on taking direction

i dont like being told what to do. not since i was 18 and escaped the clutches of the dragon lady (from whom permission was required to merely breath) have i coped well with being told how i should or shouldnt behave. sometimes i find myself fighting with knitting patterns and their invisible designers. just because.

most designers, it must be said, are pretty good, and usually have a reason for asking you to do things certain ways. sometimes though, there are some who appear to enjoy being difficult. or too clever. so i have learnt that sometimes (there being no knitting police) it is ok to maybe not do exactly what the pattern says. however, i think the designer of the baby cardigan i am currently working on is of the first type, even though i thought maybe she wasnt.

it says that after you knit the bodice you should BLOCK it and then sew up the sleeve seams before picking up the edge of the bodice to knit the body. i tried to tell myself i didnt need to do it this way, that i could just put pins where the sleeve seams would start and pick up for the body anyway. and block it? surely not necessary, halfway through a garment. and a baby garment at that. i consulted the eminent brains trust, one of whom said follow the instructions, the other of whom said trust your instincts. ultimately, they were both right, because, when it came time to do it, my instincts said block it and sew the sleeves.

so i did. block it (along with my swatches for what i am now pretty sure is going to be landon)

and sew the sleeve seams,

and then pick up the stitches along the bodice to knit the body:

one thing i missed is that part about the bodice being knit on smaller needles than the body. well der. its not though, i did it all on the same size. i think once i block the whole thing it will be fine, but it would be easier to follow direction if i actually learnt to read a pattern properly.

and because i am not a happy girl today (having just found out that paying $18000 in income tax somehow does NOT cover my higher education contribution scheme debt and that i owe the tax office money) (thank you labour government for that one)* i am posting a picture of the gorgeous magnolia out the front.

it was looking like this a year ago when i moved in here, and ive seen it go a full cycle now, from being bare and knobbly to gorgeous dark green leaves and now these stunning flowers. it will go through these cycles long after im gone, and continues to remind me of my insignifcance and powerlessness.

death and taxes people. resistance is futile!

k xx

* ps yes yes i know im lucky to have a job, i know im lucky to have an education, i dont usually have a problem with paying taxes yadayadayada, but today, i just dont like it!

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About DrK

researcher, knitter, dog lover View all posts by DrK

10 responses to “on taking direction

  • 2paw

    Luckily, I was at TCAE/Uni before fees, but I always think that the people who changed the rules were a) educated without fees at Uni and b) often quite rich. It doesn’t seem fair. Education should be free.
    There, now, your knitting is so pretty!! I don’t like to be told what to do either, it makes me contrary.
    Oh lovely Magnolia and has it been a year?? Time flies!!!

  • gidgetknits

    I condone your right to complain about tax! And don’t even get me started on HECs debt… But I love that red you’re working with!

  • Rose Red

    hmmm, my magnolia has many buds, but no flowers yet!

    I’m glad your instincts told you to follow my instructions…woops…go with my suggestion!! I’m sure there’s a good reason for doing it that way ( although it would be good for designers to specify the reasons sometimes, just so you can understand their thought processes.

    And the tax thing sucks. But I try not to complain too much about HECS since we could be worse off – we could have a system like the US…

  • bellsknits

    i think there are times to go renegade and times to not – this was obviously one of the latter!

    I love magnolias. i wish I had one.

    And tax – ouch! We always owe money. It’s why I never rush to do it.

  • missfee

    you can complain about tax – and the HECS well that is a huge blight on the australian government – what about investing in our future!!!!

    the cardie is an odd construction and I too would rail against such odd instructions – but the colour is super!!! Trying to guess whom it is for……

  • GeekKnitter

    Blocking feels like a chore and a bore, but I always end up with tidier seams when I just knuckle down and do it!

  • Ailsa

    Don’t like being told what to do – you and me both.

    I re-potted my magnolia last year, and the absence of buds at this time makes me think I have killed it.

    Shame, because I too absolutelyfreaking love magnolias.

  • Emma

    That’s a really nice red you’re working with. Blocking is such a chore, particularly when you’re so close to finishing. Perhaps blocking needs to be added to the ‘death and taxes’ list…

    I completely sympathise on the HECS front. It really smarts when you think you’ve paid more than enough tax throughout the year, yet etax disagrees solely on the basis of HECS.

  • Sarah

    Got to be better to choose not to take direction but I guess not reading instructions gives you the same end result!

  • donna lee

    We owed 1200 dollars this year despite student loan payment interest. I hate it but what are you going to do?

    I like that you are making the baby sweater in red. I grew up in a household where they would tell you the sky was purple and even if you knew it wasn’t, you agreed because it was safer that way. So, I know what you’re talking about. And don’t dare make decisions for yourself.

    I tend to follow patterns, figuring the designer knows best. I’m just not that confident in my own skills to branch out on my own. THat will change as I make more sweaters.

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