I have grown as a knitter. Become more mature about my projects as time passes and finished garments emerge form my needles. How do I know this? Is it a leap in skill or the evenness of stitches that leads me to think that I have gotten better?
No. It comes from the fact that I willingly ripped out a quarter of a sweater last week.
I've been knitting away on my Lawrence vest for a while now, pulling it out whenever I need some nearly mindless knitting to work on. It's just interesting enough to keep me from getting bored but repetitive enough that I don't have to keep looking at the patterns. I thought.
Only, something was wrong. There was something off about the sleeves which, since its worked from the top down, should have been looking like sleeves and not, not sleeves. A good read through (of the pattern that I didn't need to read though) revealed that I had only been increasing on half of the stitches I needed to be. Big old oops.
Once upon a time, not so very long ago, I would have kept going, talking myself into the idea that it would all work out. I would make the thing fit. I would. Because the only other option was to throw the stupid thing in the corner never to be looked at again. But this time, this time I stared at the yarn for a long, long time. And then when willing the raglans back into submission didn't work, I pulled my needles out and attached the end to my ball winder, winding and ripping out in one swift motion before I could change my mind. (There was a lot of swearing during this process, but thankfully the kids were in bed by then)
So now I'm starting again. And, of course, it's going more smoothly this time, coming together more quickly because, yeah, I'm following the pattern. Patterns are good.