This is the disaster:
My Undulating Rib socks. I’m knitting them in a Sock-A-Long with some friends. We all have the same yarn (I dyed it!) but are knitting different sock patterns. I realized while knitting on Saturday afternoon (in the deserted parking lot of a Captain D’s, if you must know. I had
escaped from dropped Ellie and a friend off at a birthday party and decided to sit quietly and knit with no distractions, a rarity in my life) that I had a pattern mistake many rows back. I was getting ready to fix it when I discovered — to my total horror — that the sock I had so carefully swatched for was waaaaay too big. We’re talking Godzilla sized.
I suppose it was an issue of loosening up as I knit in the round. Or maybe it’s the needles, which are too long for socks, not my usual Crystal Palace DPNs. Whatever the cause, I’m going to have to frog the whole thing and start over. I hate that because finding time alone to work on this pattern has been a struggle, and while it might not look like much progress, figuring out the pattern and getting going has take me, um, a while.
This brings me to the meme. Two years ago, or even six months ago, I might have been tempted to ignore the mistake. I might have even been tempted, had I noticed it, to ignore the gauge issue and decide the socks were meant to be for a friend with larger feet. But today, I’m going to frog and start over. And it isn’t because I’ve become a perfectionist either — far from it. It’s because right now, as a knitter, I seem to be in a place where I really enjoy the process. I don’t mind taking the time to get it right. I seem to finally be acquiring some patience, a quality I have always lacked. And, I’m less focused on producing a finished item than I used to be, and more interested in the knitting itself.
I have no idea if this is a good thing or a bad thing, it just is. Having thought about it, I’m curious about how other knitters feel, so I have this short meme that I’m tagging EVERYONE with (you know who you are, copy and paste it onto your blog and answer it!) in order to find out.
#1 Is it about the finished item or about the process of knitting? Some of both? Has your focus changed one direction or the other over time?
#2 How do you view mistakes? Do you think they give your project character? Is it important to have one, as my Aunt says, because only God is perfect? Or would you rip all the way back to row 5 of your husband’s finished sweater knit on size 3 needles to eradicate a mistake no one else would notice?
#3 Would you rather knit a project that is comfortable for your skill level, or do you prefer a challenge that requires you to figure out new things?
#4 What is something you really want to make but haven’t yet? What holds you back? Is it money, skill level, time, fear of the unknown or something else?
After you answer, please link to your blog in the comments so I can go and read and see what your thoughts are! Here are some pictures of the yarn I’ve been dyeing this week, before I give you my answers to the meme.
That’s Mermaid on Peace Fleece. And this is Tea Party on Blue Faced Leicester, followed by Beatrix Sock Yarn. This yarn, and more (some Harry Potter themed yarn!), is available for sale if you need to do some stash acquisition. Also, after lots of yarn try-outs, I’ve settled on a worsted weight superwash Merino yarn to dye for heavier socks. I’m going to take a few orders for custom dyeing on this yarn this week, and am excited about having finally found something so wonderful!
My Meme Answers:
#1 Is it about the finished item or about the process of knitting?
Some of both? And has your focus changed one direction or the other
over time? Suddenly, it seems to be more about the process and less about the item. I still LOVE my finished items, though.
#2 How do you view mistakes? Do you think they give your project
character? Is it important to have one, as my Aunt says, because only
God is perfect? Or would you rip all the way back to row 5 of your
husband’s finished sweater knit on size 3 needles to eradicate a
mistake no one else would notice? I used to be scared of mistakes. Now, I’m more interested in learning how to fix them. I swatch more and better, which usually (but not today) means fewer mistakes and a nicer fit. I’m definitely not into perfection, but I find that I’m more interested in seeing an unbroken stretch of perfect knitting that I used to be.
#3 Would you rather knit a project that is comfortable for your skill
level, or do you prefer a challenge that requires you to figure out new
things? I tend to be a "stay close to my comfort zone" person. I think a lot of that is because I have lots of children, which means lots of distraction, and since I work during the day, I rarely have big chunks of uninterrupted time to knit alone.
#4 What is something you really want to make but haven’t yet? What
holds you back? Is it money, skill level, time, fear of the unknown or
something else? I’ve been thinking about this (obvioiusly). I think I would like to try a fair isle project this fall. The other project I really want to do is Lizard Ridge from Knitty, but I’ve held off because of the expense.