Wednesday, August 5, 2009

To rip or not to rip?

I read once that Henry Ford said: "Quality is doing it right when no one is looking." I'm pretty sure he wasn't talking about knitting. Still, the point is well taken.

I've recently started (for the fourth time) a very intricate lace pattern. It is the Curved Shawl with Diamond Edging, found in Victorian Lace Today by Jane Sowerby (available here: I'm working the project in some gorgeous two-ply cashmere by the Plucky Knitter in "Mouse of Madrone." The pattern calls for 42 repeats of a four row sequence, with each repeat adding an additional six stitches. Each row has a six-stitch repeat, and the WS repeats are identical. The RS repeats aren't especially tricky, but involve a K3tog which my fingers can't seem to master.

I was knitting along on it yesterday, and realized at the end of one of the RS rows that I had two stitches too many for that particular row. Undaunted, I adjusted the pattern a bit, completed the RS row and then knit the next WS row.

The trouble is, it isn't right. As is, the error will cause three of the O-shaped rings in the shawl to look out of round.

Mrs. TSMK says no one will notice. But I know it is there and I see it every time I look at it. So I'm left with a decision. Do I rip it all out and start over again? Do I live with it? I'm not good at unknitting the K3tog sections, so that isn't an option. Also, I've not historically used lifelines (I also do the crossword puzzle in pen - this is likely a character flaw), and don't have any in the piece at this point.

Do I live with it? Do I listen to Henry Ford or Mrs. TSMK? Here's the piece so far:


  1. why don't you just rip down to that section (I mean only the stitches that are involved in the problem and your first solution) and fix it and then knit back up? It's small enough that if you blow it you haven't really lost that much but if you succeed you'll be very pleased with yourself! Successfully ripping down as opposed to ripping back is very satisfying and self actualizing.

  2. I hate to say it, but a mistake that early in a pattern is going to stare at you for a loooong time. I can't handle that kind of pressure I'd rip it for sanity's sake. - Janet

  3. I feel exactly the same as Janet, you know the mistake is there and every time you pick up the shawl you will be sorry you didn't rip. Then after you have nearly finished it, it will be too much to bear and you will frog it after all!

    Willemtje, a Dutch knitter