Sunday, August 22, 2010

The unravelling.

One of the handy things about having a blog for me, is that I get to document the projects that didn't work. The projects that for whatever reason wont be completed. The projects that will be cut up and used for scraps or unravelled later to become something else.

Those failures have their place in my archives. They were begun with a burst of inspiration, their materials carefully gathered and the pattern worked out or studied. They were drawn or cut or cast on or sewn or knit or hooked.

There was so much promise.

And then there wasn't.

For whatever reason it stopped working. It stopped being enjoyable. There were too many mistakes. The wrong size was chosen. It was done and undone and redone so many times that it became messy. It became a chore.

But I think its an important part of the journey to let these projects go. To acknowledge them. To accept that you probably learnt a thing or two along the way. To realise that you aren't a failure, just that the project wasn't a success.

I cast on an Eden for Jazzy the day I finished Pepper's. I was excited and it was going to be a great dress for wearing over jeans and a top in winter and by itself in summer.

But somewhere along the line I realised I was over it. I had pulled bits apart and reknit them so many times that the stitch count was all wrong and the knitting was a mess.

To make my final decision I got her to try on what I had so far. She didn't like it at all and said she'd never wear it. She thought the arm holes were far too big and it looked stretched in places and she wasn't mad on the colour. At one stage she spun around and pulled half the stitches off the needles.

And then I realised I wanted the size four circs it was using to start the Olearia.

So I pulled it apart and cast on this.

And I'm happy that I have a blog to document it and remember it.

Are you ok with your failures? Do you blog them?

I hope your weekend is a happy one. We are trying on clothes to see what fits and what doesn't, playing Monopoly and singing along to Abba. XX


  1. I do sometimes document the failures, it's right to see and show the good, the bad, and the just plain ugly. For I believe much is learned in those failed attempts. I am mostly ok with the failures (after the dust settles and the crying stops ;). It can be frustrating but, I know that if it's something I truly want to figure out, I can leave it be and come back to the drawing board at another time with fresh perspective and armed with a seam ripper.

    Now, where did I put that Abba CD?

  2. Great that you can be philosophical and take the learning experiences in your stride. Knowing when to fold 'em and all that.

    Personally, I think the top would be selvagable for someone else... bound off, blocked and presented as an "I made this for you"..... It looks fine.

    Thanks for the encouragement to keep going with the sticks. I''ve overcome the intimidation hurdle and am onto my second garment.

  3. Maybe it's not a failure Kate, just a UFO. Put away in the cupboard and looked at further down the track. You might feel a little more kindly towards it and inspired to pick up where you left off and finish it.

    Blogging about failures, I'm lucky to create enough to blog about altogether let alone, the good, the bad and the ugly!

    Enjoy your afternoon, love the raspberry pink of your new project. reminds me of gelati, yum.

  4. I think that a lot of people would be able to relate to your post! I had a similar experience with a little hat for my daughter (here is a link to the post if you are interested
    Good luck with the new project.

  5. Hmmm, if I blogged about my failures & unfinished projects my blog would be about nothing else! I'm glad you have such a philosophical view on it though...!

    On another note, is nae your poor girl freezing her booty off?! Or is she just a true Victorian? ;)

  6. Oh dear! so much unravelling! I blog my disasters, gotta keep it real!

    Love the Olearia....

  7. Lots of failures here and I really should record them :) But by the time I decide it's a failure its become a UFO and been lost among the pile of UFOs

  8. Great philosophy. It reminds me why I'm such a bad crafter... I can't let the failures go. And I forget the number one rule for getting good at anything: practice, practice, practice again!!

    Lots and lots to learn! Thanks so much for the reminder. x

  9. First of all I love the pigtails and the leggings so so cute. And I thankfully haven't had any disasters lately but if and when I do I will surely talk about them.

    Do tell how the Olearia is going I have been eyeing that one for a bit :)

  10. I think it is great that you document your failures, it shows us where we have come from when we look back. You could have salvaged the top for Indi or she didnt like it either. The new top looks lovely in the pink!

  11. Do you know just how much I love this post?

    Failures are more frequent I think than we would often have everyone know...

    This is such a refereshing post Kate.

    And anyway, when its all said and done its all bout the journey rather than the destination otherwise we would just go out an buy it, right?

    x t

  12. What a great post. Yes, I do blog about failures. I mention my shitting knitting and this week will be showing the crappy sewing of have just done on a hat! x

  13. I am always just so amazed at how clever your "failures" are - I would be stoked to be able to knit anything you do!! Lovely sunny day here - bliss!

