Someone told me the definition of insanity is repeating the same behavior expecting different results. This is a concept that I understand; especially knitting my very first sweater. I have ripped this baby out at least three times up to yesterday and today will be number four. I know, I know, I said that I wouldn't rip it out one more time, but I lied.
I read both my blogs every day to check on comments and try to respond. I also read my favorite blogs almost every single day too. I read Wendy Knits everyday because she pretty much posts everyday. I love looking at her projects and I aspired (ahem) to knit things as wonderfully as she has. I love the deep green cotton Aran sweater she is knitting. I don't usually comment on her blog because there are hundreds who do already. Since I have been whining about my first sweater I thought I would ask her if she frogs things when she spots a mistake. Her is her answer to my question.
But speaking of mistakes, The Virginia Purl asked an interesting question the other day:When I looked at your lovely green cotton Aran a question came to mind. When you are doing a large project like that and you look back to find a hole or mistake, how willing are you to go back and frog it?
The answer is . . . it depends on how obvious the error is. If I look at it and gasp in horror, I do indeed go back and fix it.
For example -- when I was knitting my second Inishmore several years ago, I discovered after having most of the second sleeve done, I had knitted it the same as the first sleeve. The patterns on Inishmore's sleeves are mirror-image of each other. Mine were not. So I did rip it out back to the ribbing (cursing myself for my stupidity and inattention all the while) and started again.
I make a point, these days, of scrutinizing my knitting very closely after every couple of rows to ensure that I haven't committed some atrocity. It's far easier to fix an atrocity two rows down than one twelve inches down.
Never dreaming she would answer my question, I was really inspired by her response. So much, that I looked at a row of glaring error in my sweater and thought long and hard about what I was going to do. Could I live with the mistake? Do I really care since it's my very first sweater. Well, sure I care. That's why I have ripped it out three times only to repeat that same stinking mistake. I had no idea what that mistake was, but I knew from looking at the piece that it was really wrong. I had a lot of time yesterday to knit so I kept going. I kept telling myself that I could live with it and it was a learning experience. Before I went to bed, I read my blog and there was a comment that determined how my morning was going to spent just now. Here is the comment.
I've recently learned a trick for ripping. Find your last good row and weave your needles into the stitches. Then, rip away. You'll stop at the last good row -- no worries! Sometimes I end up with the stitches sitting the wrong way on the needle, but that's a small fix compared to the messes I used to have.Wendy
I got up this morning and started knitting and that row was looking at me with the evil eye and I could hear it whispering in my ear, "I am a glaring error and you can't fix me, nah, nah, nah!" If anything I am determined to make this sweater look right!!!! So you know what's next!
I figured that the huge difference in color would come in useful and it did. I took a deep breath and started to gather stitches onto the needle. I laid the piece on the foot stool and just eye balled it. It took several trys but I got all the stitches from the same row threaded with the green yarn.
If you look really closely, you can see to the right of the picture, the glaring nagging row of mistakes. Those of you who are more experienced will know what the error is. Shhhhh. Don't tell...yet.
I figured that since I have ripped this out three times already, a fourth time wouldn't be any big deal. So a ripping I went. I ripped out 6 inches down to the row with the green yarn and then began to re-thread the stitches back onto the needles. I clipped the knot off the end and pulled out the green yarn. Okay, the glarring row was gone and I was on the knitting side of the sweater. I started to knit and was really looking at the stitches. They were hard to get on and then they looked funny. OMG! Not again...I want die.
A lightening bolt shot out of the remote and zapped me. The stinking stitches were twisted. lol. All of this because when I ripped the piece out I did not put the stitches back on without twisting them the right direction. I feel so silly. lol! I finished the row stitch by stitch looking at it and then knitting it and then looking at it again. Some looked funny. I ripped them out and switched the stitch from needle to needle and then knitted it again. It worked. So now I am back to knitting the sweater a smarter knitter. Did this lesson have to take so long and make me feel so silly...YES. Nothing that is learned is always learned easily; ask me I know...knitting on.