Unintentional Design Element

One amazing thing about knitting, the fiber community, and fellow yarnie lovers … are pattern designers. One day – maybe – I’ll work up the courage/nerve/skill to put the effort into designing my own pattern, but for now I’m happy to browse through thousands of patterns available online (my favourite place to get them is on Ravelry). Let someone else do the work of putting it together, and just let me find the instructions and follow along to my heart’s content.

Patterns can run the gamut from simple instructions on repeating a stitch pattern, to complex charts that change row to row. Generally, when looking for something to make one thing is key – the pictures on the pattern page. I want to see what the object will look like when done. If I like it enough I will hang through long charts and complicated repeats to get it done. Most times, I like simple things since I’m a multitasker – so something I can knit just needing to glance at a pattern while keeping count of the rows, while I’m watching TV or something. This week I learned that after weeks of knitting simple mindless stuff I got lax on paying attention.

I had picked up a WIP that had been on the needles for awhile – Scales. The pattern has a four-row repeat, fairly simple enough, and should have been a walk in the park. So along I was knitting (enjoying the massively hilarious Brooklyn Nine-Nine) when I glanced at my work and noticed something wrong. Very wrong.


To create the lovely “x”s all I had to remember to do was move my beginning-of-the-row marker 3 stitches to the left or right as needed … and I forgot. For about 20 rows.
Sometimes, knitters make small mistakes and just call them design elements and move on, hoping no one else notices. Sadly, this mistake was just too large for me to let it go. As I’m intending to give the finished product as a gift, I knew I couldn’t (in good faith) give something with so large an error (and obviously so). So I painstakingly unknit each stitch until I was at the point I could re-knit and fix the mistake.

As life goes, there are always mistakes. Sometimes it’s something we know we’re doing and plowing ahead anyways (like “design element” knitting); other times the mistake happens without anyone noticing. I am thankful for the times I can go back and fix the mistake and make things right again.


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