So, I finished my Olympic project—just as I watched the closing ceremonies! How did you do with yours?
Mine was a pair of scarves—made from recovered yarn from two of many scarves I have made but not worn. Some of those scarves were easy, some were lace, but all suffered from not being quite the right shape for me—triangles with not enough tail and/or not enough curve at the neck.
So I thought about what had worked for me, and that took me back to my Shape It! Scarf from The Knit Stitch (a center triangle with long tails for wrapping). Could I use that as a model? It was garter: I want this one to be lace. How to shape the lace?
Many, many, MANY swatches followed. Finally I had a plan . . . and then I had the base . . . and then I started working the extensions . . . and then I ripped . . . and then an altered plan followed . . . and then I ripped some more.
I finished two scarves, but I think I knit the equivalent of four! Rip, knit, rip, knit. That was my Olympics.
Which was perfectly appropriate while I watched the challenges faced by the best athletes in the world. Why should anything wonderful be easy? Don’t we learn most from struggle? And doesn’t the combination of struggle + triumph give us our podium moments?
I have met knitters who refuse to rip—some from denial, some from sheer stubbornness. (One student hung up on me at the end of a knitting call in which I suggested she rip.) And then there are those who will rip, but sadly and with an assumption of failure—that they have wasted time and effort and should have known better.
Not so! Albert Einstein said Anyone who never made a mistake never tried anything new. Henry Ford said Failure is an opportunity to begin again, more intelligently. And in my next book (dedicated to pattern drafting and all the skills that support it), I talk about the necessity of ripping. It is, simply, an inevitable part of the process.
This is how it is with athletics. All through the Olympic coverage, we heard of the challenges each athlete faced. Despite their successes, they were more defined by how they overcome adversity. And why should knitters be different from inventors, artists, or athletes? Learn, *struggle, learn better, do better; repeat from *. This is life.
So here’s one version of my Olympic project. The pattern will be up on Ravelry—as the Lace-Meets-Leaf Scarf—as soon as I get home to a model and a good camera. (That’s the other thing about athletics or knitting: the right equipment matters!)