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November 14, 2005


… A licky boom boom down.
(I apologize for having grown up in the 90s)

I know I sounded very confident when I laid out the Grumpecue plan, but in reality my overwhelming thoughts went something like, “You’re wasting your time, you have no freaking idea if this is going to work.”


I told the voices in my head to shut up and completed the first section. It looked… promising, so I allowed myself to become hopeful and plan the colors of the blanket. I knew each section would take 1.5 skeins, and after examining my stash of Hand Work Cora I came up with the following color plan:

No white in this blanket, I’m convinced it’s bad luck :).

Before I got a chance to proceed any further, Betty (en español), the informer that she is, sent me the following e-mail:

”Maybe you already know about this, but I received my copy of Montse Stanley's Knitters Handbook, and today was looking through it when I spotted your Grumpecue! :) It's on page 104 in my edition, Fig. 2.113 (Short Rows chapter, Medallions). I think this is very funny! The book drawing even has the Curlicue garter lines!”

Sure enough, look at that!

By the way, I was extremely pleased to see so many great knitters list Montse Stanley’s Knitter’s Handbook as the best knitting book when answering Carolyn’s meme. I’m happy you have all discovered this gem of a resource – I’m in great company!

Betty’s e-mail prompted the biggest sigh of relief ever! So while waiting for yarn for my dad’s Sharfik, and while waiting for Sharfik to block, I knit and knit and kept on knitting the Grumpecue. Look at her now!

This is one of those situations where my plan is so fucking insane, that it might actually work. If Montse says it’s going to work, well, then it better!

Look at the color transitions, and at the waves that are formed at the joins – very pretty! I think they (along with the scalloped edge) feminize the blanket, which otherwise very much resembles a beach ball.

Now, kids, get out your calculator and your protractor, we’re about to talk a little Maths!

Having completed a little more than 3 sections of the Grumpecue, I wanted to double-check my modeling. Remember, I hypothesized that 6 Grumpecue sections would complete a 360° circle, but I based that prediction on Curlicue sections. Trusty protractor in hand, it actually seems to me that each section is coming out to be 65°, and that six such sections would therefore amount to 390°. Computer modeling confirmed my prediction.

Not to worry! I’m not much of a lace knitter, but I’ve certainly heard of “more than circular” shawls. This blanket is likely to become a “more than circular” blanket, and that’s just fine by me! Oh, and I now have a definite deadline for blanket completion – November 29th. Plenty of time! All good signs :).

And what of the Curlicue? I am still exchanging e-mails with Oat Couture, convincing them to take a closer look at the pattern. Apparently they haven’t been able to find any evidence to contradict what I’m saying – no yarn shops have sample-knit this pattern for display!

Then again, maybe in some instances it can work? For example, Betty didn’t have nearly as much trouble with her Curlicue as I did! Check out her before and after blocking pictures! (and click on them to be taken to the corresponding blog entries)


Amazing. Of course seeing the miraculous transformation made me question whether my Curlicue could be blocked into submission. Betty told me that she thinks even after the blanket is washed, it will not pucker (as much). Really? I’m intrigued! Would my cotton/acrylic yarn behave the same as her wool/acrylic yarn?

If I get a spare afternoon at some point, I may put the two-thirds-completed Curlicue to a two-step test. One: bind off what I currently have and block severely. If the Curlicue’s puckers are able to be blocked out, then I will move to step number two: machine-washing and drying the Curlicue to see if the puckers reappear (because I’m not interested in giving the mom-to-be a blanket that will distort after the first washing – no compromises).

Then again I’ve already offered to send the two-thirds completed Curlicue to the Oat Couture people as “evidence.” Ha!

Posted by Kathy on November 14, 2005 12:05 PM


Great minds think alike! I really love the colours that you've chosen. I also admire youir perserverance and ingenuity - it's why I keep coming back to read your blog!

