We often have steak on Sunday nights. It's a pleasant way to stave off the Sunday Scaries. We were sitting around the table, Bill finishing his wine, and me knitting on ELAN. I was showing everyone how much progress I'd made and trying to smooth out the curling. As I eased the fabric around the needle, I realized that I couldn't get it all to lie flat at the same time. Yes, my friends, I had twisted my work when I joined it in the round.
It's a knitter's worst nightmare because there is literally nothing you can do to fix it. You can't even fudge it. You just have to rip it back. Not just to the mistake, but to the very start, because twisting happens in the very first round where the stitches are all crinkled up and twisty on the needle - especially with this yarn. I'm sure I said all the things that we say when we're upset and frustrated.
Johnny looked at me, God bless him, and said simply, "I'm sorry Mom"
I just started ripping and muttering to myself about all the reasons. I should have checked it sooner I should have used a longer needle. I should have knit a few rows before joining in the round.
I guess I was just really frustrated about having made such a rookie mistake. After warning everyone all the time about being careful when you join in the round, it was me who messed up. I'm supposed to be doing it right. I'm supposed to be perfect.
Wait. What? Perfect? Aren't I the one who's always talking about the evils of perfectionism and the importance of letting it go.
Just goes to show you that it's more difficult than it seems, and wherever we are in our life or our endeavors, we are very hard on ourselves.
I believe everything that happens, good or bad, has something to teach me, and I've been thinking on this ever since I ripped and redid my cast on.
So here it is. What my twisted knitting fiasco taught me (in no particular order)
You're never so experienced that you don't have to pay attention to the basics
You're more likely to mess up when you're rushing the process
I'm not perfect, and that's okay
Knitting is compassionate - it always lets you go back and fix your mistakes and never judges you.
If you do have to rip back a pile of fabric you've worked in the round, you have a chance to double check your gauge. (this last one was from the ever-cheerful Eveline, who found she had also twisted her work)
Those are the philosophical lessons. From a technical knitting standpoint, I learned that you can work something all in one piece but not in the round. Give yourself a slipped stitch faux seam on the side that doesn't get a real seam. You can use this technique when you're knitting in the round to give your garment a nice fold at the sides which I think looks much better than without. Just slip that center side stitch at each side every other row. Slip it purlwise with yarn in back. This works by drawing the stitches either side of the slipped stitch close together and forcing the fabric to fold. Try it and see what you think.
Happy knitting, and may you never twist your knitting.
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