Wednesday, January 04, 2012

dear anonymous....

Thank you for your comment to yesterdays post! :-)
You wrote:
next time (and we all know there WILL be a next time!), you can simply duplicate stitch over the wrong color with the right color
sorry to have to tell you this after you ripped back 6 rows . . .

And Guernseygal, you wrote something similar!
You wrote:
I understand. I hate knowing there is an error, but as it is colourwork there was actually a simpler fix. You could of swiss darned ( duplicate stitched) in the correct colour over the incorrect stitches xx

When I was at lunch with MizzSheep yesterday, she had offered up the very same advice. I have to admit, that while I know very well how to duplicate over a stitch, the notion escaped me that it could be used as a solution for my little (and I do mean little) knitting mistake. It had never entered my mind at all as being an option (which is saying something, I think).

Before I ripped back the 6 rows, I did exactly what you all were suggesting. I went to the other end of the ball of yarn, I cut out a section of the color of yarn I needed (it's variegated yarn, making the mistake even less noticeable, if you follow *sigh*), and I did exactly what both you and MizzSheep suggested I should do. I duplicated over the stitch. For those of you that aren't yarnies, what I did was to follow the line of old the thread exactly, and I "sewed in", or covered over, the old stitch with the new/correct color of yarn.

I did the fix. And I looked at it. And I looked at it some more under better light. And I looked at it again after putting reading glasses on. And I squished it between my fingers. And I hemmed and hawed about the texture and whether or not I could live with being able to feel it, even though I could not really see the mistake anymore. Much. And I thought about other sensible people I know use duplicate stitch to fix mistakes all the time, but how for me, I only use duplicate stitch to sew on a design, like a face on a stuffed toy or something. And I thought about how stupid that is, to not be willing to use a skill I use for decorating something, and also have it be a tool for fixing something. And I looked at the shawl some more. And I put the shawl down, ate some chocolate, surfed the internet, and came back and looked at the shawl again. And then, because my brain was still yelling something loudly at me (something I couldn't quite make out), and because my stomach was still doing backflips, I picked out the duplicate stitch that I had just sewn in. And then I ripped back the 6 rows.

It's like I just couldn't stand myself knowing that I hadn't really fixed anything....I had only just tried to cover things up (and the fact that I cant stomach that, is also saying something).

For me, this question really is not about the knitting. I know that. If you are someone reading this post, and if you would have also ripped back, do you also feel like that isn't the question? (or is it just me that is the knitting knutcase here?!). For me, the question is not about how I handle mistakes in knitting; it is about how I handle mistakes in my life. Knitting has just become an analogy.

I am not at all dis-ing people that can leave a mistake in their knitting and live with it, or people that make a repair to a mistake so that the mistake blends in to the background or even becomes "a feature". Seriously, I do not disrespect you at all. In fact: I want what you have. Or at least I think I do. I guess I'd least like to have the emotional option to choose whether to fix a mistake or not and still be able to live with myself, if that makes any sense. But right now I do not believe I possess the ability to have it be a choice. It feels more like I am obsessively driven to achieve perfect knitting. Not because people are going to see my knitting, but for me. Heck, even if I decided in advance to never wear my new shawl out of the house, I still feel driven to not leave a mistake in it.

Where else but my craft do I absolutely have the sole power to start from scratch, like nothing ever happened, if I don't like the result? Where else in my life can I get a total do-over? And why do I think I need or should be allowed to have this sort of power over my craft when the rest of my life doesn't all allow that at all? Why do I spend time even questioning myself as to whether or not I should fix a knitting mistake, when I know I will always end up fixing it....and why do I waste countless hours wishing that I could rip back the last 6 words or sentences that I said to you, the ones that were such the huge mistake, when I know it can never be undone?

I'm not sure if I'm making any sense here.
And I probably am a knitting knutcase.
But knitting IS analogous to my life, and my life and its varying components are integrated, not compartmentalized. And so this head of mind gets full of questions, and it is inevitably where I end up when I grapple with a mistake a see in a knitted work in progress.



Love you all. Thanks for the comments. :-)


Connie said...

I. AM. JUST. LIKE. YOU. I always chalk it up to being an only child...and feeling like I have to be "perfect" for my parents since I'm the "only one." Apparently I'm a true nut case...

Ruth Spears said...

Yes. In knitting (and sewing) I can "fix" the mistake but every time I wear the thing, that's all I can see--all I look for. So it's just easier to fix it- whatever that takes. OCD - just about certain things, though. It's okay. You're not a nut. Everyone is different - not wrong - and THANK GOD THEY ARE!!!

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine neither from where, nor from whom, you inherited that trait.

The Bon said...

A year ago, I would have ripped or laddered down the offending stitch to fix it, provided that was a possible option. Now? Well, I can say for a fact that I would duplicate stitch the sucker and move on, because I just did it, in a pair of mittens that I did a similar thing with.

It didn't leave me feeling like I just covered the mistake, instead, it felt kind of liberating, because it felt like I was saying "I am choosing not to fret over this very small thing, I'm going to devote my energy elsewhere." I think that has had to do with a shift in myself and the way I've started to be able to let things go or shrug them off better, more than it has to do with anything knitting related.