There are days like this. Days when, no matter what I try to do, I fail.
Witness this little ball of yarn. You have already inferred, I am sure, from the ramen-like quality of the thread that this little ball of yarn is the result of undoing a few stitches. Actually, it’s from undoing a lot of stitches: 16 rows of the border of a triangular lace shawl, to be precise. I tried to take it back just 8 rows (which would have been to the point where the error occurred), but it turns out I am about as skilled as a three-toed sloth playing cat’s cradle when it comes to undoing a few rows when those rows contain eyelets and double decreases and everything else.
I tried. I really tried. I tried picking up the stitches and working back bit by bit over what remained. It turns out I am hopelessly lost when it comes to figuring out the order of stitches where even the simplest of lace patterns is involved. Cables — yes, I can figure out cables if I dropped a stitch; lace — no. I suck.
The other thing I suck at is proofreading my own work. I emailed a PDF of some design samples to a prospective employer, one who I had just spoken to on the telephone this morning. I had told this prospective employer that I had spoken with one of his peers and had learned that he likes to surround himself with only the best people, so I told him that I would definitely be in that category. And then I emailed him the design samples. And then I took a look over those samples and I discovered two typos.
On top of that, I completely forgot about an appointment that was to have been today at 2:00 p.m. I’d been awake around 3:30 a.m. and working. At 10:00 a.m. I decided I could have a bit of a nap. At 2:05 p.m. I awoke and realized what I had forgotten.
Honesty and humility go hand-in-hand for me. I have to be honest with myself and with other people, and being honest means I have to admit that I am not perfect. I make mistakes in knitting. I make mistakes in proofreading. I make mistakes with my schedule. I make all kinds of mistakes. Mistakes are what make me human.
I don’t like them. I truly do not like making mistakes. I do not like making mistakes and I certainly do not like finding out about mistakes some hours after the mistakes have been made.
I worked through an entire eight-row pattern repeat before I saw the error in the lace border. It wasn’t an obvious error, and it was only on one of the two triangles that make up the shawl so I was thinking that perhaps no one else would notice, especially if I photographed it just right. But I couldn’t do that. It wouldn’t be honest. It’s a shawl I plan to submit for publication, and it wouldn’t have been honest to submit a flawed item.
So, as hard as it is to admit that I am not perfect, as hard as it is to have to email a prospective employer with a corrected PDF, as hard as it is to call someone and admit that I was sleeping instead of remembering the appointment, and as hard as it is to start again on the border of the shawl, I have to admit that the honesty about all of it actually helps me to feel free to start again. The prospective employer might strike me off his list. There were a lot of hours of work lost on the shawl. I won’t get that appointment made up until next week. But I am human, and I’m learning to be OK with that.