Mistakes always happen. Well, that might be too broad of a statement. With my knitting, mistakes always happen. The question is this: What do you do when you realise you have made a mistake?
My knitting is full of crazy mistakes. The Selbu mittens I love so much have a fairly dramatic one. One of the thumbs is an inch shorter than the other. It looks weird, but hardly anyone ever looks at my thumbs. When I realised the mistake, though, I was on the second mitten and saw that the first mitten had the error. I could have cut the thumb, ripped all the way back, and re-done the thumb. It would not have been too difficult, as thumbs are not that big.
I kind of wanted to preserve this mistake. These mittens were my first attempt at mittens and challenging colorwork. I’m so proud of what I accomplished, even with the thumb. In fact, the thumb is my measuring gauge to see how far I have come since then. It was also a little lesson on how I could love something that I knew was imperfect, which helped me a smidge in the self-esteem department.
Another piece I made huge, ghastly mistakes in was my mother’s shawl. Lace work can be so difficult, especially for beginners. I have not yet gotten to the point where I can look at a chart and visualise what’s going on around me. I can do that easily with a colorwork chart (okay, most people probably can). In the case of the lace shawl, I did rip back.
The appeal of lace is the precise alignment of the holes and slants. They create the design. I knew that if I left my mistakes, they would mess up the design, potentially ruining the piece. To help minimise the mistakes I made, I placed stitch markers (in my case jump rings) between each lace repeat. This way, if I did make a mistake, I could figure out exactly where it happened without having to rip out an entire row, which got up to 500+ stitches by the end.
I have been making mistakes with the latest shawl I have been working on as well. This time, I tried to correct as I went along. If I was missing a stitch, I picked one up near the edge of a repeat, where I thought it would be less noticeable. I was starting to think I’d have to rip the whole bottom lace part out until I started my second repeat of the rows. Turns out, the knitting looks right, even though I know it’s not. I’ll have to go a few more rounds before I’m sure I want to rip back or not.
How do you handle your knitting/crafting mistakes? How do you decide when to leave it as is, rip it out, or chunk the project altogether?