Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Owning My Mistakes

If I were reading Cast Off by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee instead of listening to it, I might actually quote her word for word but it's one of those audiobooks so I'll have to paraphrase.  You know the part where she talks about the two kinds of knitters?  The ones that would painstakingly search for the mistake if she got to the end of a row and had an extra stitch and the others who would just knit two together?  Well, I'm kind of a combination of the two.  In that instance I would probably just knit two together because, most likely (in my mind anyway), it wouldn't be noticeable.  If, after a few rows, it did become noticeable, though, I would be forced to rip it out - cursing myself with every stitch for not fixing it right away - because I would see it every time I looked at it and it would drive me crazy.   

That said, I'm really struggling with a mistake I made last night.  I was working on my Gooseberry Cardigan and using these evil things to mark my increase stitches.

Evil Stitch Markers

I don't know what made me use them - they must have been handy when I cast on - because I usually only use them for crochet projects.  I hate that they get snagged in the knitting and some times trick you into thinking they belong one place when they really belong in another.  That's exactly what happened to me last night.  This little circle of doom got a little unruly so I pried it out and put it back, 99% sure, where it belonged.  I even made note to double check when I completed the next row which I totally did and things looked fine.  Several rows later, though, I realized I should have relied on that 1% of nagging doubt because the stitch maker was off by one stitch.

Errant Stitches copy

My Photoshop skillz are limited (but I'm learning!) and Matt is at work so I'm on my own but the errant stitches are kind of from one tip of the arrow to the other.  Note I'm now using snag-free stitch markers.

After agonizing over it for several minutes - looking up and down the needle at the multitude of stitches I would have to take out and wondering if I would end up loosing my increase row if I just took if off the needle to rip back four rows or if I would have to unknit each individual stitch - I decided to try just moving it back over where it should be.  After the first couple of rows I found that it was nearly imperceptible but, after a couple more, it became a little more obvious and it started to really bother me. 

I FettigGooseberyCardigan3almost pulled if off the needle, crossing my fingers that I wouldn't loose the increases, but it was nearly one a.m. and both Matt and I decided it was better to sleep on it and make a decision in the morning.  I also took a good look at the pictures of the finished sweater because I'm only a couple of inches into the yoke (it's top down) and, after you finish the body, you pick up stitches and knit the collar...which hangs down over the yoke by several inches (photo courtesy of Interweave Knits). 

See what I'm getting at?  The collar is, most likely, going to cover up my mistake.    

That said, I'm trying to convince myself to carry on.  After I few more inches I'll be far enough beyond the mistake that I won't be forced to view it/torture myself with each and every row.  Unfortunately, though, I can't be completely convinced and am going to let it rest for a day while I consider it/torture myself a little longer.

What would you do? 



  1. I hate frogging so, so, so much that I pretty much have trained myself to ignore all but the most glaring errors in my knitting. I also share the same hatred for those type of stitch markers, or the fancy handmade stitch markers that were so popular for a while...they were pretty but if they were dangly, or used those silver jump rings with the little split...they snagged constantly and often times fell off! I now only use the locking type of stitch markers (the ones that look a little like short, fat plastic safety pins) or some handmade hammered copper stitch markers that I like because they are pretty, but solid with no possibility of snagging.
    In unrelated news, I got your package last night!! I can't wait to read the magazine this weekend and thank you so much also for the adorable pen & notebook! Did the magazines I sent arrive? I wasn't sure how long post was taking with the constant strikes...

  2. I've made a mistake that I thought I could live with, only to realize 20 rows down that I couldn't. I think you should really think about the ripping back of four rows, or the ripping back of the entire body of the sweater. Keep going if you're absolutely sure that the mistake will stay. If not, what's four rows?

  3. I would have to say that from your blog post, it would be better for you to go ahead and tink back and fix the mistake - even if the collar will cover it up. You know it's there and it may bother you when the sweater is done and then you might not wear it.

  4. Oh are you kidding me??!! the collar will totally cover it up and you'll never think about it again! Let it go!! (but then, I know how you are... ;)