Unraveled

I know it. I just can’t admit it. I keep getting to the end of row 5 and I fumble to finish just right. I haven’t taken the time to locate the exact spot to place my last stitch. I settle for a couple of different solutions to ending this row repeatedly and they all seem like ‘close enough’ solutions.

rav1I assure myself each time I finish the row that it will all work out in the end. I fight what I misconstrue as perfectionism. I fight the feeling that what does not feel quite right – is not, in fact, quite right.

rav1xThey are the tiniest of errors. A loop or two off. I can’t believe I have to drag out the pattern again. I convince myself there must be a way to just keep going. I am sure it’s fine.

It’s not fine. The edge of my project is working up crooked, scrunched and pulling on the row above and below it. Small errors culminate in an unattractive edge. The yarn is expensive, the pattern complicated and my intention for this garment is to bring peace, love & joy to the person I will gift it to. Excellence and solid foundation is called for and I have settled repeatedly for efforts that not only left my project misshapen and ugly, but I have tripled the amount of work required to fix it.

rav2The steps I need to take are overwhelming. If I want to fix what I have done, I need to backtrack to a place that I thought I passed long ago. I have something built and functioning ~ even if it is not perfect. But perfection turns out not to be the problem. The problem was lying to myself and ignoring the signs. Before I take such drastic steps, I pray. I pray about ripping it all out. It needs to be done.

It seems so drastic. Pulling out each stitch faster and faster and wrapping the yarn back into shapeless balls, unworked. My project shrinks to a measly couple of rows – a mere beginning of a shawl meant to wrap someone in comfort.

Staring at my unraveled yarn feels wonderful. The mistakes have been ripped out, they are gone and are not longer twisted mistakes that will go on to affect the whole rest of my work. I have stripped it down to the bare minimum and I need to begin just where I have left off. This time I am equipped with the information I need to place the stitches in the proper place. It was not even that the stitches were wrong – just misplaced.

I try again. I pay attention. I work and re-work until it feels right and looks right. It is right.

It is even and appealing and provides the solid foundation needed for the next row – which will also be appealing and solid and so on. The cumulative effect of one good choice after another.

I was scared of how I would feel if I, I mean my project, was unraveled. I would have to admit my mistakes – you know – in my project – before I could truly fix them and replace my stitches in just the right spots.

I am glad this is just a crochet project and not something so much more serious, like my life. You know?