I know I haven't been active much (I'm so sorry!) lately. I'm preparing to move to Japan in less than two weeks while still trying to finish up some knitting projects so that my suitcase won't be so full of yarn! But some good news before my post. My Seashell Shawl has slowly continued to sell and the photos of the Smocked Pullover was featured on the Vogue Knitting facebook page!
Here is a new test segment that I'm trying out; "Lessons I've Learned While..." Every knitting project I've done has taught me some extremely lessons, whether it be new knitting techniques, things to watch out for or just some random tidbits that knitters could also enjoy. So, without further ado, here are the lessons I've learned while knitting a sweater/pullover.
Taking the time to swatch and test for gauge doesn't take that long
It only takes 30 minutes and saves a lot of time and heart ache later. Additionally, getting ALL the right measurements for a fitted garment goes a long way.
When in doubt, re-do it. Especially when it's not for you!
If something looks funky or off, or if confronted with the question "Should I continue and hope it looks ok, or should I redo it?", it's better to redo it. I accidentally cut the yarn to the smocked pullover but was able to catch the snipped threads before they unraveled themselves. Unfortunately I was then confronted with a choice: try to tie them up neatly and hope they stick (while suffering from stress for the rest of my life from the nonending fear that the pullover might come undone), or unwind ALL the stitches and redo them (and sleep soundly at night). It was a tough decision, but I redid it and was able to breathe properly.
Take the time to eat proper meals
I get so invested in my knitting I end up eating 1 1/2 square meals in a day, and too often these meals get spaced heavily apart. Bad habit, must break, don't do again. If your stomach is rumbly, feed the tummy!
Watch good tv shows, but not too good
Bad tv shows cause my tension to tighten (and my blood levels). Not good. However, the really good ones catch my attention so well I pay more attention to the show than my project, which ends up left on the way side (Orange is the New Black anyone?). I find that anime or nostalgic tv shows are the way to go!
Mirror your knitting
If the garment is two pieces fitted together, copy what you do on one side the exact same on the other. Don't take shortcuts. Try to keep the tension and techniques used as close as possible.
Breathe. Everything will be ok. Believe in yourself and your talent! Getting stressed over the little details is not worth it.