Dapple despair

Suzie Blackman
Saturday, 24 April 2010

Yesterday I suffered the most traumatic experience of my knitting life. So traumatic in fact that even non-knitting friends empathised with my distress.

It had been a crappy day from the outset; a workplace frustration preceded a chain of events that lead to me missing two social engagements. I set off on the Central Line to make a third social engagement, got off at Oxford Circus, walked a few meters down the platform and noticed yarn trailing from my bag, down the platform, through the doors and into the carriage. A ball had fallen from my bag as I was getting off.

As the bleep from the doors sounded I was too far away, I yelled ‘NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!’. I stood helpless as gormless commuters just stopped and stared at the ball of yarn on the carriage floor. When the doors closed I knew my work’s fate was sealed. I took the knitting from my bag and placed it symbolically on the floor, and like a funeral casket jettisoned from an air-lock in Star Trek, two cabled sleeves accelerated away from me along the platform and under the wheels of the train. When it was all over, a stranger turned to me and simply said ‘sorry’. I walked on, finished my journey, got to the pub and promptly burst into tears. Putting so much effort into something then letting it go in order to watch it being destroyed was utterly heart-breaking.

I started Dapple a while ago and completed the body sections quite quickly but took a break before starting the sleeves as I wanted to make some mods. They’ve been my only project for the last couple of weeks. I added some shaping to make them look less baggy, and more length. I knitted them 2-up on circular needles so that I wouldn’t have to note down the mods so not only did I lose them BOTH (and a 5 mm Addi circ) but I’ve got no record of my calculations.

Today a friend told me that the only way to get over this tragedy is to re-knit them, he’s right. I’ll order myself some 5 mm KnitPro tips (and maybe a few other things to cheer myself up) and make a start tomorrow. It will be a long time before I can pass through Oxford Circus without shuddering. This time I think I’ll knit one at a time, just in case…

The author

Suzie Blackman

The dyer, designer, photographer, creative technologist and maker-of-things behind It's a Stitch Up. She lives in East London in a home filled with colour, fluff and house plants.


  1. yoel says:

    That is terrible! Sniff sniff :(

  2. mooncalf says:

    Devastating! Totally devastating!

    Glad you have enough yarn to try again.

  3. Suzie says:

    well, I’ve got a couple left but I’ll need some more. Hoping the colour hasn’t been discontinued!

  4. Nadia says:

    Oh no, this is terrible. I’d have cried too.

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