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Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Very Harry Day

"There comes a time when you must decide between doing what is right and what is easy." Albus Dumbledore, film version "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire"

The time is today. Had some unfortunate news yesterday at Knitty Yoda's. I brought my HP scarf to show off and when she unrolled it, a pained expression crossed her face. "Have you," she asked in the nicest possible voice, "Carried the yarn in a different hand while you've been knitting this?"
"Yes!" I said, amazed, thinking: She really has the powers of Yoda.
"Was it right about here?" She placed her finger on the last red block I did.
"Yes!" I said, waiting for her to say "And was your card the three of spades?" and flourish a live rabbit in the air, or whatever magician's do.
There was no live rabbit. Knitty Yoda nodded, thoughtfully, and said, "When knit with the yarn in your left hand the scarf gets wider."
Er... pardon? I looked to where she pointed and suddenly saw the glaring difference between the majority of the scarf, knit with yarn in my right hand, and the small portion of the scarf, knit with yarn in the left (and also knit much faster.) Bit back my knitter's tears while Knitty Yoda pat my shoulder and said "It's OK, it's going to be OK" very much like a red-headed, five-months pregnant version of George Clooney from the early "ER" years.

My options now are:
1. Return to knitting with the right hand and live with one oversized block of red. Problem 1: Knitting with the right hand, on this kind of project, actually is a lot slower than knitting with the left. Problem 2: I would always know that stripe was all out of shape even if no one else ever noticed.

2. Rip out the last block of the scarf to the row where I started knitting with my left hand and start knitting with my right hand from that point. Problem 1: See: Option 1, Problem 1 referenced above. Problem 2: I'm terrible at frogging ( I can't believe I'm admitting this, is like being an NBA basketball player saying "I'm no good at stretching.") I have a hard time picking up all my stitches if I straight out frog it and if I actually were to undo each stitch, via reverse knitting, I would go mad from the time it took.

3. Oh how this kills me to say: Frog the whole scarf. That's right, rip the whole 7 stripes, 22 rows a stripe, 90 stitches a row, scarf out and start over from the beginning. Benefit: I could knit the entire thing left-handed and know it was all done properly. Problem: I might lose the will to go on. This was Knitty Yoda's decision- she made the exact same mistake on the exact same scarf (only hers was a Ravenclaw, her house of choice) and she pulled the whole thing out. Because that is the meticulous kind of Yoda she is.

I am trying to be mature about this. My normal philosophy is "If this is the worse thing happening in my life right now, than I'm doing pretty well" and on most subjects (broken dishwashers, squabbling dogs, debilitating flu) I can remind myself of that and move on cheerfully. This scarf, though, this scarf really hit where it hurts. It's SGS (Smug Girl Syndrome) all over again. I'm all the time calling the HP scarf my easy knit, nice to have on my needles, to pick up and put down at any time, no worries. Well Pride Goeth Before the Frogging and that, my friends, is my trouble.

For now I'm going to put the scarf aside. I'm going to breathe deeply and remember that the lovely thing about knitting is nothing is done that cannot be undone in time (feel I'm plagarizing the words of some old poet here, and fitting them to my own needs, but don't know who- sorry about that). I'll work on my Christmas gifts and ask myself that old standby "WWJKD" (What Would JK Do?) until an answer presents itself.

Because (spoken in the voice of Morgan Freeman, slowly, thoughfully) in this game we call knitting, it's not just the finished product that counts... it's all the stitches along the way.


Blogger Ann said...

I think Dumbledore's quote is quite correct!
"Sometimes to do, best it is to undo."
- The Yoda in my brain

7:50 AM  
Blogger Ms. Knotty said...

"Knitty Yoda!" I'm LMAO!! That's great! I call her my knitting guru friend but I like your name for her better.

Your blog is hysterical and truly making me want to either do something about mine - delete it or get after it! "Patience have you not?" Uhhh.. no!

I have a thought for you about that scarf. Wear it with pride as an early knitted project and a badge of honor.

Tell Hubster that he could be like my husband and be called "Mr. Knotty!" HAHAHA!

10:22 PM  
Blogger knittersmum said...

V. v. put out with neighborknitter. I was having such a good time being swamped in the waves, on the road, etc ("and stay out" - SOL (Snort Out Loud) Birthday Trip Heard Round the World SOL) letting sleeping dogs lie, etc everything felt light and airy and festive and I was transported...

but now after HP scarf story - truthfully I'm quite down. The idea of starting over and second drafts is so depressing. So, I'm altogether off neighborknitter. I think this perfectionist thing can be taken too far - way too far. It looks lovely to me.

Apparently Pier I is now offering plates and bowls slightly bunged up (intentionally!) to look hand made - not like they are turned out in molds by the millions in a small port town in Northeast Taiwan.

And so if one were a potter, not a Harry Potter, maybe imperfections in small pots one gives to family members is really quite fine. Hypothetically speaking, of course, and one should not have to throw out the clay with the baby and the bath water and start all over... Where was I? Oh yes, so I think slightly imperfect pots -err, I mean knitted goods are perfectly allowable - and lovely.

ps I may be off neighborknitter for now, but, as for Hub of a Thousand Names, well he's still quite swell in my book. ("Is it coming by Iditarod?" SOL)

8:43 AM  

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