Solving problems that don’t exist

So one thing I’m noticing as I’m working on heavily patterned or Latvian-style mittens is that I’m a nutcase — and sometimes in a bad way.

So close!
So close!

The front and back of mittens like this are divided by a one-stitch stripe on each side. It’s a neat little line that glides all the way up the mitten until you get to the top and then — disaster! That faithful little stripe dissolves into a zigzagging graft across the top where you join the front and back stitches.

It drives me right up the wall. I’m pretty ADD, and the more you learn about ADD, the more you learn that it’s not about a lack of focus, but inappropriate focus. People with ADD tend to either get lost in finicky details, or blow things off completely. I see it in my boyfriend sometimes: it takes him forever to chop an onion, for example, because he gets so caught up in doing it right. He can create one precise little miracle of neat onion slices in the time it takes for me to wash, seed and chop a couple of bell peppers and half a head of cabbage, start the rice cooker and tell him four very, very stupid jokes.

Part of managing ADD is learning when to keep that nutty perfectionism in check, and when to let it off the leash. I struggle a lot to get things done on time and to allow myself to make mistakes. For me, knitting is one area where “good enough” just plain isn’t: it’s my pastime, so nobody can tell me I’m doing it wrong, and nobody has to know how crazy critical I can get. I love being this picky, because I’m constantly pushing myself to make things better, neater, faster and more precise. I’d rather rip something out ten times than fudge it and leave a less-than-perfect that will stare up at me with big, teary, betrayal-filled eyes every time I look at it.

So this mitten? Driving me batty. I know I could keep that stripe going with some steeper decreases, but that wouldn’t solve that last bit where I’d want that stripe to travel across the flat mitten-top. Maybe I could fake it and do some chain stitch across the top. Or maybe I could grit my teeth, fudge the top and remember that I’m making these as a birthday present for someone at the office and will never have to look closely at them again after I’ve given them away.

Ugh. On second thought, I think I’m going with the chain stitch, unless anyone out there in Internet-land has a better idea.

2 thoughts on “Solving problems that don’t exist”

  1. I think a regular bind-off chain will look like that if you take care not to twist the stitches. It’d be a little more complicated, since you’d have to hold both sides together and bind them off as one….

    chain stitch may be easier after all.

    I do agree, it looks sloppy with the graft.

  2. Good call on the binding off; I hadn’t even thought of that. And I’m glad you agree with me on the sloppiness — makes me feel way less crazy!

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