Tuesday, 12 August 2008

How knitting changed a world.

When I cleaned out the study on the weekend, I found a couple of projects that need just a little bit of finishing work.

Remember this lovely blue capelet begun in May or June of this year?
The hem needs to be redone. When I tried it on, it felt like a line was drawn across my back and was being pulled tight. It doesn't look bad, but to leave something so soft and airy and light feeling stressed would be just wrong. There is also the small matter of fronts bands and some kind of finishing at the neck edge to complete. It's a good month and a half till we need to turn up the heat in the house so this one can wait.

Then there is the matter of the green and cream top from More Big Girl Knits. When this top last appeared on the blog, the bottom band was completed, and I was thinking about the neck edge. After my cleaning work was done on the weekend, this is the project I picked up. I redid the bind off on the seed stitch bottom edge to loosen a too tight cast off.

I did not like the deep back v so I needed to make an insertion in the pattern design. I started by picking up stitches from the cast on edge of this top down design and worked short rows just as I did along the bottom side sections. I knit till I thought it looked about right, and moved along and did the seed stitch neck edge. I tried the sweater on again, and (oh my this is going to look great when it is done) and found a couple of things that I know I can do better. I am determined to repair them.

First off, the cast on edge at the back neck seems to show up as a line of very tightly knit stitches. I picked up at least one wrong strand of yarn.

Next, the neck edge is worked just a little too many rows up the back of the neck. The seed stitch edging appears to be climbing my neck, rather than laying nicely flat and fitted.

Third, I am in the middle of reworking the bottom bands of seed stitch because the larger needle and knitting the bound stitch cast off I used is just too loose. It looks downright sloppy. The technique is right, but I should not have used larger needles. No more biggie needle for sweater bottoms. Maybe. We'll see.While I am at it, I just might make the seed stitch border a little deeper than the first incarnation.

I am so pleased with the sweater that these little re-workings are not bothering me a bit. No tossing it into the corner in frustration, no putting it down while I contemplate what a harsh task master knitting can be. All there is, is the urgent desire to wear this sweater and the desire to do it well enough to wear it to the shop.

The old me, the stuck me, the frustrated by everything in the world me, the angst ridden supervisor of people who was completely unable to supervise people me, the living to the edge of the Peter Principle me, would have seen this small knitting problem as just another confirmation that I was not good enough or smart enough to knit right. The old me would have castigated me unceasingly and would never have forgiven me for my failings.

Knitting changed me. Knitting taught me how to give myself permission to fail and screw up endlessly. Knitting showed me where I was hiding my persistence, my patience and strengthened a vague sense that there just was no reason that I couldn't, into belief that, heck yeah, I can.

A lot of people including me talk about how knitting is a meditation. It is, but the real secret of knitting is that when I was busy meditating, knitting changed my world.

Tricky stuff, this knitting. I so very glad I found it.

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