Monday, February 01, 2010

starting over

why is it, as knitters, that so many of us keep going with projects that we know just aren't working? we convince ourselves that somehow, if we just keep knitting, all our concerns about a project will disappear. somehow, it will fit properly, it will flatter us, it will work out...
and then, without much effort, we're confronted with an almost (or entirely) finished knit that just isn't what we wanted. it doesn't fit; or it fits, but in the least flattering way possible; or the pattern modifcations that we thought were such a good idea, really weren't; or the yarn/pattern combination is awful; and so on, and so on.
some knitters will deal with this problem by finishing the damn thing anyways, then wearing it once before folding it away in their closet of mistakes, from where it will never return. but some of us take a different route:

starting over

this was, up until yesterday, the o'keeffe cardigan, and it was very nearly finished - all i had left to do was sew on the sleeves & knit the collar. and as i was plodding away at it, the realisation was slowly dawning that this was not a good knit for me. it wasn't going to work the way i wanted it to, and it certainly wasn't going to look good on me. and despite knowing this, i kept on knitting - until it came to me. the only reason i wanted to finish this project was so that it would be finished. i didn't want to wear it; i wouldn't be happy with the result; i just wanted it done. and as far as i'm concerned, that's not a good enough reason.
so, i spent most of yesterday afternoon ripping out an almost-finished cardigan, and winding the yarn back into neat little yarn-cakes. and now, i'm starting over. i'm working from a "pattern" idea that i've already used (my january sweater, modified for an aran rather than a chunky weight yarn) - it's one of the cardigans that i wear all the time, so i know that it works for me. and although i'm a little disappointed that all that knitting work has been undone, i'd much rather have the extra effort go into something that i'll actually use - i don't have enough closet space to hang onto my mistakes.


Anonymous said...

Alas-it is hard to admit to a bad sweater project. but it does feel better to get it off the needles and start anew. my bad project was dubbed the ewok at X-mas time by my lovely son-in-law the sweater was intended for his wife. but I couldn't shake the comment and frogged 5 skiens of knitting even though my daughter assured me the sweater would be loved. now I am almost done with the same mohair yarn but in a shrug pattern-so now she will only have ewok arms.

Karen said...

Good for you. Nobody can say we knitters lack courage. I've just knitted a large scarf that I'm going to frog. Sigh.