Saturday, July 19, 2014

What to do with a bad plan

I completed the front and back of the Charvet sweater in the new yarns. I like it better than the first iteration. So far, so good. Then I started on the sleeve. I thought I had figured out how to make it longer - from 3/4 to full length. I knit and knit and even when it was clear that I had a Frankensleeve on my hands I just kept knitting. When I got to the end I could see that no amount of squinting, pushing, shoving or blocking would make it right.

What to do? I did what I tell my students to do: make a plan but when it is no longer working for you be quick to abandon the plan!! This plan - to lengthen the sleeves - was clearly a bad one. It stalled the first try at the sweater four years ago, consumed valuable time this time around and, worst of all, it sucked all of the fun out of the process of completing this sweater. So I ripped, I tinked, I frogged all the way back to the point where I could rejoin the original pattern. I will have two short-ish sleeves by the end of the weekend and a completed sweater not long after that. The sweater will be something to wear around the house because I don't like shorter sleeves inside winter coats. But that's OK. Each time I wear it I will be able to celebrate leaving a bad idea behind and finishing what I started.

My next completion project will have much less drama - I just need to finish a simple neckline and sew up some sleeve seams to have a sweater. It, too, may not be my favorite garment but it will be done and my plan to work on unfinished business will look like a good one.

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