Fiberlog

Math, Baby. Baby, Math.

Posted in FO, knitting, toys by tchemgrrl on June 18, 2012

I’ve got a little niece coming this summer, and will be seeing her mama very shortly, so I thought I’d whip up a quick toy so that I wouldn’t be showing up empty-handed. (I’m working on a vest too, but I probably won’t have it done in time.)

It’s the Braided Ball pattern. I somehow had it in my head that this was an entrelac project, but when I actually looked at it, it’s composed of 6 strips, which are woven around each other and then grafted into loops.

The knitting itself couldn’t be more straightforward, just a bunch of stockinette strips (not even tubes; you take advantage of stockinette’s curl so that part doesn’t show.) The piecing is a little more complex, though not too difficult. I sewed all the pieces together at my last knitting group meeting while chatting.

It looks really cool for the amount of work.

cool toy

I finished it, showed it to my knitting buddies, and happily went back home to look at more pictures of ones that other people had made.

But after looking at a couple, I realized that mine looked different. I’d made a mistake. A minor one; minor enough that I couldn’t tell by looking at the low-res copy I’d had to hand at the knitting group. Minor enough that it still works (by “works”, I mean that the loops are all held in place by other loops.) Minor enough that it took me a half hour of fiddling to even figure out what I did.

But there is a mistake.

Look at this view.

cool toy

If you trace one of the yellow strips from top to bottom, it goes over a pink strip, then under a pink strip, then over a blue and under a blue. That’s what they’re all supposed to do. Over and under each in turn. But if you trace the path of the upper blue strip from left to right, you’ll see that it goes over a pink strip, then under BOTH the pink and yellow strip before going over another yellow.

The correctly-knit versions have a more delightfully complex texture, and are a little fuller-looking. But! I still like how this one looks, it’s well-knit, and it’s a baby toy, not a final exam. I’m keeping it the way it is, after one run through the wash to full it slightly.

(Also, I wove in all the ends before I noticed the problem. Not a knitting jury in the land would convict me!)

What do you do with mistakes like that? Do you call them “design features?” Or do they keep you awake at night until you rip them out? I must admit that it does make me itch enough that I will probably knit another one for the baby gift pile just to see it put together the right way, but I’d probably knit another anyway because they are super fun and use very little yarn (each strip used 13-14 g of commercial worsted weight yarn that I got from the freebie bin at the yarn swap.)

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2 Responses

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  1. fillyjonk said, on June 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    What I do with mistakes? It depends. Sometimes, like in the most recent quilt top I made, I said, “That will be my ‘humility patch'” (Like the Amish who supposedly made an intentional mistake in quilts to highlight human imperfection). Mainly I did it because ripping out would have really been a pain.

    Some knitting mistakes, I’ve ripped back, but only if (a) I notice them enough that they really, really bug me or (b) it’s an easy fix. A miscrossed cable in densely cabled socks, I’d probably leave if I didn’t see it until nearly the end, but a screwed-up armscye on a sweater would be redone.

  2. tchemgrrl said, on June 21, 2012 at 11:23 am

    That sounds pretty close to my usual, too. This one was kind of an interesting mistake to me because it’s an odd mixture of “really obvious” (to anyone who’s looked at the pattern) and “no one will ever notice” (because how many people will be looking at it next to the pattern?) It’ll work as a baby toy so I’m happy.


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