I’m going to go out on a limb and assume that people don’t come to our website to gaze in awe upon my technical mastery of knitting. I feel strong about my knitting skills, but really and truly, my knitting life is a constant zen lesson in humility. What went wrong last time generally doesn’t go wrong again (I can join 260 stitches without twisting, I promise you), but it’s amazing how many new things can go wrong, even after all these years and all these projects. If I’m in the right mood, the misadventures are part of the journey, and kind of fun. A knitting project has as many variables as launching the space shuttle, but thankfully a lot less risk.
Last weekend, I gleefully finished the second sleeve on my Hadley pullover. I worked most of it on Friday and Saturday evenings, while watching a variety of British programming, including a re-watch of the episode where Prince Albert courts Victoria (that throaty, angst-ridden mumble of his is so hard to understand) and a couple of morbid and soul-crushing installments of DCI Banks. All of this with the aid of microwave popcorn, a bedside lamp and a positive attitude.
What Fresh Hell
On Sunday, tra la, tra la, it was time to lay out my work for a Daily Hadley Progress Snapshot. Yay me!
Through the lens, I saw what I had missed with the naked eye(s).
Somehow, on the second sleeve, I blew right past the Green Section, knitting those rows with blue as the contrast color. The green is missing. Otherwise, everything is just ducky. Apart from that, Mrs. Lincoln really enjoyed the play.
What to do? The first step (duh) was to broadcast my error on Instagram, with a weird kind of pride. BEHOLD THE MAJESTY OF MY ERROR. Basic failure to keep my eye on the ball, the wheels on the road. But to be fair, no terrible harm was done. Véronik Avery’s Fair Isle motif looks great on both sleeves. The sleeve is sound. All is tidy. It’s the kind of discrepancy that if a fashion designer I like did it, I’d think it was the coolest thing ever. I’d wear the sweater just hoping that someone would call out the missing green, so I could brag about the purposefulness of that detail.
I do, generally, like to correct my knitting errors if they are still correctible when I notice them. Everything I can get right, I want to get right; it’s a workmanship thing. Clearly, in a few evenings I could reknit this sleeve. Knitting is a thing that I enjoy, and I would get double the knitting pleasure out of the same yardage of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter. But I was eager to race ahead to joining up the three tubes and getting the yoke colorwork (all four colors of it) going.
To re-knit or not to re-knit? A dilemma like this could totally sideline a project for me. All I want to do is cram this problem in a plastic bag and cast on something new.
Instagram saved the day.
In the stream of supportive comments about the desirability of fraternal over identical sleeves and the trotting horse rule (all greatly appreciated and fortifying to the soul), Karin Maag-Tanchak, aka @periwinklesheep, made a simple, genius suggestion:
“Knit a second (third! lol!) cuff and colorwork section. Cut errant section of sleeve off. Graft correct colorwork and sleeve section to plain sleeve.”
This is a great way to solve the problem, requiring only 2 hours or so of knitting, plus the time needed to get my Kitchener on to do the graft. Zippity doo-da!
But the true genius of Karin’s suggestion is that it kicks the can down the road and relieves me of making any decision right now. I can go ahead and do what I want to do–join up the three tubes and knit the yoke–and decide later whether I’m really going to correct the mis-colored sleeve.
Thank you, Karin.