The company I work for places great emphasis on security cameras. There are cameras in my work area, cameras in the hall, cameras in the cafeteria, cameras in my other work area, and people watch these cameras. I am literally being watched the entire time while I work, sometimes by my boss as I’ve found out on one occasion. It’s very disconcerting (though I do understand it).
It got me thinking, though. Many knitters are kind of like that – they feel like their knitwear is under constant scrutiny and so they can’t make any mistakes lest someone notice and point them out. Why are we so insistent on not making any mistakes, though? Do we really think people will notice? Do we really think people will care?
That certainly hasn’t been my experience. I make a lot of mistakes with my knitting, even my design pieces. Often I will go back and fix them or use cheats to make them less noticeable, but sometimes I let them ride. A good example is the picture at the beginning of this blog post. That is a close up of a rather obvious knitting mistake in my Six Braid Wedding Ring Scarf. You’ll notice that I not only used the wrong color for a couple of stitches but I also knit with the wrong stitch (it’s at the beginning of the left cable).
It’s a very noticeable mistake, and one people can see immediately once it’s pointed out. However, everyone I’ve had just casually or not-so-casually look the scarf over has never noticed it, or at least not pointed it out. Those who I have shown the mistake agree with me that it’s not that big a deal – the overall knitwear is so gorgeous, they’ll say, that the mistake doesn’t really matter.
And why should it? Why should any mistake in knitting matter? It doesn’t really take away from the piece (unless it competely changes the design like say in a complicated lace pattern). In fact, it makes the garment unique. It’s organic, living, changing, and artistic. It gives ownership to the knitwear and character, and besides, if someone’s looking so close at what a person’s wearing that they notice a knitting mistake, they’re standing way too close to that person.
So I say, make mistakes if you want, let them be. Stop living under the microscope. Trust me, it’s not very much fun.