Saturday, October 22, 2011

Why learn a lesson the easy way?

I have learned a very valuable lesson this week:

When you are undertaking a new pattern for the first time, it pays to take the time and re-write the damn thing in your own words.

Particularly if this pattern was written by a designer that is unknown to you.  Particularly if this designer seems a little Old School (they did things differently in the Olden Days of knitting... you know, like 10 years ago).  Particularly if you're not accustomed to following patterns in the first place and usually prefer to wing it, as Elizabeth Zimmermann-ites such as myself are wont to do.

Now, I already knew this.  I preached this.  I smirked a little as I witnessed others refusing to do this very thing, thus finding themselves up a creek without a paddle.

Oh, would I could properly convey to you the taste of humble pie, my friends.

When I left you last, I was performing some rather heart-wrenching surgery on my husband's argyle vest.  I managed to remain fairly positive throughout the process (you know, once the vile cursing and temper tantrum subsided, that is).

At one point, just as I was ripping back 3 hours worth of work (by the way, it took me 1.5 hours to undo 3 hours of work...that thought gives me heartburn), I thought to myself (cue ominous music) that I really should sneak a lifeline into this thing, JUST IN CASE something went wrong again.

Once I got it all back on track, I squared my shoulders and put my mind to the task of starting the arm shaping over again.  I was a little tired, but determined.  I took a deep yogic (and very zen, I like to think) breath.  But did I remember to put in a lifeline?  Nooooooooo, of course not.  Did I go back and re-re-re-read the instructions.  Well, yes.  Naturally.

At least I thought I had.

Are you getting a sense of foreboding, here?  A little foreshadowing, perhaps?

Yeah, so, um, well.... I screwed up again.  I am halfway between the arm shaping and the shoulder seam on one side of the front and I just realized that I have to rip back to the armhole shaping (a good 4" of work).  And not a lifeline in sight. 

Now, I am not above ignoring mistakes and making do.  I can't stand perfectionism and like to refer to myself as a "good-enough-ist".  Mistakes just emphasize our human-ness, I prefer to think.  However, this mistake is bad enough that it makes me question whether or not it will dramatically change the way this thing fits.  I'm just not sure enough of myself and I want this vest to be something my husband will love and wear forever.  If it languishes in a drawer, I'll be extremely frustrated.  Especially if it languishes because I was too lazy to rip a mistake out and fix it when I had the chance.  Pardon the expression, but that would just chap my ass.

Is it too early in the day for alcohol?

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