My mistake fix on the inside of my Fair Isle Vest (second crochet reinforcement and weaving ends still need to be done. With slippery yarn you can never be too careful right?)
My mistake fix from the outside of my Fair Isle Vest.
I was having one of "those" moments with my son. We were doing a simple writing exercise to work on his printing and he made a mistake. I said not to worry there are erasers for such moments and that is why we use pencils. He was angry at himself, me, the situation. I got frustrated and angry myself at what I thought was blowing out of proportion a minor slip of the pencil. He rewrote the lowercase "a" over a dozen times never quite happy with it. I sat losing my patience until I realized he was having a perfectionist moment. You know those moments when you can see in your mind what you want to happen and just can't seem to make your body do it the "right" way? Well, I have had quite a few of those in my time. In fact, they used to completely immobilize me until I learned that not doing something you wanted was worse than trying. I needed to help him learn that lesson too. So after calming myself down and finding my reasonable voice again I told him a story. I asked him if he could remember a time when I didn't knit. He said he couldn't. I said you would think with all that time and practice knitting I would no longer make mistakes right? He said yes. And I followed with the following example of a big mistake I just made.
My Fair Isle Vest that I am knitting is too big in circumference. I did all the right things. My substitute yarn weighed the same as the original for the same amount of yardage. I knit a swatch in the round as I would be knitting the sweater. I carefully measured over a large area and averaged the stitch count. I got gauge. But the gauge my sweater was coming out as was a 1/2 a stitch off. How much difference can half a stitch make? Try 5 inches difference. Yup, too big by a lot. What to do? Well, I contemplated the options of 1) frogging it all and starting over. 2) finishing it as is and give it to someone. 3) cutting out the extra inches and seaming to the right size. I chose option number three. I went through the cast on stitch amounts for each size dividing by my gauge of 6 stitches to the inch to see which one was closest to my chest size. I then took the difference between the stitches I cast on and the stitches for the size that would fit at my gauge and marked off the 32 stitches that I needed to remove. By consulting the charts for this new size I would be knitting I was able to pick where to take these stitches out so the patterning would match up. I then did a crocheted steek, cut out the extra inches and used a mattress stitch to seam the two sides back together. On the right side of the vest it is very hard to see the seam, but on the inside it's a bit bulky with the steek salvages on each side of the seam. So, it's a trade off, but tearing out all that knitting would have been just too difficult emotionally for me, not to mention the fact that I diligently wove in all the ends already.
So, I closed my story with saying that by making the mistake I learned something new. I learned how to make a repair in my knitting that I've never done before, and that maybe a "quick" in the round swatch is not the same as a true in the round swatch, at least for me. That really I needed to slow down even more. I needed to knit the tube swatch or hat , measure gauge, wash it, measure gauge, repeat if adjustments are needed and finally start my project. I told my son slowing down is ok, there is no deadline and rushing is not necessary. Mistakes will happen, but what we do with our mistakes is what's important, not the mistake itself. As always, I don't know what he will take from this little exchange, but hopefully he'll stop worrying about being perfect and simply try.
Joining in with Nicole for Keep Calm Craft On and Ginny for Yarn Along.