Thursday, January 31, 2013

Going With the Flow

Sometimes, when you’re working on a knit or crochet project, you run into problems. The gauge isn’t right and the garment is either way too big or incredibly small; the yarn you’re using is actually self-striping instead of gently variegated and you end up with splotches or stripes in very unfortunate shapes and places. Or maybe the pattern told you that only five skeins of yarn were required to make a particular sweater, but you’re realizing now that it’s more than halfway finished that that is complete nonsense; unfortunately you got the yarn more than a year ago and trying to match the dye lot is impossible. Grrr.

That last example was quite specific because, as you might have guessed, that particular problem is mine. After deciding that I wasn’t going to procrastinate any more I started a sweater that has been sitting in my queue for over a year. The pattern and yarn was given to me as a Christmas present in 2011 and since then has been tucked away in my stash waiting. I started it two weeks ago today (Thursday) and at first it flew by. Before I knew it I was shaping pockets and separating for the sleeves and then knitting the sleeves! And then I hit the wall… Last night I realized that I only had one more skein of yarn left and I wasn’t even finished with the first sleeve. Uh oh. So after racking my brain and cussing a little I took a deep breath and shrugged my shoulders. What can I do? I can make the best of it using the materials at hand.

We still have the brand and color of yarn that I’m using in stock at Yarnology, but the dye lots are very different. The current batch is a little lighter, a little more of a tweed than mine but I figure that if I use it on the collar and the button band it will look like a design choice. Which is what “mistakes” are anyway right? Design decisions. It’s not worth stressing over the things we cannot control. That takes away the relaxation aspect of this hobby. I must confess, however, that while I was attempting to restart my sleeves tonight (yes, I ripped out the one I had almost finished so that I can knit them two-at-a-time) I had the strongest urge to throw it across the room. When it gets to that point it’s just healthier to put it away for a while.

Crafters face problems like mine all the time and handle them in different ways. Some rip out and start over, some just finish and give it away so they don’t have to look at it anymore, some start something brand new so that the pain of wasted time isn’t so great, and some, regrettably get frustrated and give up the hobby. Problems are going to occur, that’s a truth that has to be acknowledged in knitting as in anything in life. As hard as it is to accept after putting twenty hours into a project, sometimes you have to rip it all out. No one is perfect and no project is either. The ripping (or “frogging” as many call it) can even be therapeutic. Although I tend to get a little weepy seeing my stitches unravel so easily. I suppose the lesson here is to just go with the flow. Control over some things is out of our hands and the sooner we acknowledge that, the easier it gets. I love knitting. I get frustrated sometimes, but even though my sweater will be a little two-toned I’ll still have something warm to wrap up in this spring. I’ll be proud of it either way. And that’s what really counts.


  1. I know it'll still look great!! Love how you correlate knitting and life, so true! Sometimes we have no control and need to accept what is and move on! You are a wise young lady!! Proud of you!