Today I want to talk about mistakes.
I think as crafters we are prone to wanting our creations to be perfect. Sometimes this leads to spending hours and hours unpicking or frogging our work, or just putting the project aside for a while. (I'm guilty of both of those!)
I've been taking some time out recently and I used that time to finally make the big push and finish off my big project - a jumper for my boyfriend Andrew (pattern King Cole, similar yarn here. I don't have the exact yarn and pattern I used in stock right now, but if you're interested in making the pattern for yourself, leave a comment below and I'll definitely order it in!). It was important to me, because I've never had a partner stay in my life long enough to knit them a jumper, and so I wanted it to be symbolic of our partnership. It's also one of the biggest and most complex projects I've ever done!
The jumper has quite a complicated cable pattern - alternating between a traditional ribbon cable, a flower-stem pattern, and some cable ribbing. (I used my favourite Clover cable needle and bamboo straight needles). Almost immediately on starting the back, I misread the pattern and accidentally mixed up a cable rib row. I showed Andrew and he was insistent that it was completely unnoticeable and besides, the mistake was right on the bottom of the back of the jumper, so who's going to be looking there, anyway?!
Look carefully at the bottom section - each ribbon goes over twice (or under twice) instead of over/under as it should.
So I put it to the back of my mind and carried on, and as I got more used to the pattern and settled on my own methods of keeping track of the pattern quirks, I didn't make any more mistakes for a while.
Until... I made the mistake of knitting drunk. (Pro tip - Don't knit drunk!) When I looked at my piece the next day, I'd made a mistake in a ribbon cable, which meant it looked more like a slithering snake rather than going over and under like it should...whoops. Unfortunately in my tipsy state, I hadn't noticed at all and by the time I realised, I'd completed enough subsequent rows that it would be a real pain to unpick them all. So I pushed on.
This mistake is really easy to spot!
By the time of my third mistake, I was right up by the neck at the front, and I was fully all in at this point for embracing mistakes - so I just made the same mistake on the other side so it was symmetrical, and it actually looks pretty cool!
See around the collar how the outermost ribbons go straight instead of twisting and turning like the others? Yep - that's the mistake. Increasing and decreasing on cable patterns can be challenging!
I finally finished the jumper this week, and Andrew was overjoyed to receive it and it fit him perfectly (well, a bit snug over the lockdown pounds, but otherwise perfectly!). It got me thinking about how we overthink our mistakes so much, but at the end of the day, they're almost never cared about or even noticed by the recipient. Because after all, if someone wants a perfectly knitted jumper, they can go to literally any high street shop and buy one. That's not the goal of hand knitting! It's to include love in every stitch and enjoy the process of making it - and every mistake makes that piece more unique and special.
It still looks really awesome! At least I think so. A handsome model helps a lot.
(I'm still looking for the perfect buttons to complete the look.)
How do you deal with mistakes? Are you a perfectionist or do you plough on and embrace the wonkiness? Let me know below!