This is a story for any fiber artist. It is told to amuse and support. It is a reminder that knitting is a process that includes making mistakes, unknitting and re-doing. Mostly it is a creative PROCESS that is as much about the journey as the finale (very zen). On some occasions we discover the error early enough to correct it without too much agony. Sometimes we discover it when there is no going back. Ann taught me how to think about such moments and made me laugh and relax.
Ann – a deeply experienced knitter – approaches projects fearlessly and with joy. She knits for pleasure and for others and her work can be breathtaking. She just finished a glorious Shibui shawl, Spectrum, using Rain and Silk Cloud. The beginning of the pattern is 12 rows of stockinette in both yarns and four rows of Silk Cloud alone. That pattern is repeated 11 times before it changes. Easy peasy…and so the story begins…
We were at the table when Ann had finally arrived at the 10th repeat. Yay! She was almost ready for phase two of the pattern. That prompted her to look back at the written pattern. There was a long, very meaningful pause, a gasp, and then she shrieked, “Oh NOOOOOOO!”
The look on her face was familiar. I have had that look on my face often. She stood up and stomped her foot several times as we watched in awe and filled with curiosity. She then utter these words:
“I have done this pattern PERFECTLY WRONG! It is just PERFECTLY WRONG!!”
Rather than 12 rows using two yarns, she had knit only 10 rows. For the next 30 minutes all she could say is “it is PERFECTLY WRONG”. We tried to soothe her but we also were grateful. If she could do such a thing then, of course, so could any of us! And it gave us a whole new way of thinking.
Her knitting was “wrong” in that it did not follow the pattern. But it is, as you can see in the picture, a perfectly beautiful shawl. Just not that perfectly beautiful shawl.
We laughed…we cried with her a little…then we laughed more. Our new motto: Do it and love it whether it is perfect or perfectly wrong!