Know When to Stop

Each week, I spend a bit of time working on Waterlily. It’s a fairly brainless project at this point. No increases. No decreases. Stockinette in the round, although my stockinette for this project is not “proper” and happens to include all twisted stitches, but more on that another day.

I pick up Waterlily when I have just a bit of time, unable to consider any other type of knitting might require thought. As straightforward as it may seem, mistakes can still happen.

It took me a while to notice. Three rows back. A stripe of fifty or so stitches.


I took pause. To fix or not to fix? I knew no one would notice but me.


No, definitely.

I recalled a post I had read a few weeks back about a galloping horse test, or something like that—if you wouldn’t be able to see the mistake from the back of a galloping horse passing by, it’s fine. Leave it be.

So I kept on. For another four rounds.

I got to thinking. That whole galloping horse thing is a load of bull. I wouldn’t see anything from the back of a galloping horse. I wouldn’t even notice if the people I was galloping past were wearing clothes or palm fronds. I would be too busy squeezing my eyes shut, praying.

I considered my options.

Option 1: Lifeline and unravel. Nope.

Option 2: Tink back 1,000 plus stitches. Nope.

Option 3: Proceed and leave well enough alone. I should. But nope. I just couldn’t. It was bothering me the way my husband’s dirty socks on the living room floor bother me. I just couldn’t ignore the affront.

Option 4: Unravel each column seven stitches. Fix the stitch and re-do the column. Maybe.

I tried just one column. Breath held. Knowing this is how it starts. This could be the doom of me…where it would all unravel if I liked it or not.

But it worked.

So I did another column. And another.

An hour and a half later, I am nearly two-thirds complete. But let this be the lesson: if you see a mistake and it is eating at you…and you are TRYING to ignore it but deep, deep down you know you just won’t be able to let it go. Just stop there. And fix it. Or take a break and then fix it. Because it is so much easier to redo three stitches in each column than seven. So, so much easier.


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  • Reply nanacathy2 July 28, 2015 at 1:34 am

    That is oh so true. A warning to us all!

  • Reply karen July 28, 2015 at 5:23 am

    If I know there is a mistake I have to fix it! Especially if it keeps surfacing in my mind.

  • Reply Susan July 28, 2015 at 6:36 am

    Well, you definitely made the right choice by fixing it. I can see it would have bothered you if you didn’t. The color is just beautiful.

  • Reply FogKnits July 28, 2015 at 9:58 am

    LOL! The galloping horse test isn’t really much of a test, eh? I have another friend who’s test is ‘can it be seen through a picket fence at 5o mph?’ That one probably doesn’t help much either 😉

  • Reply sleepinghorse July 28, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    Totally agree. I have done exactly what you did a few times, ending up undoing per column and it did work but oh, what a waste of lovely knitting time. Yes, fix when you see it. Much quicker.

  • Reply knittedblissjc July 28, 2015 at 6:21 pm

    good for you for cracking down and fixing it! I know those knitting mistakes all too well, and how challenging it is to try to correct them, the time it takes… if you know it’s there and it will bother you, it’s definitely worth fixing.

    • Reply Andrea @ This Knitted Life July 28, 2015 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks. If only I could be so diligent about washing tiny blueberry mush fingerprints off the living room windows…

  • Reply knittymuggins July 29, 2015 at 8:18 am

    I’m so glad your fix worked! This is me all the way. If I wouldn’t buy a garment with a flaw, why would I knit one with a mistake (that I know about)? I have been known to rip out half of a sweater to fix something I didn’t notice earlier. Lace though? That’s another matter. As long as the stitch counts are fine and the error isn’t glaringly obvious, I’ll leave it thank you 😉

  • Reply mjoxrieder July 31, 2015 at 8:01 am

    .I am so with you on this! I have wrestled with myself on this time and again. Bottom line – if its so visible that its a “ding” every time I pick up my knitting, its gotta go, one way or another.

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