Starting Over

Starting Over

Knitting and Reading Yarn Along

machine knitting

Knitting. Though I am joining today Small Things’ Knitting and Reading yarn along, for me it is more like Ripping Out and Starting All Over yarn along.

Last week I cast on aΒ dressΒ (Pure on Ravelry), which I was supposed to finish today, but circumstances got into the way. If you have ever done machine knitting, you know how tricky it can get. Though the process definitely takes much less time than hand knitting, the preparation is usually more time-consuming. You cannot possibly check your piece until it is off the machine, as it is too stretched on the machine bed, so you must trust your gauge 100%. And here is when the tricky part starts. When you knit your piece on the machine the gravity comes in to play its game – knitting starts stretching as it grows hanging from the machine. So to get an exact gauge you need to knit a very large piece to calculate all the stretching and deforming along the way. Here is where I slipped. My swatch wasn’t big enough. As I was knitting the dress I felt that it was growing suspiciously fast and I hadn’t even got to armhole bind off yet. So, I took it off the machine and measured it. Well, if I was going to continue, at the end I would get something like a wedding dress with a long train… No matter how painful it was, I had to take 3 hours of knitting off the machine.

machine knitting

The good news is that I have a huge swatch to measure my gauge now, my deadline is postponed until Friday and I have all the math done and redone. So, not that bad at the end of the day.

One more piece is in the process of ripping out.

crochet

And here I can’t even count how many hours I spent on it. I feel like I “overtapered” or “overshaped” my lace crochet project. It’s hard to explain, but it just doesn’t feel right. I am starting over, not giving up on it – I love it even in the ripping out stage πŸ™‚

I have a question for you – How do you handle your knitting/crochet mistakes?

I’ve come a long way from promising not to make anything ever again to just dealing with them and keep going. I started to look at mistakes as the way to learn and move forward. Whenever I feel the ripping off is inevitable, I try to focus not on the time I DID spend on it, but on the time I WILL spend on it and get something that is not quite right at the end. I stop, come back and fix it. I always have this amazing feeling when I am done – everything fits as it was supposed to fit and I have a bonus – new piece of knowledge that will help me to avoid time costly mistakes next time. I once read in a book on psychology – “Most of us are allergic to mistakes, … but mistakes are our guideposts for improvement”. Do you tend to have mistake allergies?

Reading. Wuthering Heights in Spanish. Why, why do I love to complicate my life? πŸ™‚ As my spoken Spanish is pretty fluent now, I decided to try something more challenging. Last time I read Wuthering Heights was 5-6 years ago, during my university years. Now it’s time to look at it from slightly different perspective – Cumbres Borrascosas. Well, I feel this will be time-consuming!

I hope you are having a wonderful week!

P.S. I joined Instagram a couple of weeks ago, you can find my page and connect with me at @giftofknitting

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By | 2015-07-15T16:20:00+00:00 May 6th, 2015|Crochet, Machine Knitting, Work in Progress|16 Comments

16 Comments

  1. Pat May 6, 2015 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    What a timely post! I just ripped out (for the third time) a pair of socks I’m knitting. I’m a process crafter. I feel kind of let down when I’m finishing something because I really love the process of finding the right material or yarn and then creating something. I’m with you on the theory that there is no point in going further when you know a mistake is made. As I get more confident in my knitting skills I’m not scared to death to make a mistake. I love the blue color of whatever you are ripping out.

    • Alina May 6, 2015 at 8:19 pm - Reply

      I knew I wasn’t alone! If you enjoy the process, than really nothing else matters. It’s a wonderful thing about crafting, isn’t it?

  2. Joyce Tucker May 6, 2015 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    I just ripped out two different shawls…argh! But I am not going to let it defeat me. I will try again.

    • Alina May 6, 2015 at 8:20 pm - Reply

      Love your attitude, Joyce!

  3. Becki May 6, 2015 at 9:29 pm - Reply

    I definitely choose to look at mistakes (and subsequent ripping out) as a learning experience. If I’m very far along I cringe and moan a bit, but then rip it out with gusto – the no turning back kind.

    Love the blue!

    • Alina May 6, 2015 at 9:39 pm - Reply

      Thank you for sharing, Becki! Love all the positive attitude to knitting/crochet mistakes!

  4. Hannah May 7, 2015 at 12:13 am - Reply

    I know how you feel πŸ™‚ how many times have I stared down a project with big mistakes needing to be ripped out! I feel like all knitters have to have a super ability to rip out hours of work. it seems like it would be so painful! but then you do it and you realize it is all fine. and we know that in the future we will have to do it again and again, but we keep going! so maybe knitters are a special type of people πŸ˜‰

    Good luck Alina and you can do it!

    • Alina May 7, 2015 at 6:19 am - Reply

      Thank you fro your support! Seems like crafting brings out the best in us!

  5. Carmela Biscuit May 7, 2015 at 5:50 am - Reply

    As my wardrobe (and that of my daughter) began filling to the brim with knitted items, I started looking at ripping with a different attitude. I know I am obsessed with knitting – so when I knit an item I know I’m doing it not because I need this item done but because I’m curious how I can make it done to fit perfectly and look amazing. Thus ripping becomes a natural part of the knitting process.

    • Alina May 7, 2015 at 6:21 am - Reply

      Thank you for sharing, Carmela! Your knitting philosophy is very similar to mine – mostly I pick up projects for the sake of challenge and not that much of a need.

  6. Nicky May 7, 2015 at 7:38 am - Reply

    I used to be afraid of mistakes and would agonize over ripping out hours of work but now I’m committed to being a good crafter (however slow I am) I just go with the flow. If it needs to be ripped to become a better piece then so be it. Depending on what it is, I don’t always enjoy ripping but I’ve accepted that doing so is part of what we do and how we become better.

    I know despite your delay you’re going to make an amazing piece.

    • Alina May 7, 2015 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      You are so right, Nicky – we, crafters, have to accept that it’s never going to be perfect from start to finish and be ready to make time sacrifices! Thank you for your support!

  7. Julie May 7, 2015 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    ripping back is never any fun! I’ve been so interested in machine knitting, but haven’t tried it I wish a knitting shop near me would offer a class or a demo or something, I think it would be cool to see one in action. I hope that your knitting gets back on track soon! That pure dress looks lovely.

    • Alina May 7, 2015 at 4:18 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Julie! You can look up machine knitting videos in YouTube. You can always email me if you have any specific questions, I will try to help. Also a good blog to go is by Ella Gordon – she is a very experienced machine knitter. You’ll love her!

  8. Zeta May 7, 2015 at 1:57 pm - Reply

    I realise just now how weird is what is happening in my case. I love knitting. More than a process rather than a finished piece. I have made mistakes, ripped out rows and rows, started over, gotten really frustrated but also (once or twice) everything went as planned. But I didn’t enjoyed those projects that much! I guess I like it the hard way! The way you struggle and push yourself, the way you learn from your mistakes and the result is more rewarding!

    • Alina May 7, 2015 at 4:19 pm - Reply

      No pain, no gain, isn’t it?!

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