DAY ONE: Well then. Sometimes you have to recognize and admit when you’re failing.

I’ve been knitting on this Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl for a year and a half now. It’s a re-knit. I made one ages ago and gave it to someone very undeserving (which I realize is not a nice thing to say, so I don’t make that claim lightly.) I wanted to make another version. To maybe feel better about the pattern? To give it to *someone better*? I don’t know exactly what my reasons were.

I’ve been slogging away at it since December of 2019 and hating every second. Not because it was too complicated; I didn’t quite have any technical difficulties until this weekend.when I thought I might make some shortcuts. I think the real, actual failure that I’m referring to here is not listening to my heart and my guts screaming “we hates it!” every time I’d glance at the work in progress.

So…in the course of cutting out a few steps, realizing it wasn’t going to work, and tinking back to where I had left off prior to my error in judgement…the needle join unscrewed and at least half the stitches tumbled off the needles, all of those lacey YOs lost in the fall. There were close to a thousand stitches on the needles before that happened.

Yeah. So. Thanks for the sign, universe. I get what you’re trying to say. Fuck this thing in particular. We’ll find something better and more fun to fail at next time.

DAY TWO: While unknitting that spectacular failure of a shawl yesterday and simultaneously winding the liberated yarn into a ball for a new project, I had old episodes of House playing in the background to distract me from being angry and depressed. I know it’s silly, but a project not working out can really leave me feeling quite down and really cross with myself and I was hoping that watching a cranky Bertie Wooster bantering with a Dead Poet’s Society alum-turned oncologist might cheer me up.

Tapeworm and tumors, sepsis and scurvy, oh my! Over the course of several episodes and even more medical misdiagnoses, I suppose I became inspired as I glanced down at the dwindling body of my shawl to see I was holding its perfect heart in my hands. And I knew that I could save it.

I teased those fragile remaining stitches back on the needles, gently bound them off one by one, and crocheted a delicate looping border around the whole thing.

What died a shawl was resurrected as an altar cloth with that stunning floral motif in the center fully intact. A centerpiece for my holy space of creative failures. These doomed beauties deserve a place in the temple, too.

Liz T says

I know next to nothing about knitting- actually, just nothing. But I still understood the rejoiceful hoorah of making something better. You're so skilled and I still look at my alter cloth you crafted for me with total awe and admiration.

S. Elizabeth says

Aw....thank you! I can't even begin to explain how the relief I feel now that I don't have to work on this thing anymore!

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