No Shortcuts

It is no secret that I have been busy & unfocused lately. And I have also been clicking away on my Lavaliere by Cecily Glowik MacDonald. This sweater has been humming along and I’ve been having minor delusions about finishing it in time to wear to the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool festival. Realistically I’ve known this is really not going to happen, but there’s a little voice in the back of my head that whispers, “Maybe if you just put in a couple long days & stay up a little later than normal…” It’s a bad, bad voice.

I have mostly managed to ignore it in favor of making lunches the night before instead of morning of school/work, pre-mixing the pancake batter for breakfasts, planning special after school snacks, filling out all the necessary back-to-school paperwork, staying beyond on top of the laundry situation, creating calendars & chore charts for everyone, playing frisbee with the dog, and having campfires with Mr Knitting Sarah — the list goes on & on.

Alas, it is hard not to shoot for the moon.

The trouble with this is that it’s easy to make mistakes. I have absolutely no problem determining where I am in my knitting nor do I struggle with most fixes, but when I am picking up & setting down my knitting as much as I’ve been lately — well, the stage is set for making mistakes. I get too anxious to get going & when I steal a moment for a few stitches I hungrily grab them. I don’t always pay as much attention as I should.

Last night I noticed something on the wrong side of my work that didn’t look quite right.  It was a mistake, but it was a bad one. Three inches back into my work I had picked up my work & gone the wrong direction. There is no fix for this beyond ripping back to it. Sure, I could have fudged it. This time, though, I could never have lived with that. I love this yarn & this sweater far too much to settle for that unspeakable mistake. One moment of carelessness and three inches of work had to be ripped out.

20130903-131952.jpgYou can see from the photo all the yarn wound back onto the balls. That is all the result of this momentary lapse of attention.


 10+years knitting, countless projects from beginner to advanced skills levels, and I am still capable of the simplest of mistakes. It just goes to show that just because you know better, it doesn’t mean you are immune to stupid mistakes. There are no short-cuts when it comes to attention to detail. None.

Sure, this could have been much worse. It could have been much farther back in my work. The yarn could have looked really rough upon ripping back (it looks awesome — almost as though it had never been knit, in case you were wondering).  Only the pain that I knew better & that right now I could be in ribbing instead of 4inches from it remains. That and the cold, hard reminder in the form of my rewound yarn. Is there a silver living? Absolutely. At least I no longer have hopes of finishing before WI Sheep & Wool. That ship has definitely sailed. And I know that when I start pulling from the center of that ball of wool again it will feel pretty darn good.

I would love to say I’ve learned my lesson, but I’m sure I’ll keep making this (and many other) mistakes from time to time when my attention fails me, usually when I am rushed or unfocused. For all a knitter’s experience, we are never immune to these lapses in attention. We are always vulnerable to the simplest errors. All we can do is attempt to learn from our mistakes and not repeat them… or repeat them as little as possible. We may never be immune, but the simplicity that is paying attention is never outside of our grasp either.

But I digress. I have 4″ of kitting to recover. And I had probably better pay attention this time.

9 thoughts on “No Shortcuts”

    1. It was very close to a time out. Very close. I finally settled on the fact that it’s the kind of mistake I just want to overcome quickly & put behind me. It may have been naughty, but I really love it!

  1. I would love to watch you knit. 🙂 My mother and my aunt used to knit
    so fast…I loved watching them.

    This might make you feel better… I started a shawl and had to take it apart 23 times before I finally memorized the pattern and it came out right. One time I had knit about 2 feet and had to take it apart. Around the 18th time I threw the ball of yarn across the room… but I persisted and finally finished. 🙂

    Love the color of the yarn. Can’t wait to see it finished.

    Love the color of your yarn. Can’t wait to see the finished piece.

    1. I’m not a particularly fast knitter — comfortable and deliberate, yes. Speedy, not really. I find it comforting though — maybe that is true for others, too. I honestly don’t really know! I think my family just kind of takes it for granted at this point (not in a bad way, they are just used to it).

      Congratulations on sticking with your shawl. I am one who isn’t really just a project or just a process knitter — I am somewhere in the middle. I love the outcome, but I also love the journey. And each project has its own unique path.

      It’s going to be a great sweater. I’m sure of it!

Comments are closed.