5 Stages of Knitter’s Grief: A Meditation in Imperfection

My Love Tangle blanket is about 18 rows from being an FO. I pulled it our for my friends about a week ago and they marveled at the design and the fact that there were no errors–‘it’s perfect’ they exclaimed. I will admit, I was a bit proud and thought to myself, ‘why yes, look at that.’ After all, in a pattern such as this, it’s fairly easy to catch errors. Or so I thought . . . this is not a post about perfection.

Indeed, last week, as I neared the top of the blanket, I was playing an RPG  while knitting (maybe not the best idea) and somehow, I knit right through an error and kept on going–for 6 more rows. Now, at 189 stitches per row, that’s a lot of knitting.

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Can you find the funny stitch?

Once I saw the misplaced tangle, I went through what I call the ‘5 Stages of Knitters Grief”:

  1. Denial: surely, this misplaced “tangle” stitch was just in my imagination and if I rubbed it or pulled it a bit, it would snap into place.
  2. Bravado: surely, I could just drop down and fix this mistake in-place and no one would be the wiser!
  3. Bargaining: surely, I could just rip rip rip it back to the row before this error and start fresh–I mean really, how long would 7 blanket rows really take me??
  4. Questioning my Future Self: years from now, would I still obsess over this error, fixating on nothing but this mistake each time I look at the blanket?
  5. Acceptance: Blankets are big, mistakes are human, and, well, now I can surely say it’s handmade . . .

After all of this thought, and sleeping on it, and casting aside the blanket for a couple of nights, I am at peace with my little error. In fact, it’s actually growing on me. After all, this little misplaced stitch did not muck up the entire pattern repeat, it will forever remind me of the knitting + RPGing experience, and that little stitch proves that I am not a machine. Plus, my son will drag this blanket around each winter (if I’m lucky); the wooly-goodness will keep us all warn while we watch movies and eat popcorn and get kernels stuck in the stitches. And someday, when the blanket is frayed and warn, and ready for it’s next life, that stitch will be there declaring that someone (probably long gone) put enough love and time into this object to bring it into the world–to create warmth and excuses for snuggles on early winter mornings. It’s about zooming out, from error, to pattern, to big picture.

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13 Responses to 5 Stages of Knitter’s Grief: A Meditation in Imperfection

  1. What’s an error in something so beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Talya says:

    The Japanese feel that no one is perfect, so every piece of art (and I consider knitting an art) you craft should have a mistake in it somewhere. And if it doesn’t- they intentionally put in a mistake. It makes every piece unique.

    Like

  3. BeeJeweled says:

    Beautifully written! I go thru those stages, but frequently don’t make it to number 5! Then I remind myself that in some cultures, they put IN a mistake, to show that each item really was individually hand made

    Like

  4. Alina says:

    I tired my best, but couldn’t find a funny stitch! So, it will be your little secret! Beautiful blanket!

    Like

  5. chrisknits says:

    I just laid out my shawl to block and found numerous errors along the border, which was KNIT first! No way am I ripping out the entire shawl to fix them! Love the blanket.

    Like

  6. Carie says:

    I’ll admit I often only get to the rip back or drop down part! I think it comes down to whether it’s going to niggle at you. If it takes the joy out of the knitting fit it, if it doesn’t then don’t ! It’s a gorgeous blanket too, all warm and cozy!

    Like

  7. knittedblissjc says:

    You know, for handmade turkish carpets, they deliberately include a ‘flaw’ somewhere, because in their tradition, only god is perfect. You could always say (should anyone ever notice, which is slight) you knit it in the turkish carpet tradition! 😉

    Like

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