As a graphic designer, I use the Command-Z function on my computer countless times in a day. I’ve often fantasized about having such a button to use when I need to undo some mistake in my knitting (or honestly, in life in general).
Last week was no exception – I was working on a stranded chevron baby hat to coordinate with the baby blanket I’ve already completed, and I discovered that the pattern was wrong I didn’t care for how the designer wrote the decreases on the hat.
So tink…tink…tink. Unknitting two rows with decreases… on DPNs.
At first, I thought, “Oh, to have that Command-Z key and the last two rows would be undone in a blink.”
Having an “undo” button while crafting would certainly make us all more fearless. “I’ll try it in blue. And if it doesn’t look good, I’ll just ‘undo’ it.” But as I sat there and TINKed back 156 stitches on two rows on DPNs, with two colors in play, I realized…
Having to take apart a mistake this way – stitch by stitch – means I am learning to be more measured and thoughtful in my decisions beforehand. I will read the pattern more carefully, and try to visualize what the designer intended, thereby learning why I’m doing something – not just blindly following each step. And if nothing else is learned from this exercise, I have a better understanding of stitch structure, to be able to take it apart. If I had a magical “undo” button, I’m not sure I would learn as much. And my finished piece wouldn’t be as valuable to me.
Kind of like life, really. Lessons are more permanently learned when mistakes have to be accounted for rather than easily erased.
And the hat? Well, it came out just darling.
And so did the blanket.