Thursday, 5 November 2009

Doing the ShaNaNaNaNa Na Rip Dance

I went to knitting last night and I spent time with lovely women with marvelous knitting. I also spent time with errors it was impossible to get past.

I ripped back the Cafe Capelet I had been working on. Counting to 2 reared its ugly head and even though I know this pattern so well after all these rows, the count was off. Not by 2 but by 3. I ripped back 4 rows, but I think I'm going to have to do a little more till I get to a point of sound knitting.

Then I picked up the Pretty Thing I am working on in the Kimono Angora from Louisa Harding. There has been 1 small error, which I thought I corrected, but it shows up every second row. The error was back on the first row of the chart and there was no other choice. Rip it all the way back.

I did have some plain and simple socks in my bag, so at least I had something simple, painless to do. But I had to laugh. It is completely apparent that in moving from an 8 inch long set of needles to a 6 inch long set of needles, my gauge has changed. The socks magically get smaller with the shorter needles. I did not rip back the socks. This little gauge issue isn't going to matter inside a shoe. It will block out, right?

Part of me doesn't want to face it, part of me abhors ripping back and redoing all the time, but if there is one thing knitting has taught me is that it is OK to fail. Knitting is one of those fairy godmothers who always find the right way to say 'Try again. Its OK. You can do it."

I always tell clients that this is one of knitting's greatest treasures. You take something that isn't going well, and you pull on it for a while, and you turn it back into a ball of yarn. And what is a ball of yarn but of a pile of possibilities? A ball of yarn is dreams that are not yet knit. The potential of each to become something else is almost without limits within the fibery sphere of things. Mitts? Hat? Part of a sweater? Doily?

I don't mind turning yarn into possibilities when its something I know I'm not going to redo. I don't mind ripping back when I have learned something new by making the error.

Its the ripping back of a perfectly good project because I counted wrong that really is irritating. It is forgetting a yarn over and correcting it wrong. It is losing an entire day of knitting because I was careless that nags at me so. I hate to rip back because of these things. I suppose they are learning moments too. I suppose the lesson I learned about each of these things at least once before, needed just a little more reinforcement.

Today is going to be about moving forward with a little more care, with a little more caution. Today is going to be about taking the time to see the possibilities.
Sure wish I didn't have to.

1 comment:

Sigrun said...

I can totally relate. But, when all is said and done, I do rip back. In German we say "aufreißen" the ß is a very strong sss sound, like a burst steam pipe. So it sounds much more violent in German, perhaps more frustrating, but generally cathartic. Good luck!
The word verification is "mergic" sounds like a blend of merge and magic, maybe that's a good description of knitting experiences.