Never Finish Properly

Just purely a vent here…well, maybe a question, too.
I can’t seem to finish a project without some mishap that makes my knitting seem haphazard. Examples of this include getting different pattern appearances (especially to lace!) despite following the directions to a T; gauge way off despite gauge swatching properly; socks totally a mess- although the most recent disaster with a nice pair of winter socks for the DH was caused by taking over 2 years knitting them…
I just don’t get it. is there anyone else like me who’s yet to finish a knitting project with perfect results???

Perfect? Uhh… no, my projects are never perfect in my mind. We are our own worst critics though. You are not alone.

There’s no such thing as perfect. As you knit, you’re so focused on the individual sts that you see every ‘imperfection’. After you wash and/or block an item, the sts even out and then it will likely look better.

What they said. Don’t worry, the more you knit, the less it’ll happen to you…just have patience, be willing to frog until you have the result you want, and keep knitting. (That last bit is probably the important part. :slight_smile: )

Being a perfectionist is hard on you. I know because I am one. There are times I have frogged a row or round more than once because I didn’t like the look or more important I discover when doing the next round I didn’t have enough sts to get the effect needed. I just finished the Nosegay doily which is octagon in shape. I discovered 4 rounds later I missed a spot and instead of an octagon I would have had a seven sided figure. Not what I wanted and I frogged. But I am getting better as if I find a mistake like at the beginning of a pair of socks, extra stitch. I just knitted two sts together for the join. I wasn’t going to frogg or go through the process of removing the other three socks on the needles to fix it. Looks fine and one more notch on my not being a perfectionist belt,lol!!!:x:

Yup, I think it happens to all of us. Perfection is overrated dontchathink? (Except for ArtLady of course. LOL Everything she makes is perfection in my mind.) Any time you create something with your own two hands it’s not necessarily meant to be “perfect.” I think we need to redefine our meaning of perfection. I remember reading or hearing a while back that there is a culture somewhere that deliberately puts at least one mistake on whatever they’re creating to insure it truly is unique. So I tend to look a little imperfections with the love the article was created with. I am a bit of a perfectionist too so this is hard for me. I’m getting better at it, but my friends would still probably tell you I still have some practicing to do. LOL

Suzeeq mentioned blocking: this can significantly change the appearance of an item. If you don’t know how to do it, search on the Internet for it-- there are plenty of tutorials. Almost every photo you see of a finished item is the result of blocking and good lighting. I’ve had things I’ve photographed for Ravelry turn out much worse OR much better than they look in real life. Lace in particular can look very, very different once blocked.

The other factor is that if you don’t use the same yarn they suggest (I almost never do), it will come out differently. Even if it’s the same gauge. Because of the way the yarn is spun, it can drape differently, or feel different, or give better or worse stitch definition.

As for keeping gauge in your projects-- try knitting a much bigger swatch and then you’ll get a better idea of what your gauge is going to be. There are people who check constantly as they knit something, and constantly change their needle size as they go, because stress or being calm can change their gauge.

Here’s another suggestion-- try just practicing a certain sort of garment, something small such as mittens, hats, socks, or scarves. Let’s say mittens. Try just making cuffs. Make 6 of them. See what is going right and wrong with them. Then, try the beginning of the hand. Then the thumb gores. Then the rest of the hand, then the decreases and ending the tops, then the thumbs. Do each section on all 6 samples. I bet by the time you finish the 6th, you’re going to get much more of an understanding of where you might be going wrong, and what you’re already good at.

I tell everyone I put in little mistakes on purpose so you know it’s homemade :)!

KellyH57 said it perfectly! If you want something “perfect”, buy it from a store… (And that’s not even a guarantee!)

I knit a lot of things where the fit isn’t important - since the finished size is usually a mystery until it’s actually finished. I knit children’s items and then when they’re finished, I pick a child that it will fit and give it away. haha - people always love it. I also try really hard not to have seaming.

The Amish intentionally put a mistake in every quilt because they believe that only God is perfect.

So do the middle eastern carpet makers.

thanks everyone, so far venting has been helpful as I am working on a baby cardigan for a second time and so far its going very well. Perhaps I need to just knit something twice!

Perhaps I need to just knit something twice!

Been there, done that (sometimes 3 times). It’s easier and faster the 2nd time…

I decided a while ago that making it perfect isnt important. So if I make a mistake I just won’t tell anyone:teehee: and then pretend it’s perfect :smiley:

The little mistakes is what makes it worth so much… seriously a hand made Persian rug is worth more than one machine made right? Do you know how they tell that it’s hand made? They look for flaws, a spot that is red that really should be yellow or some other small thing. This is how I now see my small flaws in my knitting. Now if I’m off by a repeat and it’s REALLY noticeable or if it’s going to effect the piece later then I try and fix it. But like someone else said, if I cast on too many stitches I’ll k2tog at the beginning rather than recast on. Or if I miss a yo, all add it later even though it’s not quite the same size as if I tinked it…

The gauge being off happens and it happens to everyone I think.

The different pattern appearance could be from using different yarn or even a different color. Like a darker color won’t show a pattern as well as the same yarn in a lighter color.

If it’s really frustrating you posting pictures of your work and links to the patterns might make it so the wonderful ladies on here can maybe see if there’s something that you are doing properly (like knitting into the back loop, not saying you are doing that, but that would cause problems)

But the biggest think I can say is keep at it. You will get to where you know how a sock is constructed and know when it’s off and same thing with a sweater or shawl or anything else after you’ve done it a few time.

I think the most important thing to ask yourself is are you enjoying the time you are spending knitting? If so then let the mistakes be a way to learn more about knitting.

And we all understand your vent!

I have the same problem! When I look at the things members here have posted it all looks so great and I end up thinking my stuff looks quite amateur though I’ve been knitting for close to 4 years now…I know, however, it’s just me…Sometimes I just have to make it a point to not look at my projects for a while so I can forget where little mistakes or flaws are…lol…usually that helps and I realize it doesn’t look as bad as I originally thought it did! My seaming though…ugh…I always think it looks terrible no matter how much time passes! Needless to say, I prefer knitting in the round…lol

Very interesting!! :wink: They all do such beautiful work!! That I have noticed.