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.