Thursday, November 3, 2011

Are You OCD?

This is just a little thought-are you OCD with your knitting? I am just going to give a few observations about people I watch knit.

I, personally, am OCD about details. I was taught by grandmothers and great-grandmothers that if you are making something, make it right. My great-grandmother that taught me to embroidery at age 5 would take my daily lesson and look at the back when I was finished. If it wasn't "right", she would take out the stitches and make me re-do the damn thing. I learned very quickly that it was best to do it "right" the first time.

Now 58 years later, I am not so meticulous about my embroidery. But I am finicky with my knitting or crochet. I want it "right". I may take something out several times until I am satisfied. When the shoulders didn't do "right" on the Jacob fleece sweater, I redid it twice. It drove me insane that I could never figure out how you do a sock gusset "in pattern" with the giraffe socks. Those darn Estonians-huh?

So today I am baking a cake, plying my yarn, and I just sat down for a quick sandwich. I then picked up my no-brainer scarf that is garter stitch. It is taking forever to get to 200 stitches. So just for fun-sies I decided to time myself knitted across 170 stitches with an increase at each end. 6 mins. I started to flag towards the end, because the dryer timer went off and I got distracted.

So this is a little extreme maybe. But not too bad an obsession. I just want things to be "right".
And that is my right, not anyone elses.

Now I have a friend who knits teeny lace, and occasionally big lace. But she can tell you exactly to the stitch how many stitches she has knit. And how many beads, etc. I don't have the math skills, and believe me, I have tried to think how one does calculate that.

I watched one friend fiddle around with tiny beads on a scarf she was knitting. Across the table another person was knitting the same scarf and not fiddling. There was a difference, but probably not to the average person. It is noticeable to some one who fiddles a lot.

And a couple weeks ago K at knit night was talking about how she didn't like the way the drop sleeve on her sweater was a little bit tight under the armpit. And that was the end of that discussion. I guess you know I wanted to rip it off her body and "fix" it. But I sighed and restrained myself.

So I am just curious how one becomes OCD with this stuff. Is it just a matter of training, or boredom, or what? I just know that I fudged one stitch on each side of my front and back yokes on the present sweater, and it is driving me nuts. But not enough to rip it out for the third time. In another year or so, I will forget that one stitch on both sides. There is an advantage to getting older.

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