Thirteen years ago, my very first ‘non scarf’ knitting project was an orange cowl sweater from a book called ‘Hollywood Knits’ by Suss Cousins. It was ambitious, but I had the knitting bug bad and was ready for a challenge.
As you may expect, this project was a cataclysm of rookie mistakes. I chose fancy cotton yarn on closeout that frayed easily. I did not use markers. And I became so obsessed with following the pattern that I lost all common sense. I created a sleeve so long a giant could luxuriate in it. Then, one tragic day, I ran out of my closeout yarn while knitting the second sleeve.
I ordered the yarn from Germany (this was before the internet was super nice about these things) and when it finally arrived a month later it was the wrong color orange. Deflated, discouraged, and all together filled with the rage of a thousand fiery suns, my first sweater was promptly shoved in a box at my parents house where it remained until a week ago.
My parents recently moved from my childhood home, and with them came many buried treasures- school projects, forgotten fashion gems, and a bounty of abandoned crafts so rife with bad vibes it was hard to look directly at them.
Crafts gone bad are weird. In them you see the joy and excitement with which you started the project and also the crashing disappointment of epic personal failure. While thirteen years ago I was willing to, literally, bury those emotions, now I’m more of a rip the bandaid kind of gal.
These days, I have no problem unraveling, seam ripping, re-gluing, and dismantling any craft the moment I feel the tide turn toward disaster. I feel a rush of energy knowing I’m saving myself from the sad violins of a finished product that ain’t cute.
Last weekend, I finished the sweater. I pulled out the too-long sleeve and added the yarn to the other one. I skipped the cowl and made it a boatneck. Since the knitting was, ahem, not exactly even, I crocheted the seams together- something I would not have known how to do thirteen years ago.
You know what? It’s a pretty nice sweater. The stitching is uneven and the seams don’t lie flat, but it looks way nicer at brunch than it did in that box. The moral of this story? Finish that project. Celebrate imperfection. Embrace The Drop Stitch.