Sunday, January 26, 2014

How Good Is Good Enough?

I remember reading a scrap booking forum where the discussion was about whether you go back and make pages better as your skills improve. My brain started rattling in an agitated manner, "Why in the world??? There's too much better stuff to be doing! Be glad you documented ANYTHING!"

People tell me there are at least two views to everything, but this is an area I have a hard time understanding why we need more than one perspective. (But feel free to leave yours in the comments. And if you disagree with me but don't like the way you wrote your comment, you can edit it!)

I read blogs where the blogger makes muslins, sometimes multiple ones, then works and reworks details. I admire their persistence. They are the type of people I would want doing my brain surgery ("she must have used this little mushy part for something, let's not throw it away just yet"). 

I have to be detail-oriented on my job, but when I come home I want to leave that at the door. Right now I'm knitting a cowl using an Aran stitch, a braid. I wanted to see if I could do it, without the commitment of making an entire sweater.

I did several inches, but the columns were just marching along parallel instead of crossing each other. I used that segment to measure the gauge, and then I ripped it out. I went at it again. Still not quite right, but it takes 12 rows to even recognize the pattern. So I reread the instructions. I couldn't see  that I had done anything wrong, so I kept going, thinking with another 12 rows it'll start making more sense. Nope. Still not right. But at least now I could see how I'd messed up. So, I tried a couple of changes, and after another 36 rows, I think I'm finally on my way. 

The bossy taskmaster part of me said, "Rip it out and do it right!". But the other 98% of me just ignored her and looked at what I had knitted so far. I think it's beautiful! It's a cool looking braid, it's soft, and even, and nicely stretchy. And unless you really look closely, you can't see the mistakes. When worn it will be all twisted up, and most of it will be in the back or under other parts of it. So the mistakes probably won't even be seen.

So, I'm not re-doing it, not even for the bazillions who read my blog. In fact, I think I'll use it as a feature called "Spot the Screw-ups!" Kind of like "Find the 10 Differences".

Better than "Where's Waldo?"

When I was knitting and thinking about when would I do it over, I could only think of a few reasons: If it was a commissioned piece or if it was meant to be an heirloom. OK, make that one and a half reasons...If I wasn't getting paid for it, I probably wouldn't do it over if the mistake was not noticeable to someone who's not (k)nitpicky. (Oh, I crack myself up.)

When do you re-do things you are creating?

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I'd love to hear what you're thinking and sewing!