Thursday, January 9, 2014

Out For a Rip

Hello again and happy new year.  :)

Every January I breathe a sigh of relief.  As much as I enjoy the holidays (and I really do!) it always feels great to get the tree down, the decorations put away, and to get rid of all the lists (groceries, gifts, to-do, etc) that I frenetically wrote and tried to complete throughout December.  Inevitably, one of those lists is "Things I must finish knitting."  Like most of the knitting ilk, I had quite a few hand-knits on my list this year to be given.  Thankfully, they were all for my immediate family, who are extremely forgiving when it comes to belated Christmas knits.  

The title of this post refers to the recurring theme in my knitting over the last month: ripping back.  (Ugh.)  I had been going great guns, completing a turban-style headwrap, 2 chunky cowls, an enormous chunky-knit infinity scarf for my middle daughter, a cute little sweater for my nephew and 3 little christmas ornaments for my girls when things began to get ugly.  

The first incident was pretty minor.  I was a couple of feet into the Meringue Cowl when I noticed an error in the brioche stitch a few inches back.  For whatever reason, rather than just looking up "How to correct an error in brioche stitch" I decided it would be simpler just to knit backwards for a few inches.  Simpler? Maybe.  More tedious? Definitely.  But job done, it was fixed and on I went.

Then, after feeling quite smug about having quickly knitted up a size 4 top-down Caelum sweater for my little nephew, I got started on the size 8 version for his sister.  I was blazing along, making great progress and closing in on the waistband ribbing when I spotted what I quickly realized was a fatal error in the collar.  When I'd joined in the round, I'd over-lapped the shawl collar backwards so that the button holes were on the bottom.  I know, I could have just used smaller buttons, and squeezed them through makeshift holes that I'd stretched out, but it irked me so much I decided to tear the whole darn thing out.  There were still 5 days left before the gift had to be given---I could still finish right? Of course I had to fit in all the other last-minute Christmas stuff and work too, among other things, so alas, my little niece got an "IOU one sweater" note with the rest of her gift.  

On Christmas morning my daughter Bronwyn opened her infinity scarf, and she loved it.  Like the Meringue cowl, it was also done in a lofty, squeezable brioche stitch and was particularly soft and cozy.  I was pleased she was pleased.  But a couple of days later, she came to me with a small concern---when she doubled up the scarf to wear it close to her neck, she felt a little as though she was in a neck brace.  The scarf was just a little too wide to be able to be worn comfortably.  She showed me and I agreed.  

The scarf had knitted up very quickly on super-bulky yarn, so I offered to just make it over again, at about half the width.  I'd planned to tear out the entire thing and make the world's biggest ball of yarn, but rather than ripping the entire thing back, I quickly realized that I can just knit right off the old scarf as I make the new one.  

Fortunately, I've never been one to get too worked up about having to rip things back.  I like knowing that I can fix errors, and that I'll be satisfied with the end product.  Besides, I try to remind myself, I like to knit.  What's a little more of it?  

I'll throw the question out there though: how comfortable are you ripping out a project once it's under way? Do you see it as a complete fail, a do-over, or is the whole notion too frustrating to imagine---once you've started there's no going back?  I'm curious.

Though this has nothing to do with needles and yarn, given the topic and the temperature, I'll close with this link which has been making the rounds on Youtube in Canada (especially down Ontario-way).  For you non-Canadians, here's a little peek into a pocket of beloved Canadian subculture.  Virtually everyone I know who has seen this says "I went to school with a bunch of guys who were EXACTLY like that," or "OMG that's like everyone from Renfrew!" (or insert of pretty much any small rural Canadian town).  Apologies in advance for the language (or if you're from Renfrew).

   P.S. The video doesn't seem to want to show up on phones and tablets, so here's the link instead:

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