Knitters: 1 *** Google: 0

Last week I was reminded of technology’s limitations. That’s rare. Usually it’s me with the limitation, as I realize that the computer or software is obviously and unequivocally capable of much more than what I’m able to ask of it. I feel this way pretty much every time I attempt something on Adobe design suite. But having a computer mess up is a relief. I interpret it as proof that we’re not hurtling towards that creepy sci-fi world where robots do everything for us and then suddenly develop consciousness and take over the planet. Or not hurtling as quickly anyway.

So last week I was performing my favorite pattern search on ravelry – cardigans – and I came across this beauty. Simple but clever construction. More torso coverage than most shrugs. Repeating radial lines and a reversible collar. YESSSS

copyright: Pitsikuduja

But then I saw the pattern only came in Finnish. I tried running it through Google Translator, thinking that it wouldn’t be perfect, but there’d be enough coherence that I could make it out. Here is an excerpt:

Always lift the right hand edge first layer of knit stitch.Note. when you knit 3 rows: ta, start with the condensed layers as follows: * Knit the next layer of the right side of chassis 34 (37) 38 (41) 42 (45) s of patients continue to pattern by. Turn the work, please yo needle and knit 34 (37) 38 (41) 42 (45) s of patients continue to pattern by.

Holy smokes, what a mess. Sometimes partial sense is even worse than an entirely different language. It’s a false promise of getting closer to making sense of the thing. On a whim, I wrote to one of the knitters who had posted her completed project on the pattern page. Her project notes were written in English, so I asked if she would be able to translate the pattern…or if she knew of an English translation anywhere. One hour and 59 minutes later I received this reply:


I don’t know what got into me, but I started translating next minute after reading your message. Check this out 😀 Enjoy!

Cheers, Lilia

copyright: Lilia (aka the most generous, kind, and amazing ravelry user I've met)

I could not stop smiling all day. This random gesture of generosity from a stranger was just awesome. A few years and I’m sure Google Translator will branch out for specific sectors and their specialized jargon. But until then…KNITTERS: 1 *** GOOGLE: 0 !!!!!!


Sedum sweater cast-on

Before I left Oregon, I had to spend a yarn store gift certificate. They happened to be in the middle of a big inventory reduction sale (eee!), so I bought up seven or eight skeins of a squishy soft gray wool. Just this past week I cast on the Sedum sweater (ravelry link). So far I’m feeling good about it…

Sedum sweater WIP

Sedum sweater progress

Sedum sweater WIP

You're jealous of my bathroom, aren't you? Floor to ceiling pink tile baby.

I’m knitting at a slightly tighter gauge than the Sedum pattern – about 15 st./4in. on 10.5 needles. It’s been relatively easy to adjust the instructions if I keep a little pen and paper nearby for arithmetic. After the Snowbird Cardigan, I see the beauty in top-down raglan design since it allows for adjustments as you knit along.