Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Man vs. Sweater

On Monday night I was sitting in my favorite chair, placidly knitting away on the Rhinebeck Sweater and watching an episode of To the Manor Born.



In the middle of a shoulder decrease row I was seized with the sudden urge to try the sweater on and see how it was shaping up.



Normally, of course, I'd have picked up some waste yarn and moved the stitches onto it before doing a fitting. But that night I was feeling confident and experienced and devil-may-care and all those other things you feel just before your project Goes Terribly Wrong.

One rogue part of my brain, the same part that back in 1974 accepted a nursery school dare to see what would happen if I stuck a rock up my nose, decided it would be easier to just leave the sweater on the needle and try it on that way.

It was all going fine, and then:



Shades of Pooh, stuck in Rabbit's front door. No matter. I'd simply shrug it off and go on with my knitting.



Just...a little...shrug...



No good. Maybe a little maneuver we like to call the "Martha Graham."



Or did I mean Bob Fosse?



My contortions, while increasingly extreme, were perhaps not without an occasional grace note.



Was this how Mummenschanz began?

After several minutes without progress, emotions became somewhat heated.



And then at last:



Ahhh. Sweet victory. Man 1, Sweater 0.

On Tuesday morning, by the way, it rained. Coincidence? I think not.

66 comments:

Marilyn said...

I know you drew those cartoons. I can't fucking believe you. Such talent. And I laughed my ass off. You are truly Every(Knitting)man.

The sweater will be wonderful.

Typesetter said...

Sorry, I stole one of the cartons and used it on my blog to link to this message. It's just too funny (and a bit frightening: I have just started on my very first sweater)!

JoVE said...

Those drawings are great. (BTW, what software/hardware did you use to do them?)

But ALWAYS put it on waste yarn. You WANT that thing to stretch longer than the needles.

Sister Sue said...

Oh, the cartoons are wonderful! I love your drawings and always have. Remember when you were my room monitor when I was in third grade? On rainy days, Franklin would come to my third grade class during lunch (because we couldn't go outside), and he would draw cartoons for everyone. My friends lined up so he could dash off a Garfield or a unicorn or something. I was proud, but of course terribly bored by the whole thing at school. I remember telling the other kids I could get those drawings anytime. Ah, I miss them! I wish heartily, too, that I still had the paper dolls you made me. Sigh. Wonder what happened to them?

Calvin said...

Franklin, this is a wonderful post. You are so talented. Thanks for the comment on my blog. If you want a copy of my London Beanie pattern, shoot me an E-Mail and I'll forward it to you as a Word document. It's not copyrighted and the guy who wrote the pattern stated that it could be shared. I just finished another one, but can't post it yet due to sending to a friend in Houston that reads my blog sometime. I don’t think that you’ll be disappointed in Barbra’s new album. Cheers.

Eldronius said...

Can I stop twirling around in my office chair with laughter now? Those drawings capture alot of action....Mummenschanz, so funny because it has to be true.

Jon said...

Wow....I can't draw....you rock...I'm in awe....

Franklin said...

And Sister Cynthia said my doodling in the margins of my notebooks could lead me only to perdition.

Jove, I used a pen and a sheet of typing paper for these. I don't mind using Illustrator to draw precise shapes and whatnot, but for the most part I still believe in hand work whenever possible.

If I had a chance to try out a program like Painter I'm sure I might love it, but so far I've never been given the opportunity.

Colleen said...

Funniest.
Post.
Ever.

Drew said...

We need to talk about publishing you! Have you considered a step-by-step guide to men's knitting?!...with (your) illustrations of course!

Alyssa said...

What a great treat at the end of the work day:) I loved your cartoons! (How did the sweater fit?)

IRV (YOURIMAGINARYFRIEND@VERIZON.NET) said...

You made my day!! THANXXXXX

john said...

Ditto what everyone else said. Funniest cartoons I've seen. And I don't usually like cartoons..

Stephanie said...

Dude. Knock any stitches off?

Franklin said...

Drew...bring it on.

Stephanie...after all that, I dropped two stitches. Who knew stockinette could be so ravel-resistant?

Cher said...

Oh. My. Word!
Still laughing.
James Thurber has nothing on you (thus saith the DH, and he knows from cartoons).

goblinbox said...

HOW. CUTE. ARE. THOSE. DRAWINGS!!! My God, they're so cute.

Anonymous said...

Franklin --

Don't usually leave comments, but have to say how delighted I was to come by to catch up and see the cartoons - quite takes one back -- I still have all the ones you drew for us in college! What a wonderful, slightly Gorey-esque take on knitting, with To the Manor Born (I did love that show) thrown in. You're the bestest!

xoxo,
a.

Lee Ann said...

Like everyone, (a) you have just confirmed why I love you and (b) I absolutely laughed my ass off. My husband thinks I'm completely deranged.

(Martha Graham...bwahahahahahahaha)

(Oh, and the husband? Pas grave. He usually thinks I'm deranged.)

Oh, and (c) yeah. What Steph asked. Didja lose stitches? I gained one in my side, I think, if you need an extra.

MarQ1 said...

Brilliant.

