Googling again while researching a writing assignment, I came across this intriguing gem: "It's like knitting fog." A guy in the UK has been butting heads with the utilities (gee, that sounds familiar) and describes the experience with an amazingly apt image.
Can you imagine knitting fog? You knit row after row after row, and get nowhere.
I've felt that way in the between time between casting on and binding off miles of stockinette. Many Vogue patterns feel like fog . . . the directions require huge measures of brain drain to figure out how to get from Row 2 to Row 88. (Note to Vogue: before you tell me to "knit in pattern," make darned sure there's a direct connection to the blasted pattern. The sideways cardigan is going to be lovely, but it's a bear to start. Yarn Gal agrees - check out her blog on the pattern.)
But I'm going to persevere. Because I really like the design. That's how stubborn we knitters can be - full of hope in the face of poorly worded patterns, exasperating sizing, and thin models wearing prototypes that are probably clipped in the back where we can't see the bunching.