We have all done it. Sat down to work on our current project, turned on the tv or a movie, and next thing you know you were too caught up in what you were watching to realize you made a mistake. Misread the pattern or chart, miscounted, etc. Now is the dreaded contemplation: Do I rip out to fix it or do I ignore it? The age old question. One that haunts me when I knit.
I am, by nature, a perfectionist and I mean P-E-R-F-E-C-T-I-O-N-I-S-T. I hate making a mistake and am my own worse critic. This combination does not always bode well for my knitting. Many projects have been thrown in timeout for days, weeks, or even months due to my inability to decide how to answer the question: rip it out or ignore it?
Rewind a year, I would rip out weeks worth of knitting without hesitation to fix a mistake I found to ensure my finished product would be “perfection.”Jawzi would sit amazed and frustrated that I would throw away all that work before even attempting to find an alternative solution that would save the time I had already invested in the project.
Today, I am able to quickly answer the question with minimal contemplation, stress, or frustration. Do I still find myself angry with myself for making a “stupid” mistake or not paying more attention or not choosing the proper project to work on while watching something that I would get caught up in, yes. I now look at the project as a whole and ask, “How will this alter the finished project? Is it painfully obvious even to the untrained eye?” If the answer is no, then I keep going. If it is yes, then of course, comes the task of ripping out. As I rip out, I make sure that I learn something from it other than just patience. Why did I mess up? Was it a lack of attention to detail? Was it a misunderstanding of the pattern? Techniques? Everything in life is a learning tool and if we fail to learn from our mistakes then we will fail to continue to grow.
I realize the beauty in handmade items is that they are not always perfect. Handmade is from the heart and the maker has put sweat, tears, love, and passion into every aspect of the item. There is a certain beauty in the flaws and I have come to accept the minor mistakes in my projects for this reason. If I wanted a “perfect” itemthen I could have gone to the store and bought a manufactured one that hundreds of people will have as well.