Saturday, October 21, 2006

Why, Hello! It's a F.O!

Were you all laughing behind my back when I said "Now that the kids are in school six hours a week things will be calmer?" I thought I'd be living free and easy, and instead my life seems to have exploded with kid chaos. In a good way. But still.

I was born and raised a perfectionist. However, I started having my doubts in my twenties regarding the merits of perfectionism. I read a quote "Perfectionism leads to procrastination, which leads to paralysis." (I've googled to find the author of this, and I can find plenty of versions of the quote, but no attribution.)

Maybe it's a little dramatic to use in terms of making sewing or knitting decisions. But, thinking of this quote does help prod me along to keep working, and make a decision to either finish or fix something when I am less than satisfied with it.

In my twenties, I had a job in NYC as an assistant fashion designer. I communicated daily via fax (I'm sure they now use e-mail) with our Hong Kong office regarding the production of our knitwear in Chinese factories. We got samples via fed-ex, and they were never perfect. Button color slightly off, fabric too flimsy, buttons not sewn on properly, missing details, intarsia wrong colors, etc. Once, believe it or not, we had an entire order of sweaters shipped on a boat with garlic, and the sweaters were stinky! We had to make decisions about which errors we could let pass, and which we needed to fight the factories to correct.

I think the most valuable lesson I learned at that time was how to weigh the pros and cons and make a quick decision, when to stand and demand perfection because it was really important, and when to let something go.

Anyway, back to the sweater. There are plenty of things about this sweater that aren't perfect, but overall, it is cute, the girl likes it, and I had fun knitting it.

I used Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Sweater Patterns. Because of my daughter's ability to outgrow sweaters in one season, I made this one with room to grow. I made the cuff 4" long seedstitch. Right now it looks cute folded back like this:

but it looks equally cute like this:

The raglans are a little messy, because I was watching "24" and didn't always keep very good track of whether I was on an increase row or plain row.

And I think I maybe went too far on the yoke, because I don't think the raglans are supposed to come together at the neckline.

And the neckband doesn't exactly meet my ususal standards of fabulous finishing.

On the other hand: It was fun to knit. I wanted to make something more than socks out of my sock yarn. I have been collecting Koigu for a turtleneck for myself, and this was a kind of "warm up". So, it served it's purpose, and I am pleased with it.

I have a lot of the third skein left over, I am envisioning matching knee highs.

And I've listed an unused skein back in the shop, in case anyone else is as enamored with this color as I am. I've also added another color today. Just one more week of the free shipping sale--take a peek!


Blogger Jeri said...

Lovely sweater, nice color. Not all sweaters need to be perfect! Isn't it amazing how fast one can knit to 24? We finished the 4th season, and I knit like the was fabulous. Now we're on to BattleStar Galactica, and that is great to knit to also...enjoy!

10:59 AM  
Blogger Katy said...

I get stuck in the perfectionism traps sometimes, too. It's hard to let go--but I think the sweater looks really cute, and I love the colors in the yarn.

11:32 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Gorgeous color and sweater. It looks like it will fit well for a relatively long period.

12:23 PM  
Blogger FemiKnitMafia said...

The sweater is SO adorable, and the seed stitch cuffs are very smart. Totally reversible. Brilliant.

A wise boss once told me "the perfect is the enemy of the good" and its been my mantra ever since.

1:16 PM  
Anonymous Becca said...

What a cute sweater! She looks quite happy with it and I think matching knee socks would be adorably perfect. Love the convertible cuffs.

2:34 PM  
Blogger DubiQuilts said...

The sweater is great!

My yonger son is a perfectionist, when he is not perfect, I tell him to take it easy and relax.

2:36 PM  
Blogger aija said...

That sweater looks great! I love the yarn-- it doesn't stripe or pool or anything. Looks great to me!

7:45 PM  
Anonymous Ruth said...

I love the colour of the sweater. It looks great too.

7:01 AM  
Blogger Mrs. Mel said...

I think the subject of perfectionism is blog fodder for me. Thanks.

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Kim said...

Beautiful sweater and I bet that the little one thinks it is just perfect for her!

8:01 AM  
Blogger Diane D. said...

It's another darling sweater. (Kind of like a series - ha!) I have a few issues with perfectionist paralysis myself - but I'm working on it. I'm there with you on the kid chaos - I've barely had a chance to breathe in the last 5 days. I'm thinking maybe after Christmas things will slow down ...

8:06 AM  
Anonymous lyric said...

"perfectionist" is a misnomer... they should be called "IMPERFECTIONISTS" because no matter how beautiful the whole, all they can see is the imperfect parts.
This naming has helped me throw off the (admitedly very, very, minor amount of) perfectionism I sometimes fall into.
It's a very cute sweater!!!! My oldest loves to knit and i need to get someone to teach her to read a pattern so she can make me one just like the one you made!!!!

1:45 PM  

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