Aarlene said...

What a wondrous post. Nothing like a good chuckle/snort/belly laugh to brighten up the evening.
Perdition? Is that your successful new media company? Perdition, Inc.
Take *that* Sister!
Let's see: knit, draw, photograph, great sense of humor...you are a Renaissance Man.

Bonnie said...

May I commission you to illustrate my frogging the dropped stitch only to discover it was the stitch I was supposed to drop and forgot I dropped?

Cameellie said...

You are so talented! You knit! You draw! You tell great stories! If only I had stayed with Genetics! I could be cloning you now. Sigh.

Rabbitch said...

I love those drawings! I gigglesnorted, madly.

Mom said...

I didn't get to read your blog last night but I had a great laugh this morning. You made my morning start off great with a good laugh. I can really see you fighting with the sweater. I'm sure glad that you won.

Joanne said...

Thanks for starting my day off with a laugh!! I hope that you don't mind, but I wrote about your blog on mind, and added one of your cartoons.

Just a suggestion... how about making a little blog button?

Sean said...

Fabulous cartoons, Franklin. I loved it. I wanna know too, how'd you do it?

birdfarm said...

hey, anonymous a., you should comment more, it makes me happy to see you. more than that, you should have your own blog. then we could both scan in some of those old 'toons and post them.

Among my faves in my own collection are the Eurail Fairy and "the pursuit of literature," where an enormous tome of The Tale of Genji, my senior thesis topic, is chasing me, teeth and claws bared.

I love & *completely* agree with Drew's brilliant idea--you absolutely should publish some kind of knitting book for men--complete with drawings. To the best of my knowledge that field is empty, so you could be out standing in it, har de har, but seriously! The cover could be the faboo design on the front of that sweater, which I'm absolutely dying to see!!! Hurry up & finish it so we can all enjoy the unveiling of the mystery!

TitaniumRose said...

Too funny, I love it! Thanks for the laugh - I needed that this morning. =)

Knit Chick said...

Your cartoon is freakin' hilarious! You knit and draw? You rock! Thanks for the morning laugh!

Cheryl said...

Oh gosh.. I adore those pictures...

Kathleen Valentine said...

I just discovered your blog thanks to the Knitting Curmudgeon. Love your drawings.

Please visit my blog - http://www.parlezmoipress.com/mermaid/parlezmoiblog.html - if you feel like it!

Lanea said...

Just found your blog, and I heart it. Thanks especially for the drawings--they're wonderful.

Anonymous said...

Great post. Gave me a grin.

Elaine said...

Brilliant! You should be published as a photographer, as a writer, and now as a cartoonist. Now go build empires.

birdfarm said...

Here's one doodle that will definitely help you get to perdition. Hee hee.

Click to see another fabulous Franklin creation.

Buzz said...

Rest assured all, I spoke with Frank last night and told him I would stop downstairs and take his pic in the new sweater as soon as he was ready :)

dragon knitter said...

that was great! i loved it! did it fall off the needles?

Selma said...

Franklin,
Can you act that out when I see you in Rhinebeck? I particularly await the twirl.
Brilliant.

Sahara said...

Franklin, you are out of your mind! I'm crying! I don't even care how the rest of my day goes now. That's the best post I've seen in a while. You're talented, funny and relevant.

Hey, how about a knitters comic strip?

birdfarm said...

Ooh, Franklin, a knitters comic strip... inspired by Dykes to Watch Out For...I'm salivating. You should totally do it.

Kathy Merrick said...

Franklin, you don't know how much you've helped a truly sad awful day. I am counting the minutes until Rhinebeck, and I will happily carry your baggage for you.
Will you marry me?

I have one issue. Sister CYNTHIA??
No way. You made that up. What order of nuns lets one of their sisters be called Cynthia?
No way.

Wanda said...

That's absoultely hilarious! I love it! That looked like me taking off my one skein wonder the other day.

CynCyn said...

Why o WHY haven't I wandered over here from Jon's blog before now? I'm glad I went to the bathroom before I read this post, and that I hadn't just taken a drink of water...

KSD said...

That you referenced Mummenschanz here welds me to your blog from this day forward. Merci. . .

Bookish Wendy said...

Bravo! Just found you, I'll be back to read more.

Mindy said...

Funny, funny, funny. With me, the sweater wins - every time.

Suzy said...

Where have you been all my life? Thanks I needed the wonderful laugh after a rather trying day at school. (I have quite a few of them, I teach high schoolers and have about 170 or so of them every day.) I rediscovered knitting to destress! You wouldn't believe how many mindless knitted scarves I've made in the past year or so! You are on my list of blogs to read now.

filambulle said...

Hilarious!
Thanks to lee-ann for the link. I must browse the whole blog now.

lauragayle said...

Franklin, you made my morning. I love it. And I'm so impressed that you only dropped two stitches. Two! BTW, I also loved your Valentine's Day post. I'm going to print that one out for the spouse for my birthday. Hehehehe.

Ada said...

came here from Knitting Daily - this post is FUNNNNNNNNNNY!!!!!!!!!!!! I am getting your book ASAP. Thanks for the laugh!

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