Thursday, September 13, 2007

'Seconds from the impact and moving way too slow'

After almost exactly two months to the day of working on the Vogue Knitting lacy dress, I'm finished — with the individual pieces. Now all that's left to do is the ever-so-tedious finishing. But before I do that, I have a very important decision to make: to leave the very obvious Amish flaw or to fix it.

I first learned about the Amish flaw theory last year when I was working at National Geographic, coincidentally around the same time that I learned to knit things other than long rectangles. I took a tour of the headquarters building, and the guide showed us a beautiful Amish quilt hanging in the corridor between the M Street building and Hubbard Hall. She pointed out a mistake in the quilt and told us about the Amish tradition of purposefully creating a mistake in the work because the only things perfect are of God. This tradition also reminds me of the Greek myth of Arachne. Arachne was a fabulous weaver in Lydia (modern-day western Turkey), supposedly better than the goddess Athena. Foolishly and pridefully, Arachne entered into a weaving contest with Athena. When Arachne's work turned out to be flaw free, Athena destroyed it in a fit of rage. Ashamed, Arachne tried to hang herself, but Athena took pity on her and turned her into a spider and the rope into a cobweb, which Arachne used to climb to safety. And her descendants have forever been exquisite weavers.

Pride and perfection aside, my Amish flaw is a fairly large and noticeable one, which was not put there on purpose. The dress pattern calls for alternating sections of the lacy knots pattern and the lace acorn insert. Having never made lace — or anything of the apparel category — before, it didn't dawn on me that the instruction "(k1, p1, k1, p1, k1) in the next st" meant to do all of that in one stitch (despite the very obvious "in the next st" directions). So my acorn inserts for the main body of the dress are a big jumbled mess (the piece on the left in the picture) compared with my correctly knitted inserts in the sleeves (bottom section of the piece on the right in the picture). I guess Weird Al would say this qualifies as an "Amish Paradise" (sorry, I couldn't resist). Urgh. What to do? I don't particularly want to redo 76 inches of acorn insert, but I also want the dress to look nice. I guess it's time to start frogging. Thank goodness Netflix just delivered a new disc of "24." And don't worry, I have a few other less noticeable Amish flaws worked into the dress. I'm not going to be turned into a spider anytime soon.


Catherine said...

I hope you wear the dress out when I come to New Orleans!

Marijean said...

I'm so impressed. The sweater turned out great and looks good on you!!