Perfect or “good enough”?

Generally, I’m a “good enough” person. If the house is tidy and relatively clean, it’s good enough. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t been through all the cupboards and dusted inside. As long as I don’t see the dirt, its “good enough.” My husband sees this as “slapdash”. If (and I say if deliberately), he cleans, he’s through and everything gleams both inside and out.

I want to be a perfectionist about my knitting – I see fabulous pieces of knitting on Twitter, but at the moment, I am having to be content with “good enough.” I’m hoping I can find it in my character to get the thoroughness eventually and that I won’t always settle for “good enough” but my knitting skill is limiting me. My second version of the cardigan is definitely better but there are some odd dodgy stitches and a bit of unevenness in tension. I’ve noticed that the yarn – a 4 ply – is unforgiving and so is the pattern. The bands of garter stitch need to be perfect to look professional and mine haven’t achieved that yet.

The pattern is here:

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My knitting is here:

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Having restarted, I can’t face starting again. I think more practice will improve my knitting for future projects. Hopefully, when it’s done, it will still look nice, even if it has a “home made” rather than a professional look. If it looks too bad, it will have to lie unworn in my drawer for a few months until I summon the stamina to unravel it and make something else. Do people bother to reknit previously “failed at” projects? I’m not sure I will.

I have drawn a line at some points though. This morning, bravely, I unravelled about 8 rows. During a poor night’s sleep, I had woken up having second thoughts about some rather awkward cast on stitches in the middle of the row. It bothers me that I’m kept awake by my knitting problems!  I had expected disaster and for it to be very tricky to pick up the stitches but, with care and unravelling the final row stitch by stitch, it wasn’t a problem – I only had to sort out one major ladder.

During my first attempt, some loose threads had been created as I transferred the yarn from the right needle to the left to start the cast on. I’ve also discovered http://techknitting.blogspot.co.uk It gives detailed technical advice about how to improve those bits I’m getting wrong. Using the website, I’ve worked out that I need to turn the knitting before I start the cast on, then knit back to joint the rest of the stitches.

It’s also helped me work out where I’m going wrong with my tension. I have a tendency to bunch my stitches on the left needle rather than ensuring that they are taken from approximately the same point on the needle to maintain an even tension as they are transferred onto the right needle. The last tip I’ve taken from the internet this week is to get a “lifeline”. With all the unravelling I do, I definitely need it.

All in all, I think I’m being “good enough” rather than slapdash… It’s just that there is a lot to learn and it’s not going to happen at once. The refining and the reknitting shows care. But I would never finish anything if I allowed myself to become completely a perfectionist!

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2 thoughts on “Perfect or “good enough”?

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