Monday, August 19, 2013

Not Fixing Mistakes

There is something kind of fun about ripping out a project. I have to block out thoughts about how long it took to make those stitches and turn the whole thing into kind of a Zen exercise. Impermanence, kind of like those sand gardens.

Once I'd fully ripped out the Yaddo Cardigan and the yarn was wound into balls, I felt a pang of regret. I so wanted a lightweight cardigan, something that could take me from fall to spring.

Which meant that I needed to find a pattern that wasn't going to make me crazy while knitting or crocheting it.

I went on a pattern search. But nothing hit me in the right way. It was too heavy. Too easy. The wrong shape. I wasn't finding my Goldilocks pattern, so I set the search aside. And that's when it hit me.

I could design my own.

There's this pattern stitch that I found in a stitch dictionary a long time ago that I've been itching to try. But no project has been right for it. Until now.

But, before I can knit a sweater, I have to figure out a bunch of things. And before I can do that math, I need to make a gauge swatch. So, I cast on a bunch of stitches and began knitting.

I think I was on row two when I realized that I used the wrong decrease stitch. Normally, I'd rip back to that point and fix it. But I had an epiphany. This was a practice swatch. I had no reason to fix any mistake.

Scary, but freeing.

Because I'm a bit of a perfectionist, at least with my knitting. I know a myriad of ways to go back to fix my mistakes. I've been known to rip out half a project when something has gone terribly wrong.

But there's no reason to fix a practice swatch. None. No one's going to see it. I'm never going to wear it. Why spend the time fixing a mistake in an object that doesn't need to be perfect?

Then two rows later I made some indeterminate error, and my stitch count was off. I ripped back before I realized what I was doing. Never did find the mistake, but I did manage to get the stitch count right, and I continued on.

So, the swatch is a mess, but I'm making fewer mistakes now. And soon, I'll have a pretty good idea of how to work this into a sweater.

What do you think? Can you see all the mistakes?


  1. The link's swatches were a little looser, but I think your attempt looks pretty good. I'm so impressed with your work!

    1. Yeah, the swatches in the link have been blocked. My swatch is still in progress, still on the needles, so it hasn't been blocked. (Blocked: stretched out so that all the stitches pop.)

  2. I don't see the mistakes. I'm not a knitter, but I think it looks great.


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