one had every color I wanted, let alone two of the three. I did go ahead and acquire the black, thinking that the next time I order from someone online, I would fill the supply list out. That was March, y'all. This is almost July. I finally got the rest of the yarn I needed,and decided that I would pretend my Size 6 DPNs were really straights (point protectors, lovey.) just because I couldn't bear the thought of having to make one more shopping trip (no straight 6s in the needle stash) to start this project. The skeins were a mess when they arrived; Yoshi spent multiple hours untangling them just so we could get them onto the ball winder. They each had to be re-wound twice so the ball wouldn't look like absolute doody. Then, the instructions.

If you have ever read these, you know that there are instructions for 3 different dolls in the book. And if you have ever gone to the errata page, you know there is no official errata in the pattern that the publishers will post. However, when I read on many different online forums how much trouble everyone had had, I decided that while reading out the pattern, I would re-write it in my own knitter-ese, and that way I would be golden when it came to making the damn thing, no mistakes possible what with all the for Joan Jett doll, do this, and for everything else, do this, and if you are trying to knit this thing, I pity you removed so I only do what I am supposed to do. So, with book, internet, pen in hand and my personal notebook, I set out to re-write and have clear understanding. It took me 5 hours to figure out what the pattern was really trying to get me to do, with the posts online about "when it says this, does it mean this or that?" and the general knowledge I have in my head about the way sticks and string mate, and the way a pattern is written, or should be written.

If I were the designer, I'd sue. The book has made so many little loops around where you should go to make each different doll, and it is not easy to figure out where to pick up again if you need to skip something, and why on earth is it not done in the round in the first place? It's a DOLL, a series of tubes for legs, arms, torso, etc, right? Why all this seaming? Seaming sucks! Go on, try and figure out how to do the head. I dare you. If one looks at the negative space in the book, it would only take, maybe, another half-page to write out each individual doll, so there's no pain in the ass crap going on. The supply list is on 2 DIFFERENT PAGES. WTF I say?!!?

WTF, indeed.

So, now, Henry is on the needles, and there is no way I am letting him beat me. I may just write my own pattern. In the round. He's basically a tiny sweater with legs and a head attached, right? How hard can that be?

I know, famous last words, eh? Fuck.

Swan: This, I am afraid, is why Joey Ramone is still in pieces at my house.

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