March 10, 2016
As the sun comes over the mountain and the last drips from a rainy night fall from the roof my thoughts turn to unraveling. There are many knitting projects surrounding me that I have made mistakes in and in frustration, even despair, I have banished them to their project bags to languish while I search out more yarn, better needles and a more fun experience of knitting. Two hats, a sweater, a vest lay waiting.
What is it about mistakes and unraveling? There are options for unraveling in knitting. You can just pull out the needles and pull the yarn holding everything together until you have disappeared the mistake. This approach is simple, and scary and it leaves you with a bundle of stitches to pick up and reorder. In the reordering you reconnect with the pattern, the yarn, yourself and why you were creating the project.
Then there is careful unraveling. Moving from left to right you slip each stitch off the needle, pull the yarn allowing a new stitch to appear, then you carefully rearrange the stitch on the left needle. This approach is slow and tedious and is the right solution for some projects.
I resist unraveling. To unravel well I need to be in a quiet, focused place where I can bring a new awareness to the project. As I unravel I discover things about myself. I find out whether I care to make the project the best I can. Sometimes I let the mistakes be part of the sweater, hat or scarf. Often I don’t give myself the option for mistakes. I pull the needles out, let the yarn unravel and reconnect with the project and calmly settle back into creation.
For my lacy and Fair Isle hats pulling the needles out is not the option I want to take. There are yarn overs, SSK’s and knits and purls to reconsider. With these hats I will carefully unravel each stitch. To do so I will find my calm and allow myself the time and focus to create the best hat that I know how.
Mistakes stop me in my tracks sometimes. In frustration I throw the project down and instead of unraveling immediately I spend time wondering “why I bothered with this pattern,” “why did I pick such a delicate yarn”, “why didn’t I spend more time determining
the gauge”, “who wrote this pattern”, “what was I thinking to begin this project anyway”, “I am not good enough.”
This month I am committing to unraveling without fear. I will let each project be the perfect project experience and allow unraveling to part of the process of me becoming the best knitter I can.