The Photo FallacyNovember 8, 2011
There are so many similarities between novel writing and knitting, and I've remarked on them before, but these things bear repeating:
1. Work done every day, even a few lines or a few stitches, adds up into books and sweaters.
2. Sometimes when you finish something, it's a piece of crap. That's when the tricky work comes: figuring whether it's salvageable and then working out HOW to do that.
I *almost* finished my Levenwick sweater last night. This is what it should look like:
(I just realized I fell for the photo fallacy again. This sweater, even if made right, would not suit me. And I'm just noticing that now. I just wanted to BE her. Grrr.)
I'm not going to show you what it DOES look like, not until I decide what to do with it. The arm scyes are way too deep -- apparently I was just knitting along and didn't notice that at all. The reverse stockinette rolls and flips in all the wrong places. The lace doesn't hold up, and I'm not sure blocking will help at all. I was SO FRUSTRATED and upset last night when I tried it on -- it's been a while since a sweater defeated me, and that's what this feels like happened.
I still have to knit the hem (which calls for applied i-cord -- HA! As if I would waste my time). I think what I'll do is slap-bang on a quick hem of some sort and weave the ends in loosely, and then wash the damn thing and block it. (Oh, how I resent the time I'll have to put in doing this.)
But I think, even when I do this: It's been a grand waste of time. I'll have to decide what to do with it. I won't frog it -- the idea of doing that gives me hives. It's nice, inexpensive yarn, nothing worth working hard to save. Maybe I'll donate it to someone at Occupy Oakland. (Hey! Knit-in tomorrow (Wednesday) at 1pm in the plaza, you're welcome to come -- knit something warm to give away.)
Now, when it comes to writing, I'm used to editing. It's my favorite part, actually. I love moving and deleting big blocks of words around and reworking them. In my current work-in-progress, I have 100,ooo words, with 50,000 unused words in the trash bin.That tells me I'm getting close.
But knitting? Anytime it doesn't come out exactly the way I want the first time, it feels like I've only been wasting my time. I don't quite understand why my brain feels like this, but it has something to do with TIME. I don't have enough time in this life to knit all the sweaters I want to knit, just like I'll never read every book that's on my list. It frustrates me to waste time reading crappy books or knitting sweaters that don't suit. I don't keep reading bad books to see if they get better, and if I'm not totally in love with a pattern, it doesn't do to reknit it.
I'd rather sit on the couch and figure out the math for my accordion sweater. At least if I screw that up, I can only blame myself. Also, it's FUN to do that kind of math.