He liked to use it on those days when everything he set out to do went wrong and ended up making even more work.
"Everything I touched turned dark brown and lumpy," he'd say, defeated, at lunch.
Had one of those nights knitting on Tuesday. I went to a class Monday night at a yarn store near my office on how to finish knitting - seaming, that kind of thing. The instructor was terrific, and when we all started talking about knitting in general, she mentioned that she liked to take sweater patterns that were written out and draw them on graph paper when it came to charting armholes and necklines.
Hooray, thought I, that is just what I will do with this vest I'm knitting for the Fool that is making my brain hurt. So on Tuesday, I came home and hauled out the graph paper and tape and a pencil and an extra eraser and merrily charted away, even writing in part of the cable chart. Then I started knitting.
When I paused to admire my work, I noticed that I'd randomly crossed the cables a couple more times in no relation whatsoever to the pattern.
Disgusted, I put the vest down until it was ready to behave itself, and I picked up a Fair Isle hat I started last weekend. It's from Anna Zilboorg's book on crazy hats and I figured a hat was a small and sane enough Fair Isle project to start with.
I was working on a round with increases in it ... and when I got to the end, I had six stitches left on the needle and one left on the pattern and no idea how it all happened.
I put the hat down next to the vest so they could both think about what they had done.
And I picked up my sock. And promptly dropped a stitch. Which I tried to ladder back up, except it was a purl stitch and I fixed it as if it were a knit stitch, as it was getting late and I was Knitting While Stupid and I decided I didn't care about the dumb knitting anyway and nobody was ever going to see this one dumb stitch in dumb variegated yarn on the dumb sock cuff and ... blagh.
I went to bed.
Short story long, I tinked four rows of the vest on Wednesday. Last night I fixed the hat. I still don't care enough about the sock cuff to fix it, although I really didn't mean to refer to Lorna's Laces sock yarn as "dumb variegated yarn." I love knitting with that yarn.