From my first cast-on, I have been an enthusiastic knitter. That should not be confused with being a competent knitter. I have made many knit-pocalyptic projects. Which, oddly enough, have turned out to be quite helpful.
Exhibit #1: this simple beginner’s hat.
It requires knitting a stocking stitch in the round until it is done. Should be easy.
Not if you’re me.
See that line of garter stitch?
That happened because I picked up my needles the wrong way, and reversed directions while knitting.
Actually, I did this for about 15 rounds before I noticed. I unraveled most of it, but I was afraid to keep unraveling any further. Hence the garter stitch, or as I call it, the design feature.
Of course, I learned my lesson, right? Wrong.
Exhibit #2: This fingerless glove.
All kinds of wrong going on here. I was so excited about this silky purple yarn that I did the same thing with this fingerless glove, also knitted in the round.
I was afraid I would wreck the silk and wool blend by unraveling. So I persevered.
At least now I know, the working yarn ALWAYS comes from the right hand side.
Other random knitting truths I have discovered?
Always count your stitches. Otherwise, your row of 36 stitches will magically become a row of 39 stitches, or 34 stitches.
No matter how you feel about navy blue, it it a terrible colour to knit with.
And even if you don’t use it, buy extra yarn.
Back to my hat. As my ball of wool got smaller and smaller, I got worried that I would run out of yarn before I finished.
“Sure, that’s long enough,” I thought before starting my decreases for the crown and finish. Yeah, good enough if your ears don’t get cold in winter. Or if your head is freakishly short and wide.
But I kept going.
I made pairs of socks with two socks of different sizes. Mittens with two left thumbs. A cute beret for myself that, because I never made a gauge swatch, became a cute beret for a five-year-old.
Each time, through trial and error, I learned something new. Now, when I make mistakes, I catch them quickly, and I’m able to backtrack and figure out where I went wrong. Once I relearn the correct method, I tend to remember it. I’m a better knitter because of my ability to commit to the disaster.
There’s also use for terrible knitted projects. I have a friend, Christine, who is into felting wool.
Exhibit #3: Christine’s project.
MUCH better. And yes, I really like purple wool.
Sir Winston Churchill once said “Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”
So, knit big and fail big. Finish what you started, no matter how ridiculous it looks. You will then know – whatever you just did, don’t do it again. Your knitting will improve by leaps and bounds.
I keep and wear that really bad fingerless glove. It reminds me of how far I’ve come.
Also, I keep and wear that glove because I learned from my experience from the hat, and bought enough yarn to make THREE fingerless gloves.
But I lost one of the good ones.