Glitches in the Matrix

Deja vu aside, I've never experienced anything I would consider "glitches" until recently.  Don't worry, I'm not wearing my tin foil hat or anything (and isn't there a link between foil and Alzheimer's? *insert wink and then gritting teeth just in case it's a proven thing now)... I'm already getting off topic.  

As we know, in my last post, I went on at length about a design I was working on that I ended up ripping all the way back and starting over.  I'm still in progress with that baby, but there was another design on the books that is due right around the same time.  This one, I swore, would go more smoothly.

You're probably looking at these pictures and thinking, "Oh that poor thing. She's so deep in it that she has the pictures switched."  I assure you that I do not.  The picture on the left is from the other day and the one on the right was taken moments ago.  Once again, I've found myself thinking that the color changes and stitch sections just weren't going to end up as I had imagined.  This isn't something I do to myself often, but I'm starting to feel like it's my terrible new pace.  I'm not a slow knitter, but I'm not a fast one by any means.  I'm getting tired of myself and my back-ticking. And so, as I begin to re-knit again, and begin to re-write again, I feel like I'm playing out a long, tortuous scene of deja vu, or matrix glitches, or some sort of cosmic lesson that I'm sure has something to do with the moon and Aquarius and the impending eclipse.  Honestly, though.  Where's the excitement if you aren't frantically knitting with multiple deadlines looming over your head?

But also, I parked in a parking spot that Alizah said wasn't a parking spot because all the other ones said "VISITOR" in big white letters on the blacktop, but I was sick of driving around so I parked there anyways and then when we came back to the car, our spot miraculously said "VISITOR" in big white letters on the blacktop because there is definitely a glitch in the matrix.

Rip and make right

I remember when I first began knitting and was squeaking away, hard at work on cheap needles and yarn that was cheaper still - but then I would realize I'd made some error way back there, three rows down and the only way back was to pull.  That time it took for me to knit those rows, the time still to fiddle the stitches back onto the needles, and then that painful re-knitting, all compiled into waste.  Knitting a swatch was half a day's effort; yards and yards of discarded yarn.  As I gripped my needles, white knuckled and teeth clenched, my husband would ask if knitting was supposed to be relaxing, quietly out of the side of his mouth as if the extra air between us would filter out what he was implying which was that - maybe - I was shit at this.

Though it is probably easier to forget those terrible days as I casually watch a move with needles flicking and yarn slipping over and under my fingers as I tension without a thought, I try not to; I want to remember the feeling of being confused, frustrated, and anxious while learning the language of knitting and what that language was guiding me to do.  It's in the remembering that keeps me at it, nudged along gently.  I would say the same goes for my design work.  The earliest of my attempts were clumsy at best, but I was peeling back the mystery of design as I worked.  My first patterns accepted for print and all the hours, tears, research, knitting and ripping, floods of self-doubt and agony cultivated the designer I am still developing into; it makes the writing process, even when it's still challenging, sweet and fulfilling.

However, it's not all sunshine and roses - right?  And just recently I worked a sample nearly to the finish before I finally listened to the nagging in my head and did a test block. I don't know if this is a common practice with designers - and it's something I do rarely - but I needed to see if the shaping was as dramatic as I had feared.  I transferred the stitches onto waste yarn long enough to block out the shawl properly, gave it a quick soak and began pinning.  And then re-pinning. And then I stood back and looked at it, hawing over the sad realization that my inner nag was right all along.  Was there a way I could change the shaping from here and save it?  Maybe if I just go ahead with the border it will all magically work out and not be so... wobbly.  As I was standing over it, doing my best to justify this product, my fella walked in.

-What's going on here? -Um, just checking on this shaping... -Are you going to be mad if I give you my honest opinion? -No, you don't like it? -I just don't like this (insert gesture that highlights exactly what I'm trying to justify not fixing). -Uh, well, I mean, I can add some short rows here and here and that will fix the issue with the width while also smoothing this out... -(insert stoic stare) -Aw fuck.  Okay, I'm frogging this turd.

And that's exactly what I did.  I ripped the entire shawl back, did a couple little shaping swatches, and started from scratch.  Which meant the pattern that was nearly complete needed to be re-worked from the cast on forward also.  The second time around, the shawl is working up precisely as I had envisioned it and the pattern was able to be simplified greatly.  I feel like I'm nestled in a hug of win-win despite that lost time, the hours and days that I had been misguided, ignoring my own quiet little taps on the shoulder.  Maybe the lesson I'm meant to be learning at this stage is to listen to myself, hear my intuition, and change course before sailing my creaky little ship right into the heart of the storm.