Thursday, February 05, 2009

To tink or not to tink . . .

Settling down in my recliner for the evening, I picked up the easy scarf I've been working on. It's nearly mindless knitting, which is why I wanted to work on it. As I was knitting along, however, I realized I'd made a mistake every 4 rows for the past . . .hmm . . . well, many rows. I had about 10 more stitches than I should have. Now, I could have tinked back and fixed it to make it perfect (it's not like I don't have the time right now) . . but I didn't. . .

Maybe it's the pain meds, or maybe it's the odd sleep patterns of convalescence, but I'm feeling philosophical about knitting. Why don't I care about making it perfect? This led me to think . . .

Why do I knit? Why has it become so large a part of my life? Why do mistakes drive me crazy in some things, and in other projects I let them be?

Well, first of all, why do I knit?
I love:
But sometimes, I also just appreciate:
  • keeping my hands busy (it helps keep me from being distracted by other things)
  • doing something quiet that helps me think
  • having a project that helps me not feel obligated to maintain eye-contact with whoever I'm with
  • having an excuse to get together with knitting friends
  • feeling cool because I'm making cool stuff
So back to my point - should I tink this or not? Here is what I consider when faced with this decision:
  • Is this project for me, for an unknown person, or a gift for someone specific?
  • If it's for someone else, who, what kind of person are they (perfectionism-wise)?
  • Is this a project where every stitch counts (pun intended) or not?
  • How important is it that I follow the pattern to make it look decent?
Often, if I'm going to be gifting the item, I'm more likely to tink. If it's just for me, I can deal with these little "design features" without a guilt conscience. If the project is one where the mistake will be GLARING (lace, cables, something that will show every imperfection), I'll probably tink. Of course, if it were a project like that, I'd notice the problem LONG before having to tink back 40 rows . . . usually.

Confession time:
I did not tink today. The scarf I'm making is an extreme modification of a loose design that will not show the mistake as horrible or disabling (in terms of wear-ability), and frankly, I doubt most people seeing it would even notice. I will keep on with my nearly-mindless knitting, engage my mind enough to compensate for the error, and complete my scarf.

And, heck, aren't you glad I finally found something to post about other than my damn leg?

1 comment:

Cheryl said...

Thanks for sharing why you love to knit and why you do it. Always interesting to know how someone got into something. I tinkered with knitting a few years ago and really want to pick it up again. Seems like a perfect thing for you to be working on now too!