A lady bought this pattern in our shop yesterday (fullthreadahead.com) and I pointed to it and said "Curliecue!!! AUGH! This is a challenging project. Grumperina still has to read her pattern all the time and she's one super-talented knit blogger can't get hers to lie flat. It puckers and drives her nuts". Then I showed her your blog just so she knew where to find a friendly ear.

Come to think of it, I don't want to be discouraging to anyone, but I'd have appreciated a warning myself before I started on something so large... (as would you, I'm sure)

Should she achieve miracles and bring it back to show me that it does work, I'll be sure to get her e-mail so you can ask how...

I'm excited now! Why--because my copy of Stanley's book is on its way here and because both the Curlicue and the Grumpecue look like they are working out. I still have 6 months before I have to start and finish a blanket. I'll continue to wait patiently.

I've had a similar experience to Betty's. I have completed 13 sections of my Curlicue and when I lay it flat and smooth it, it looks great. I expect blocking to do wonders, even though it's cotton yarn.

Pictures of the 10 completed sections on my blog entry today.

Very interesting stuff. I love the colors you're using and I'm excited to see the finished project.

Things are looking good for curlique! Perhaps you will end up with 2 blankets - one curlicue and one grumpecue.

Funny, I always thought it was ...a leaky boom boom now. ;)

Love the colors of the Grumpecue. And the sharfik is lovely as well!

I'm so glad you figured it out! So is one "beach ball" the whole blanket or a section of the blanket?
Why do I want you to send oat couture the blanket to shoot them down? hrm

Oh my goodness, I read the title and the first words of the post, and that song started up in my head. Heehee.

That song will be stuck in my head for the rest of the week, you evil evil woman. But I forgive you, because I'm loving the Maths! I am math impaired, so I find it fascinating to watch you fix that crazy puckering. Can't wait to see the completed blanket.

Nice, love the beach ball effect. It's very fun!

I'm sure your more than circular blanket will work out fine!

I've taken a look at Christy's Curlicue and it's wonderful! No puckering! I'm wondering if maybe the acrylic blend was the problem? Because blocking did miracles to mine, but I wish it was as flat as hers!

I just ordered the Montse book based on everyone's raving about it and I remember that Figure. But did I put two and two together? Nope!

I'm so glad this is working out. The colors are great and I love the edging. Keep us posted on the original curlicue. I'd be interested to see how the blocking and then washing test goes.

Wow...the mere mention of a protracter makes my head hurt. All that work and mathmatics is amazing...

I look at both pictures and I see the same thing, the blanket has issues. It just doesn't seem to lay flat at all. It is one of those patterns that looks great on paper but, it won't work when it is done. It is like the "hanger" dress, it looks wonderful on the hanger and then when it comes to wearing it, dog shit! I think this pattern falls in that range.

Ohhh- I just heard that song on the radio last week! Snow! I thought I had the cd somewhere, but I can't find it now (is it hiding from shame?).

i just read your cabling wo a cable needle tutorial and tried it for myself. i love it! i've always disliked cabling, despite trying other sans cable needle techniques, but yours is too good! thank you!

Wow.. you sure are moving right along.. I'm pleased to know that you haven't frogged your curlicue yet..

Is it possible that upon washing the cotton in the yarn will relax and therfore unpucker? Hm..

I'd like to think about it harder but I have "Informer" running in my head now.. thanks a lot! Lol.

PS. You, lucky Ms. Grumperina, have been bestowed with the honor of my first comment from my brand new fancy silver laptop.. Ooooo.. don't you feel special ; ) I'm proud of myself though.. I think I'm turning into that Maven thing you talk about in your 100 list. I got an unbelievable deal!

oh I grew up in the 90s and I totally know the words to that song...

sorry must go hide in the corner, I am kind of scaring myself :)

oh I grew up in the 80s and I totally know the words to that song...

sorry must go hide in the corner, I am kind of scaring myself :)

Very, very cool. Based on your experience and that of Barcelona Betty I am very motivated to try the Curlicue myself, and the Grumpicue as well. I need to look through my stash. But I'll start them after Christmas--too many presents on the needle at this point!

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