Monday, September 25, 2006

Perfectionism or being careful?

At least one of my children has a problem doing things "wrong." Learning curves are not her friend. In most of my life, I don't struggle with this issue. That's fortunate, considering what a sloppy and slapdash knitter I can be. That tendency toward perfectionism, however, is arising in me as I contemplate making something for another knitter. Think about it, really. A stranger, so they don't have any generalized affection for me to tide them past mistakes, a knitter, so they can spot said mistakes. Eeeesh. And I want my scarf exchange pal to enjoy her scarf, and I want the pal who's making mine to enjoy the process. I'd like to enjoy the process, too, but I am feeling some performance anxiety. Perhaps it's thinking that there's some higher standard to uphold here. It's not just a scarf, it's not just a scarf without mistakes, it's a highly complex/fully original/knitting showcase kind of scarf.

That's a lot of baggage for some yarn.

I'm delighted with the cable I've worked out for the ISE3 scarf, really I am. I get the lovely complexity of the Baroque Cable while extending the length by streeeeeeetching out some of the "bar" parts. Nice job, actually. I even like the no-roll double knit edges.

What I'm not so thrilled with is the determination of the thing to curl up like a threatened armadillo. Shoulda, woulda, coulda. If I'd only put a border on the end and made the double knitting nine or eleven stitches wide, rather than five, maybe that would counteract the reverse stockinette and cable. Maybe not.

Instead of ripping the thing out in a fit of pique, though, I just started another ball. I figure that if I like this one better, I'll abandon Mr. Cable. If not, I haven't destroyed a long time of distressing cable knitting (all brought to you without a cable needle, by the way). It appears I'm not that careful a photographer today, either.

Scarf iteration #2 has a pointy garter stitch end, leading to a garter-stitch edged version of the Prince Charles Brocade, brought to you through history via Barbara Walker. Hopefully this one will lie flat and showcase the yummy yarn. Then all I have to do is decide what to do with the curly one. Maybe I'll make a really fat-brimmed hat?


Alisha said...

The colors are beautiful. I hope the 2nd one works better for sucks to be a perfectionist LOL

Charity said...

The yarn is so lovely... I'm sure the scarf will be great, and the recipient will love it! I'm so thrilled at the idea of someone knitting for me, that I'm not worried about whether or not they make mistakes :0)

jen said...

Oh my word. That's a beautiful, NO, that's an absolutely gorgeous beginning you have. What's wrong with it again? The curling at the bottom? Isn't there something that would fix that?

Your skills with cables make me very jealous. Perhaps one day you'll get a package in the mail, containing my cursed Durrow project. Because I'm sure you've got time to finish my knitting, too.

Jacquie said...

No one could be anything but impressed with those cables - they look very challenging!

I am sure your recipient will love it and I am sure they are suffering the exact same agonies wondering if their scarf will be good enough.

Have fun with it!

Rain said...

The yarn is gorgeous and I really like cable design. I never scrutinise knit gifts, I just appreciate that soemone took the time to knit it, I think most knitters would think the same so don't drive yourself crazy thinging it has to be perfect.

amy said...

Looks positively breathtaking - really. And, you've perfectly articulated why I don't do knit swaps, so far. Yikes.

Try not to panic - this looks wonderful.

Stefaneener said...

Thank you all. Fortunately/unfortunately, the other version looks like cold oatmeal, so I'm going to soldier on with the cables. Last night I realized that tassels might help the end, so I'll try that.