Several years ago, both Tom and I read Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo. In the book, the main character, Sully, goes on what he calls a “stupid streak” . . . a stretch of time where he repeatedly makes dumb mistakes because of bad judgment, not paying attention to what he’s doing, or general self-destructive tendencies. (It’s a delightful book, so if you haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Sully yet, maybe add it to your to-read-someday list.)
Anyway, after reading the book, Tom and I incorporated the term Stupid Streak into our own personal lexicon, and we laugh together now whenever one or the other of us is in one (it’s mostly Tom; just sayin).
It’s me this time.
I’m in a real, genuine, first-class Stupid Streak . . . with my knitting.
How can I tell it’s a Stupid Streak?
Well, I’ve already told you about my not-reading-the-pattern SNAFU. I wish I could say that was my only evidence. But . . . this cardigan seems to be generating more than the usual number of minor, garden-variety knitting errors. I mean, I always goof up now and then when I’m knitting, but usually I catch my mistakes, fix ’em, and move on. It’s the nature of the craft! (“So shall you sew, so shall you rip.” And all that.) And so far, I have found – and successfully fixed – lots of minor errors (and one big one) in this cardigan.
When you’re in a Stupid Streak?
It’s more than that.
When you’re in a Stupid Streak, you make mistakes . . . but you don’t notice them. Or, at least, you don’t notice them in time to make the easy fix. Things like this . . .
(That’s having the yarn in the wrong position while slipping one little stitch.)
Or this . . .
(That’s knitting where I should have been purling.)
Now I’m not a perfectionist when it comes to most things (including my knitting). When I find niggling little errors like these early enough to manage an easy fix, I will definitely do that. But if the error is realtively minor and I find it too late for an easy fix, well . . . I will usually just let it go. (And that’s the situation here. Both of these errors are minor, and by the time I noticed them, it was too late to do much about them. So they will remain imperfections in my finished cardigan.)
But, this one?
Nope. That one’s a problem.
(I got my slips and knits backward for a span of 10 ill-fated stitches.)
It would have even been an easy fix. . . if I’d noticed it a couple of rows sooner.
How did I even miss seeing it, though?
(Because it’s pretty dang obvious.)
Just say it with me . . . Stupid. Streak.
Anyway, once I did finally notice it (6 long rows later), I tried to employ some of that Knitter’s Magical Thinking. I’m sure many of you have Been There . . . trying hard to convince yourself that it’ll be okay/no one will notice . . . that you can just let it go. But, of course, I couldn’t. That mistake would wind up right at the center front of the cardigan! It would be a noticeable error — to me and to others. I wouldn’t be able to live with it.
It had to be fixed.
First, I tried to just drop down and fix the errant stitches. It was only 6 rows, and there were only a few stitches to fix. Besides, I’m pretty good with drop-down fixes. But . . . garter stitch with slipped stitches in the mix? Not so much. (I did try; it wasn’t pretty.)
I knew I was going to have to bite the bullet . . . and rip out those 6 rows and fix it down at the root! Which is never a pleasant task — and particularly risky when you’re in the midst of a Stupid Streak.
But there you have it.
311 live stitches right there on my kitchen island, waiting to be put back on the needles!
(Tom gave me a wide berth.)
You can all breathe again, though.
I did it.
And I’ve re-knit those 6 rows already, too.
Without any stupid mistakes. (That I have noticed.)
I hope my Stupid Streak has about run its course.
That’s all I can say.
I sure hope your knitting has been going better than mine! What are you making this week?