Thursday, 20 September 2007

On why trying to correct your mistakes can be a mistake

Towards the end of a day to end all days, I wondered whether the two SSK I had knit instead of the k2tog along one side of the gusset of my charade sock bothered me that much. I decided that since I really really love this sock, and since this was going to be The Sock That I Finished, my First Pair of socks, and all those other noble ambitions with which I had imbued each stitch, that they did. I wanted this sock to be perfect, so I'd just tink back four rows, reknit them, and sail merrily into the foot with an awesomely neat little line of decreases to frame my first* short row heel.

The problem was, due to a full-on no-good bad day, I attempted this in the pub with a comforting pint of Doom Bar on hand. The pub was quite dark. The Doom Bar was very good. The knots that hold my skeleton in place relaxed sufficiently for me to lift my head and unclench my jaw a bit. I began to concentrate more on my companion than on the sock. I then realised that I had dropped one of those YOs, and that fixing them last time had elicited the suggestion that knitting might be a bit antisocial. Since I had only just begun uttering complete sentences rather than monosyllabic snarls, I decided instead to unknit a few rows, since in theory I can do this and talk at the same time. I noticed that the unknitting had created two more dropped YOs.

I came home, I unknit a few more rows, I cried (this was at the end of One of Those Days, remember). I ripped back to before the heel flap, realised that I would never ever be able to pick up those pesky dropped YOs in a remotely sensible way, cried some more and left the sock sitting on the floor.


The irony of the fact that one of those noble sentiments was to worry less and knit more, accept my mistakes and stop letting my inner perfectionist rampage over everything else, is not lost on me.

*Sock Incomplete I at this point still being known by its childhood name, Prototype.


Janine said...

Oh no! I've totally been there (and with the same pattern, even). It will be ok - you will be able to pick up the dropped YOs sensibly and your first pair of socks will be that much more satisfying. Really.

Nora said...

Phillipa, just unravel back to a K row, then continue with YO etc on the next row. Trust me, this happened to me too [same pattern].

Emily said...

I'm with Nora.

And Doom Bar is good, isn't it? My windsurfing partner always drinks it and reminisces about the time she got stuuck on said Bar!

Rachel said...

Poor Philippa! It's not a very perfectionist way of doing it, but when I rip back I just make sure to pick up one stitch for every column or stitches, without worrying about YOs or decreases or increases, sometimes the stitch goes on the needle backwards, sometimes I have to pick up the stitch below the one I'm supposed to be picking up. Then when I knit the next row, I fix each stitch before I knit it. If there was a YO there before, there will be enough yarn sagging behind the needle to easily put it back on there. Decreases and increases can be a little fiddlier to fix, but it's possible. You just have to remember what that row was supposed to look like as you go. Hope that helps somewhat!

Claire Louise Milne said...

If it helps, I've never regretted unravelling to make sure the finished item is perfect.
I've long since accepted the fact that I have to worry about everything, but I try not to worry too much about it. :-)
p.s. thanks for the comments - are you crazy - we LOVE changing rooms!

MeowGirl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MeowGirl said...

i'm sorry to hear about the no-good bad day compounded by frustrating knitting (which really needs to be comforting knitting on a bad day!). hugs and hopes for a shiny good day to sort things out.

you'll be able to pick up those stitches. looks like people who know the pattern have already given good advice. i'd like to add bright light, ample time, cup of tea, and picking up with DPNs a size or two smaller than needles you are knitting with. the DPNs will allow you to deal with a quarter of the stitches at a time; the size will reduce further drops of neighboring stitches.

how are your heel-flap pickups? gaps all better?
(sorry about the above deleted comment. errant pinky pushed return when i had written just a few words.)