When I first began to knit, I hated the thought of ever having to unravel any of my work. I suppose it was so difficult at first, learning to knit each stitch and match it with a purl that the slow process would not allow me the freedom to just unravel what had taken me hours to accomplish.  The longer I knitted however, the less tolerance I had for the presence of misplaced purls, where a knit should sit.   My discontent with ” good enough” was growing.

Last night, while working on blanket for my beloved nephew or niece ( we will not know until he or she makes a grand appearance at the end of March) I looked at my work and I was not happy with what I saw. Too many “good enough’s” made for a whole lot of ” not even close” to matching the pattern. I took a deep breath, closed my eyes and pulled the yarn and I pulled and pulled until I unraveled about a weeks worth of knitting.


Oh it was painful.  If I sat and thought about all the hours of misguided knitting I had wasted I would have shoved my needles and yarn into the back of my basket and just started on a new project.  I’ve done that before. Some things are not worth starting over, but some things are not good enough to leave like they are.

Unraveling is not such a bad thing sometimes.  Sometimes letting things dissolve back into a pile of yarn that more closely resembles a pile of ramen noodles is much wiser than continuing to forge ahead when you have made a mess of things.  Sometimes it is easier to just pull the yarn and let the whole mess come apart at the seams.  It makes you sad.  That is a lot of hard work sitting there in that pile.  Countless hours of counting stitches and listening to Pandora created something that well, just was not good enough.

So you unravel and it gives you options. You can wind that yarn up into a big ole ball and sit it to the side or you can start over.  You can take your needles and cast on again.  You can take a closer look at your pattern and pay attention to your marks underlining your mistakes from the last time.  You can be really careful to yarn over instead of knit through the back loop this time. Remember how bunched up things got when you rushed through last time?  Go slow and check your pattern really careful this time.

I’m gonna try this thing again. You know babies can’t wait and every new baby needs a new blanket.  I’m glad that I was not too scared to unravel.

Maybe you should stop trying to salvage your mess. Maybe you should be brave enough to pull the yarn and pull out your knotted mess you have been calling a project.  Maybe you are capable of much more if you were not so scared to start over.

Maybe I’m not just talking about knitting……


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