Monday, May 30, 2011

D is for Details

I have blogged on this before on how edgings are important to crochet. As a quick recap, my mother is a fantastic seamstress. She does amazing work - and when I was learning to sew, she made it clear to me that when you finish your piece properly, it will look 10 times better.

Those lessons also taught me to never cut any corners and do your best. So that is why today's ABC post is "D is for Details."

When you are crocheting (or knitting or making jewelry or sewing or whatever it is you like to do), the truth is this - if there is a tiny little flub, if the yarn splits and you ignore it, or you don't do a stitch quite right - it will show. Perhaps it won't have a big arrow pointing to it, but someone will look at it and think 'hmmm that doesn't look quite right' - or worst case scenario is that it is compared to another that is supposed to be the same, then that little yarn split will seem to jump out.

My Dishcloth
So let's take a little example - a "grandma's favorite" dishcloth I whipped out for myself - personal use item.

So the question we start with is - what'dya think of it? It looks pretty good for my first one ever. I'm not an avid knitter so I was pretty happy with how it turned out.

Ok - it looks decent.

But there is a glaring mistake to my eyes. My mother trained me to look for imperfections in my work in order to have a better product in the end.

Let's take it in a wee bit so you can get a better look.

Do you see it?

Hmmm in case you still can't see my little boo-boo - let's make it bigger! (and add a red arrow *laughing*)

Yup - there it is!
I remember making this mistake. I thought I had missed a stitch and forced a knit where I shouldn't have. I ended up doing a bit of an increase on the row I should not have and got this bizarre looking stitch. If you look further, that little blunder also messed up the stitches immediately around it. My gauge is pretty consistent except when you look around that blunder - the stitch to the left is a little bigger and the stitch above it is smaller and appears more awkward because it was an increase that was not part of a pattern. One little blunder cascaded to a few other issues.

Granted, all of the boo-boos are tiny, but in the end, I know if you put this cloth up to another with better detail, to the untrained eye the other will just appear "better" even if the person cannot put a finger on why.

Considering I kept the orientation of the cloth the same for all three pictures, I would almost bet  you can go back to the first picture of the whole cloth and see the weird stitch - where you know the weird stitch is. Am I right?

It took me ages to accept that if it is something industrial, like a washcloth, or if it is for me, then sometimes it is ok to leave it (which I did for this dishcloth, and how fortuitous considering I was able to use it as an example for this post); however, I have to admit, I will usually go back and fix it even if my eyes are the only to ever see the item in question.

By paying attention to detail, you will create a better product.

For more ABC link party posts, visit An Accidental Knitter's blog.


Amy Sessions said...

I love your attention to detail.  I thought I was odd because most of the people I know simply shrug their shoulders and move on... I'll fret forever until I go back and fix it.  Thanks for sharing that I'm not the only "OCD" knitter, as it were.

Cris said...

Pleased to meet ya! hehehe

topperarnold said...

I'm the shrug and move on type...unless it it knitting for someone else. Then I am very uptight!

Emma Littlehales said...

Wow, i didn't realise how obvious mistakes were in knitting. However, I don't think there's any way I would have noticed if you hadn't pointed it out! It's a god job I'm a bit of a perfectionist though...

Carolee479 said...

I could use a little more attention to detail in my life. I usually get frustrated and keep going and then later wish I'd taken the time to fix the mistakes while I was going

Cris said...

 In the case of the dishcloth in this blog - I do too LOL but I'm glad I at least had an example. It was all I could do to talk myself into "this is a personal use item" hehehe

Cris said...

I think, especially for me, I am most critical of my mistakes so they light up like a neon sign!

Cris said...

 I think that is a good way to be. I can almost be TOO critical of my own work for personal use and never get done. I have taken it to a point now where I can say "if no one else is ever going to see it" then I can leave it..... sometimes LOL

Sharon said...

Thanks for sharing that!  I look back at my "beginner" work and have actually frogged some of them because the mistakes are so glarring now...  Your mom is right - good finishing makes a huge difference!

LyndaGrace said...

I know what you mean.  When I make a mistake most of the time I cannot let it go.  My husband just doesn't understand why I would rip out something after knitting for hours.   He would say, no one but you will be able to see the mistake.  That's exactly right, I would see the mistake and it would drive me crazy.

Natalie Howells said...

It might just be because I've only been knitting for 9 months, but I'm fairly relaxed about mistakes - although it really does depend on where it is, how obvious it is and how much it bothers me (split yarn on socks - leave it, bizarre stitch on jumper - fix it!)

Christineajones said...

Once I would have left my mistakes & kept going, but lately I'm finding that harder & harder to do. I just don't feel "settled" if I know there's a mistake in my knitting.

Sandycrochet said...

I didn't see it until you used the arrow.  I agree details, like borders can make a big difference, but don't get too bothered with small items like you're one stitch.  The Amish always make a mistake or two in their beautiful quilts, we're not suppose to strive to be perfect is their rationale.  Me, I don't have to put a mistake in, it happens naturally.  I do correct some, the glaring ones, the ones that bother me.  But, I rather like the saying, it will never be seen from a trotting horse.  lol

CrochetConcupiscence said...

Great point on details. I tend to be a quick crocheter and not much of a perfectionist but I appreciate the attention to detail that goes into handmade work.

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