Monday, February 2, 2015


At what point in a project is it too late to go back? When do you decide that you've now invested too much time and you are just going to finish it no matter what it ends up looking like?

For the last week, I've been working on The Heliotaxis Pi Shawl. Right off the bat I want to say that it is a beautiful shawl with well-written, easy to follow instructions. That didn't stop me from screwing it up though. By the time I finished the first chart I knew that I should have used bigger knitting needles. I cast on on size 1 thinking I would like the look of the lace better, but I should have gone with the size 3 that the pattern recommended. But having completed a chart I was reluctant to start over again. I thought I could still make it work.

Here is a picture of it, on the needles after completing the fourth chart.

As I was attempting to do the second repeat of the fourth chart I realized that I had screwed something up somewhere because I had an extra stitch in each pattern repeat. I thought I could fix it but the error kept compounding. 6 rows later I knew I would have to go back and try and find and fix the original error. But here's the thing, I don't use lifelines when I am knitting. So I was either going to have to tink (for those not familiar with the word that means knit backwards) 6 or more rows, which would be simultaneously boring and difficult and would take hours. My only other option was to rip it all the way out and start over.

Here it is, of the needle and about to be ripped. I know unblocked, black, lace is hard to see, I just wanted you to get an idea of how far I had gotten. It's about a foot in diameter, unblocked here.

And here is my yarn, all wound back up into a ball. I don't know why it looks so blue, this is definitely black yarn. Lighting is weird. 

I think if I had started off on the right sized needles I would have tinked. Ripping out a solid week's worth of knitting just isn't any fun at all. But if I had persevered in the end I would have saved myself a week's worth of knitting, but I might have ended up with a project that I was never really happy with or never wore. That seems like a much greater waste of time to me. 

What do you think? Would you have ripped, tinked, or just kept going?

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