June 30, 2008

Like a rear view mirror

This knitted object is larger than it appears.


I know it looks like I've just two little sleeves done, and even less of the front than I had last time, but I swear it's way more than that. For starters, that's actually three sleeves (one reknit of one sleeve) and that back is actually about 3 backs. I reknit the first 10 cm of it about 7 times, and then yesterday when I had just about the whole back knit I realized that I'm a total idiot, (Well, technically that was something I already knew. It was just showing again.) because I had knit just about the entire thing to perfection, with the exception of one small detail.... which was that I had more stitches on one side of the panel than the other. Two, to be exact.


I'm as flexible as the next knitter, and there's tons I can overlook in a sweater, but that's too big for me. Way too big. A mistake like that is the kind that gives me the creeping heebies, and I know exactly what happens if I ignore it. I'd tell myself I didn't care while I knit the right front. I'd look at it a lot while I knit the left front. I'd show it to other knitters and ask them if they could tell and you know how knitters are... they would all say they couldn't, but I wouldn't believe them. (Mostly because about half of them would be dying to rip it out themselves.)

I would block it maybe, and remeasure. "It's only two stitches" I would tell myself, and I would think about ripping it back and then I would manage to convince myself not to be so much of a perfectionist, and start talking about my awesome ability to let things like this go. Then I would block it again, remeasure it again, maybe even start sewing the sweater up. I'd tell myself that I was learning to relax. I'd even tell other people that I had learned to relax. (Then Joe and the girls all my friends would lie on the floor and laugh until they wept and gasped for air.)
I would tell myself about the galloping horse rule (If you can't see it from the back of a galloping horse, then it doesn't matter) or I would remind myself that a small human is likely going to puke on this, and that it's still going to be a beautiful sweater even with two few stitches on one side. (I would ignore the twitch that always turns up over my right eye when I try too hard to buck my true nature too hard.)


Finally, I would lie the thing down, smooth my hand over it see that those two stitches were all I could see, and something would snap. Totally snap, and I'd rip it back and re-knit it, because dammit, knitting is one of the only times in your life you can make something perfect, make it the way you want it and totally be the boss of the whole thing. If a two stitch difference bugs the snot out of me, then hell.... I can fix it. I don't have to live with imperfection in knitting the way that I do with the rest of the world and anybody who thinks that's nuts, well fantastic, because knitting is just so awesome that if you leave a two stitch difference that doesn't bother you at all, then you get a sweater that will be loved to shreds the same as mine.

The whole thing can be tailored for your personal brand and level of obsession, and me, I ripped back that bad boy so fast it would make your head spin around, and I even congratulated myself for not angsting about it or pretending that it wasn't making me totally nuts for a week first.
It's personal growth.

Posted by Stephanie at June 30, 2008 3:06 PM