I’ve been clicking away on Clinquant by Lisa Mutch in the beautiful Northbound Knitting Merino/Silk DK in the Driftwood colorway. I’ve been lurking around the designs of Lisa Mutch for a few years now and earlier this year when I discovered she is a dyer, too, I started all-out fan-girling on her (Sorry, Lisa). In any case, I saw Clinquant and had to knit it.
Big and squishy and cozy and in the slatey blue-grey-brown of Diftwood, it is one of the most enjoyable shawls I’ve ever knit. I have flown through two-thirds of this project in near record time just because the yarn is so beautiful to handle and the knitting is just so incredibly relaxing. I was leery of the ‘ol garter stitch shawl scenario because usually I get bored, but I must say I am completely sold on this pattern. It is a joy. Pure and simple.
There is always a hitch though, isn’t there? Last night as I clicked away at the campfire…
I couldn’t help but notice that the openwork row just didn’t look quite right. I kept going for 10rows — until the next openwork section was due to begin. Then I counted my stitches. And my stitch count was way off. And when I say ‘way off’ I mean way off. Like twice as many stitches as I was supposed to have off.
It turned out that where the instruction read ‘dropping all yarnovers from previous row’… well, I had only dropped one of each of the two yarnovers.
Out the extra zillion stitches came and I clumsily rewrapped my yarn onto the ball.
Something weird happened though that I barely noticed at the time: I didn’t really care. I mean I cared that I made a mistake and I knew I had to go back and fix it, but it didn’t bother me. Would I have been happier if I didn’t have to rip that whole section out? Well, yes, but I was pretty at peace with the error. After all, it was 100% my fault and there really wasn’t anything I could do except fix it. Getting cranky wouldn’t help at all, so without a word or sigh I had ripped back and gotten right back to it. And I didn’t really think twice about it.
This morning my son started a new novel study — My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George and while reading the first couple chapters & clicking away on my Clinquant, I neared the spot from which I had turned back in my knitting last night and came across this sentence that describes how the protagonist feels after a particularly rough night camping alone with no fire & an empty belly in the forest,
“Fortunately, the sun has a glorious habit of rising every morning.”
And this single sentence brought the reaction I’d had to the mistake I’d made the night before into a new light. Hand-in-hand with the new & improved more peaceful knitting philosophy I spoke about in my last post, apparently goes this very accepting view of when things go wrong. I remember when these setbacks would really get to me and make me so distraught. Now though, doing what I love at my own pace, it’s not really that big of a deal. It’s just part of the process now and then. The yarn is still beautiful. The pattern is still lovely. No amount of frustration will change the fact that I made a mistake. I will either fix it or I won’t. And the sun will most likely still rise in the morning.
So here I am about 16 hours after I ripped a zillion stitches out… And this project is still beautiful — even better now that I’ve fixed the error. As predicted, the yarn is still divine, the pattern is still a load of fun, and the sun rose this morning. And now it’s Friday afternoon and school is over and I think it’s time for a little more knitting. Hopefully it will be mistake-free, but if it isn’t… well, that’s ok, too. I’ll love those stitches all the same.