November 27, 2010

Why Do you Do It?

So many in blog land - knit, sew, scrapbook, create.  So the reason question is, why? 

I've been giving this alot of thought as I was working on my grey alpaca cardi.  I had started it once, and ripped it because is was a big grey box.  I am spending a fair amount of money to make this cardigan and I want it to be a wardrobe classic.  I want it to fit.  So, I cast on again - this time going from the top down - there are a few things I know about me - raglan sleeves look great on my square shoulders - so I should knit them.  Second - I have a waist - should probably show that one off too.

So away I knit.  Added the first buttonhole, then the second and placement was perfect.  Divided the sleeves out and rejoined the body and that's when I started feeling something wasn't right.  The sweater really wasn't wide enough for me.  It fit great through the back and shoulders, but after that - well it just went downhill.

I knew this in my gut, but I knit on.  And I kept asking friends for advice.  Would they rip it?  What would they do.  I almost had myself convinced to just let it go - but I knew I didn't love it.  I wouldn't wear it.  And not only is there a lot of money invested in this garment, but a lot of time.  I want to love it.  So, on Friday, I took the sweater downstairs and introduced it to my ball winder.  and off we go again - this time, I might add a bust dart with short rows (which is what my gut is telling me is needed) or maybe just add more stitches for width.  Hopefully, soon - I'll have a finished sweater to share.

But please tell me - why do you do it?  Do you rip something that doesn't match the image you had when you started it?   Or do you plod on and hope that you'll love it?


  1. Good question...the answer is: It depends! When I was making my sweater "for me" I wasn't at all sure it would fit, but after ripping it back at least once (memory fails me, probably blocked it) I decided to just go on from there, with a plan to gift it if it didn't fit me. My friend Bonnie loves her new sweater...sigh.

  2. You forgot Option C: Leave it half-finished and languishing in a box/plastic tub/plastic bag/container-of-your-choice for several years until one day you run across it whilst cleaning out the garage/attic/back-of-the-linen-closet and say to yourself, "What is that mess-- Oh. Wait. Now I remember." And promptly shut the door for at least another six months.

    Or maybe that's just me.

  3. Ahhh, both. Depends on how much I love what I start out with (like vintage fabric or a pattern I labored over). I've got that anthro knockoff blouse still tucked away waiting to be finished because I know I need to rip out the left collar and re-do it. I will never be happy with how it is now, so I'm stalled. Occasionally though I'm surprised at how much I don't care about the flaws I "see" after some time has passed. I've just never figured out how to know which is which!

  4. I drive Rob crazy because I'll undo things if one stitch doesn't look right to me. He's always saying no one will know, but I know.

    There have been times when something didn't look right but I continued and it turned out beautifully. It's hard to judge sometimes with just a little bit done.

    I'm too much of a perfectionist, I know, but I am what I am. Trust your gut.

  5. I don't knit, but I'll rip out and re-sew until the fabric is in shreds. I don't care how much money is involved, if I love the fabric, I want the finished garment, and I want it perfect.

    And if I don't love the fabric, I'm with BeanGirl and option C. Except that when it gets to the second six months, I donate it to the garbage pile.

    That gray is a nice color, and I would want it to be perfect, too. It will be wonderful with so many things that it would be a crying shame to waste the effort and have something you don't love, even if the wool were free (and it's not, which is a whole other issue). I'm glad to see you got some free "G Marie" time this weekend, too. I'm sneaking in an hour today, and tomorrow is MINE!

  6. A little of both...if I can live with the "defect" i.e. inserting a lining poorly which doesn't affect the outside, I leave it be. But if it's a design detail that is uncomfortable to wear or looks funny ~ yeah I rip it out. And sometimes it ends up in the trashcan because there is just no fixing it!

    I hope the next version of your sweater works for you!

  7. I'm a ripper. I'm knitting some mitts and have frogged them twice now as the pattern it so poorly conceived it just doesn't work well. The final mittens will be "loosely based on" the pattern. Like you if I've invested a lot of time and money into something I want to enjoy it. No point in knitting something just to have it sit in a drawer.

    I would search for a different pattern. Start completely fresh.

  8. oh, i rip. i have ripped the heck out of my Elsebeth Lavold silky tweed. It has been knit up probably no less than four or five times? it is currently waiting to be re-ripped. i was so sure this last time that it was finally right. it is spending some quality time in a bag in a corner somewhere.

  9. Mostly, I plod on and then gift it to someone for whom it DOES work. Or keep it on hand while I wait for that person to surface.

  10. Can't believe you frogged it. It really looked good the way it was, but you know what you like. I'd add that maybe this is the time to look for another pattern? I was surprised that you chose that one in the first place, because it is a boxy shape - the green sample is a big square on the hanger. The only thing left of it is the stitch pattern!
    Anon Miss D

  11. I usually plop it in a tote to be stored, moved, stored again and moved again before I finally frog it. Re-stash the yarn for a later time to be cast on for another project that is plopped in a tote, stored, see where this is going ;). UFOs

  12. Why? Because I have to create, and: it. stays. done.

  13. LOL! I will usually hide it from myself for a year or so, then I'll rip it out. :)


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