Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sweater Knitting

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This year, I am resolved to improve my sweater knitting. While I'm pretty good at making sweaters that look great on the hanger, I'm not very good at making sweaters that fit me particularly well.

I am determined to change this.

And of course, in my usual foolhardy bite-off-more-than-I-can-chew manner, I embark on this journey of improvement, by starting the most insanely complicated sweater imaginable. I should have started my explorations of fit with some seriously simple knitting. But no. That would have made too much sense.

I haven't done a cable-knit project in years, and this one is a doozy. This stitch pattern requires my complete concentration, which means that I make all sorts of dumb mistakes, that I then have to fix. In fact, it wasn't until I saw this photograph on the screen that I noticed another screw-up. One of the rope-like cables has a mistake, but it's too far gone for me to fix without risking making a mess of the repair.

There's a bit of conventional textile-lore that says that the Amish quilters, or the Persian rug makers, or the Native American something-or-other makers intentionally insert a mistake into all of their projects, because to do otherwise would be to be perfect, and apparently being perfect offends God.

I think that this is totally bogus. God, if he or she even cares about my knitting, would probably be pleased to see me not screw up. And likewise, God, if he or she was paying attention to such niggly details of daily life would probably be more offended by humans who imagined that they had to screw up on purpose, because to do otherwise would be infringing on God's monopoly on perfection.

Rather, I think that most traditional artisans are wise enough to know which mistakes are worth fixing, and cut themselves a bit of slack if they do goof up. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

6 comments:

Chris G. said...

It all depends upon what might be messed up later in the pattern. If it doesn't impact the rest and you can't see it without a trained eye, I'd just call this, "the back" and carry on. ( can't see it myself).

Rabid Quilter said...

Cheeeze. Lisa. Give yourself a break. Most of us wouldn't even consider trying to knit something as intricate as this. Your comment about being wise enough to know which mistakes are worth fixing is right on! You inspire me endlessly.

Anonymous said...

it's coming along beautifully!!!

when it comes to mistakes - hold the knitting at least 1 arms lenght away from you, preferrably more - if you can't see it clearly at that distance, then no one else can either:)

Anonymous said...

I always follow the "galloping horse test" when I'm knitting. If someone won't be able to see the mistake on the finished sweater while galloping by on a horse, I'm okay with it.

Pica said...

Come over and join us at Fit to Flatter on Rav! (This is going to be a gorgeous cardigan by the way...)

Christine said...

I agree with your theory, but personally think you're crazy to be knitting something so impossibly complicated! Knitting seems way to hard for me! Good luck and try to remember that you're doing this as a hobby, right?

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