  14. my blog started to show myself the positives, but I am starting to learn to embrace the failures and blog about those too. it is just as healthy and therapeutic. i have found it healthy and therapeutic to read about others failures and realise that we are all the same. you win some, you lose some.

  15. Um - Yes!

    Some months I feel it's all about failures, then I pick myself back up, dust off and start afresh. Some of those failures are forever hanging around as UFO's some actually do get finished a few years later. It's all about the learning process.

    Great post! BTW I love the top!

  16. You hit the nail on the head with another great post. I will always love the simplicity with which you write/document.
    I have recently taken up the crochet blanket that I tried to talk myself out of and was going to unravel until you talked me back into it. I actually like it again. So thanks!

  17. OOOHHH she must have been freezing out there!
    Nice post

  18. It's a good way to look at things rather than letting it get you down. The dress is really pretty, I'm sure it will be perfect for someone special. xo

  19. No I haven't blogged about any of them yet Kate, but it's really a great idea. Coz once you unravel, rework, pull apart, there is no longer any trace of it is there? Thanks for this post. It's made me think.
    Thanks also for the visit the other day. Appreciate it. x

  20. Yes I'm total failure documenter- me of the reject heads. I find taking photos of failures often gives me the step back, fresh look I need to in helping me figure out where I went wrong.
    Most of the time I'm Ok with my bad heads, but when I've done 3 in a row it does begin to get me down and make me doubt myself and not feel to good about me either.
    I wish I had a bit more of your attitude xo

  21. Love this post and I think it is so important to learn from those projects that went awry. I have many that are just stuffed in a drawer somewhere. The question is, what to do with them? Wish I was better at recycling : )

  22. So near and yet so far!

    I hate it when my needles are on a UFO but it does sometimes spur on the decision making :-)

  23. I can knit, but not very well. I admire you that you just do not give up. I think I would have just left it and wait until one of your daugters grew into it! Yup it's true, he still hasn't noticed my hair, but there again, being a legal eagle for lots of years, he didn't notice the shoes, handbags or clothes either. Sometimes I like being quite ivisable, lol!

  24. Way to go! It's so important to be willing to stop and say no. Much better than slogging through and never wanting to look at it or wear it!

    I can't begin to tell you how many things I have pulled out- including a full panel, about 6ft. long (sorry, about 2 meters) of a fisherman's afghan. I liked the ending so much, that I hated the start, so it had to go. Live and learn.

  25. Hi Kate,
    It's pretty possible I have blogged about such things and that I didn't even realise they were failures at the time. hehe...isn't hindsight a wonderful thing:)
    Your blog is really brilliant, all your work looks lovely. I really, really love the bunting dress from earlier on. Thanks for your lovely visit and sweet message, it's amazing how it can really lift your day:)

  26. Shame that it did not turn out, but glad that you are enjoying the Olearia (does this mean that you have sorted out a paypal account for your online purchases!)

    Love the colour. I have a test on the needles for Tikki at the moment:)

    I document everything - and some of the things that I have blogged are still in a box:)

  27. I don't document failures because I never have any. Everything I ever attempt turns out exactly as I plan it to. You would never hear any swearing when I am sewing and I cannot remember the last time I used a seam ripper or unpicker.

    Or I could be completely lying.
    When things don't turn out as planned- and sometimes I have whole days of it, I cannot leave the sewing room until I have completed something and it has turned out as I wanted it to.

  28. Such a shame. I was loving that little dress/vest. Good on you for just getting on with a new project. I'm just getting back into crafting and am new to blogging, but would like to think I would be able to bring myself to put the failures out there with the things I'm happy with. Love the new little project.
    Have a lovely week.

  29. Documenting froggings is a good idea, I think. Especially if you have the strength of character to actually frog! My current approach to dealing with projects I fall out of love with is to put them as far down into the WIP basket that I might never find them again. Ahem.

    I love the Ole-whatsit though. It's similar in style to the tiny tealeaves that I got my mother-in-law to knit for Abi! It's absolutely gorgeous, and I'll have to blog it before she wears it again because it's currently clean!!

  30. still awed by your productivity and speed - its dumbfounding !
    makes me wonder what i do with my days .....its a mystery.

  31. so many things to love about that little frock, but you know when you have passed the point of no return. lovely post kate. olearia is going to be a stunning little number

  32. Absolutely! The mistakes and mishaps need to be documented... because if you're anything like me you'll forget the mistakes you've made and do them all again!!!
    Just the process of writing the blog entry about the project that didn't turn out just right helps to re-inforce the learning experience for you and from there comes more growth.
    BRAVO to you Kate!

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I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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