Sunday, September 30, 2007

By Human Hands

Just pieces on the floor for now. I have an ever fluctuating vision of this blanket. Each rectangle will be unique; the joining is still way up in the air. This cotton is the versatile Mission Falls 1894 and I love the colors. My idea is to make a very large "family" blanket that everyone can wrap up in; a blanket that can go into the washer and dryer with impunity. Not sure if I am dreaming or not, but I am going to go for it. A cool water wash shouldn't harm the colors and I really don't care if it shrinks. The idea is for it to be family friendly.

I am still working on the yellow Baby Cashmerino blanket; only realized a week ago that the baby is more than half-way to birth, but the blanket is not! I wrestled (and must be still wrestling) with a problem of what to do with a mistake I discovered. I was four or five rows beyond a place in the pattern where I transposed the 5 purl and 3 knit stitches. So the little bump that should have been, was about half, where the purls changed to knits. How I missed it...well who knows?

However, in Book 2: The Purl Stitch by Sally Melville, photos near the back show in wonderfully clear detail what one can do when you discover your mistake. "If a stitch was purled when it should have been knit, discovered many rows later," is the headline over photographs of a mistake being corrected, with directions below. Additionally, the same tutorial is on the opposite page for a stitch knit when it should have been purled. So the information was available for me to make a correction in this little blanket.

Of course, I could also unknit it all, back to the mistake, and begin again from there; this is an unpleasant prospect. I could run a piece of contrasting yarn through the row below the mistake, and then just unravel it; something I have not done before. The reasons for my hesitation about this correction are as follows: the yarn is particularly delicate and I don't want to harm it with overworking it. The yarn is also very elastic! The stitches want to return to the ball from the needles so care is required.

After time and thought, I attempted a correction via the ladder method in the above book. Several rows were involved, several stitches. I am a novice when it comes to this sort of thing, and was apprehensive about making a bigger mess than what I already had. When I had done what I thought was necessary, I found it was still not just right. In the picture above, the mistake is in a shadowy bump in the upper right quadrant. So I put it all away and have taken some time to think, again.

I have, at this point, concluded that the small mistake that remains is not worth the effort or angst to correct. Now...I imagine some of you will really be in an uproar about this. But I am not perfect, and the blanket is only about 1/6th complete; the chances that I will make another mistake are fairly great. After all, I knit in a 3-cat house and enjoy watching B&W movies while I knit. I also take phone calls, run up and down stairs to change loads in washer and dryer, eat chocolates, etc., while I am knitting.

You are familiar with the hang tags on your silk or linen clothing that warn you about slubs and other irregularities; the idea is that this is a natural part of the fabric and you are not to think it is inferior just because it seems to have some strange lumps and, I think I can take this just a bit further and say, this blanket is knit by human hands attached loosely to a human brain that is attached loosely to the world, etc. Any little irregularities you may think you see are to be considered a sign that this blanket was knitted by loving human hands and not touched by a machine at any period in its creation.

Whew! What do you think?


1 comment:

Life's a Stitch said...

It took me well into my knitting career to get to your conclusion. I still agonize about mistakes but end up forgetting where they are. If we wanted perfecion, we'd use a machine. Lucky baby!