Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"The Easiest Thing to do...."

While teaching a sock class recently, an outgoing, funny and forthright new-this-year knitter had this to say:

"The easiest thing to do in knitting is to make a mistake."

Yikes! My first thought was to protect the other knitters from this sacrilege. How will they ever hope to continue if this is all they have to look forward to!?!?!?!? ...and then I smiled. She was right. "Knit happens."

As a young knitter, I was afraid to fix mistakes. I didn't understand what I was doing with yarn and needles and never stopped to analyse what was happening under my nose. If I attempted a correction, I was sure that my whole project would unravel down to the beginning and I would be a failure. I handed everything over to my Mom and she would magically and quickly put everything right again. It wasn't until I read the book, The Sweater Workshop, by J. Fee that I got over this hump ...and that is when I really started to love knitting.

Learning to fix mistakes is IMPORTANT. While some knitters plough ahead, leaving their mistakes because they just aren't sure how to fix them, others stop in their tracks when they come to a roadblock in their knitting, afraid to go forward or back. A few simple tricks can completely change the way you feel about knitting.

Take a class, read a book, watch a video, ask questions, dedicate some yarn and needles to experimenting. Don't be afraid - it's just sticks and string!


  1. I love this! It's so true, that a little time and attention to detail can take one's knitting from "okay" to "OMG!"...I look at my mistakes as an opportunity to learn how to do (or undo, as the case may be...hee, hee!) something new, and make something—if not perfect—better than it would have been... Thanks for the reminder, Joan!

  2. This is such a good reminder! I used to hand over my project with the mistake to my mother and it came back fixed. Or I went to the Little Red Mitten and had Joan look at it! I now feel more confident about mistakes and can usually deal with them on my own. To me it shows my progress as a knitter. The other think I have realized is sometimes a mistake can be "fixed" in a unique way that doesn't effect the look of the whole project but lets you continue with the right number of stitches! The other day I discovered in my lace shawl project that I was one stitch short in one of the 22 repeats across the row. I had missed a YO! That mistake was fixed with a little ingenuity and I carried on feeling very proud of myself and satisfied that no one will be the wiser when looking at the shawl. Fixing mistakes shows growth!