Knowing When To Just Rip It Out
A couple of months ago I designed a hat. I thought, the time, that this hat was going to be stunning, and so I cast on and started knitting. It’s a 4-ply colourwork hat with an intricate and yet easily knit design which I was really proud of and looking forward to having finished. But after having knit the first two inches I just stopped knitting it.
I remember the reasons behind stopping. I was having a slightly difficult time at work and wanted to come home and just lay my hands on some knitting that didn’t require me keeping track of what line or stitch I was on, or having to refer to my place on the chart on my laptop. I don’t have a printer, you see, and that’s something that makes knitting from patterns (even my own) kind of awkward.
The thing that really made the hat unpleasant to knit, though, was the needles. I love to knit with my harmony interchangeable, and my stainless steel DPNs. I’m not all that precious about knitting needles, but the only needles of the requisite size I could find to knit this hat without having to buy new ones was an old Pony powder-coated steel circular needle. Every stitch seemed to drag and knitting just felt a tad uncomfortable.
So, I could have ordered a new needle instead – found a Knitpro or Addi needle to suit, but I didn’t. Instead I cast on new and immediately satisfying projects and knit those instead, telling myself that I would get back to this hat at a later date.
But I haven’t. I haven’t come anywhere close to looking for a replacement needle, and I don’t know when I will. True, the yarn could sit in its part-knit state for years, but I think there is a point at which you just need to rip out the work.
The thing is, I still really, really love and want to knit that hat. I’ve even fully charted it out in my graphics program, ready for when I do. But I’ll cast it on afresh and knit it all at once, rather than let this same project drag over months or years, and if I want to use this yarn for something new in the meantime, then it is ready for action.