Can you believe next week is Christmas? And you know what I should be doing? Christmas knitting! But guess what, I'm not. Hahaha! Although after frogging (the nice way to say ripping) back two times on the same spot of my knitting, I was pretty ready to put it in time out. But reality, I was the one who needed a time out. It got me to thinking, why do we make these mistakes while we are knitting or making in general? I mean we are generally following a pattern right?
The easiest thing to do would be to blame the pattern? I mean there must be an update to the pattern about a mistake I didn't see right? In this case (and in most cases) that didn't work. There is lace work in this pattern for about 6 rows and then you go back to regular knit and purl with an increase here and there. You would think I would mess up on the lace? Nope. The pattern is well written and has charts that are quite accurate. So I chose to mess up on the regular old knitting parts that needed an increase 2-4 times per row. Really? The best part is after ripping back I just could not seem to get my count right to fix it.
So why do we do this? And I'm not talking about beginners, that is expected. I'm talking about those of use who have been knitting for years. When I'm cruising thru Instagram I see endless posts of us all sharing our frogging misery. It's not just me. And not just little mistakes, sometimes we are ripping back inches of work or even worse, all the way to the beginning.
I looked at the pattern yet again and said to myself, well why the hell didn't I just check my count when the designer put what the stitch count should be? I included a picture of this point in the pattern. The yellow highlight is where I should have stopped and counted my stitches but instead I plowed thru and was on the row AFTER the orange highlighted section and guess what, the lace pattern wasn't working out because my stitch count was off. Aarrgh. And I of course messed up way back at row 11.
My round about way of getting to the point is that for me I seem to make my mistakes mainly for two reasons, I'm not paying enough attention and I'm too busy plowing thru to stop and take the time to read and make sure I'm where I should be. I'm guessing that for most of you, it may be similar reasons? It seems so silly right? I'm knitting to relax and de-stress yet for some reason I don't seem to be able to relax enough to enjoy the whole process. To pay attention to the pattern and to appreciate all that the designer has done to try to help me avoid these mistakes.
So moving forward I am going to make a concerted effort to really slow down and pay attention to the whole practice of knitting (or making of any sort). Read the pattern before I start. Pay close attention to key spots where the designer is telling me to watch what I'm doing, and count more! It's ok to slow down, this is for fun afterall. A 2021 goal or new years resolution of sorts. Reality, I could probably take this approach on just about everything in life right!
I would love to hear if you are prone to making similar types of mistakes and why you think you are making them? Or maybe your mistakes are totally different? Either way please share!
Thank you for reading and sharing and don't forget to count when you are told! I hope you are having a wonderful and healthy holiday season!!!
Dyed in the Wool
Can you believe its December?! The main reason I can is because I just finished shipping the last of our inaugural subscription yarn club! I feel like I've been thinking about the yarn club for months. Well really for years is how long I've wanted to start one. 2020 seemed the year for something new and so be it! I'm so proud of how the first yarn club turned out. This is a dear yarn because it is the first time I have mill spun our sheep's dyed in the wool. What is "dyed in the wool" you ask, well let me explain!
This first yarn club is 100% Shetland straight off of our two white ewes, Sweet Pea and her daughter Cream Puff, and then blended with our two rams Bert & Ernie. After shearing I skirted the wool (removed all the vegetable matter, poop, and other unwanted stuff), took the wool to the mill for washing and then it was time to dye. So when I say "dyed in the wool" it is still in lock form and only has been washed. Then into the dye pots it goes! I started out just having fun with this and using up some of the older pre-mixed dyes I had in red and black. Then I kept going, dyeing up other colors that I thought would blend out well such as blues and purples. Again using dye I wanted to finish up so I could mix up fresh bottles in different colors. I slowly dyed up about 3 lbs of wool this way. Then I decided what if I just left the ram fleeces natural. One of them is mostly white and the other is a lovely blend of white and gray. So I took a little over 3 lbs of their washed fleeces and went for it.
So what happened? It's stunning! I'll admit though as it was first going into the carder I was a little concerned about how the colors were going to blend. Sitting on the carder infeed belt, they didn't look very pretty together. I was pleasantly surprised when it came off the carder and got even more excited every step of the way. The colors blended into a lovely shade of berry and the natural gray lended itself to give almost a frosty look to the yarn. And then there are little pops of the original blues, reds and purples throughout the yarn. I think it has so much depth and is truely one of a kind. Really each skein is! There are a couple skeins of this yarn available up in our online shop if you are interested in grabbing one or two for yourself. Shop here!
If you'd like to see videos on the making of this yarn, Episode 3 of the Being Ewethful podcast is up on YouTube now! Follow this link to watch the magic happen.
Thank you all for reading, for watching, and for buying from our small mill. We appreciate you all! Have a wonderful holiday season and stay healthly!!!
I am Kim Biegler, the owner and operator of Ewethful Fiber Farm & Mill, along with my husband Mitch - my steadfast supporter, enabler, grass seed farmer, maintenance guy and all around love of my life! Visit the Mill's website for more about us and well, to shop for fiber of course! ewethfulfiberfarm.com