I’m not fantastic at learning from my knitting mistakes.
Well, not the mistake that goes … “hmmm, I’ve got my doubts about this” … much knitting later … “yip, this isn’t looking right” … still more knitting (even the effort of ripping back to fix a boo boo or two) … “I wonder if this will be ok” … knit, knit, knit … and so on. Knitting on with doubts in my mind until finally I get to the point where I wake up one morning, hours and hours of knitting later and declare; “That’s it. This is not working. I’m frogging it”.
That was me yesterday morning and I’ve had this muttered conversation with myself over knitting soooo many times. When will I learn to listen, stop, properly assess and get real when I first have doubts?
I suspect never.
Because we all do it, right?! (I do hope you’re nodding).
Sometimes we all get a niggling doubt, push it down, ignore it for the longest time and then bam! It’s too late. We’ve finished knitting what we’ve been worried about and it’s totally wrong and we can’t believe we didn’t stop a long time ago.
Thank goodness, this time I had my awakening before my cardigan was finished. Maybe it was because I’ve been on a cardigan marathon lately and I was feeling a bit braver about admitting this cardigan was not going to work? Maybe it was because I have a gazillion other projects that I want to get on with and I’m not feeling like wasting a single stitch? Maybe it’s because I finally finished a sleeve, tried it on and, remembering how small the body seemed, the reality of how tight this cardigan was going to be hit me like a ton of bricks.
Do I really want a sausage squeezing, body hugging, textured cardy in an electric purply-pink colour? No I do not.
So, here it is. All ripped out. I didn’t feel bad about frogging it. I was feeling more relieved than bad. I actually had a tinge of excitement that now I could start something else. I felt slightly nostalgic because I really love this pattern but was also comforted by the fact that I could get more yarn and make it again (some day). Overall, I felt positive as I pulled out all my stitches. My yarn is free for something else. My needles are free for something else. And, I’m free from that niggling feeling that my cardigan was doomed.
So what went wrong? I really should try and learn something from this journey.
Wait for it.
I didn’t swatch.
I know. I know. Never do that! Especially not for an adult cardigan. Never. My lovely, clever and very wise friend Joanne actually had words with me about the mistake of not swatching when I sat at her kitchen table knitting on this thing right at the beginning but I didn’t listen. I was stubborn, cavalier and crazy.
I was undoubtedly wrong though. If I had listened, I wouldn’t be here with 12 balls of yarn and no cardigan. I’d be here with an almost finished, gorgeous White Pine cardigan, in a bigger size …
You’ll learn from my mistake won’t you? You’ll make sure to swatch from now on? Go on. I’m going to try really hard to learn my lesson too.
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