In a most unusual bit of serendipity, I actually DID change sketchbooks as I began this blog. Not intentionally. It just worked out that way. My last sketch in the previous sketchbook happened to be the drawing announcing Knitterly Arts in a sketchbook. Then, as I began to draw on the very first page of a fresh brand-new sketchbook, I messed up.

At the school where I teach art, I often hear students say, “I messed up!” as they crumple their piece of paper, unhappy with the first lines they’ve put down on the page. If I can catch them before they crumple the paper, I tell them to try to make something of the mistake…work with it to see if it can be incorporated into their drawing in some way, or draw something entirely different around it, using it as a springboard for a new drawing.

Of course, getting a fresh sheet of paper is always a possibility. When I realized I had inadvertently drawn the round END of the right knitting needle, instead of the POINT of it, I just turned the page and began again. The result of the second drawing you saw in the previous post.

But when I drew downtown at the Ciener Botanical Gardens on Friday, I wanted to see what might happen if I just drew around the “mistake”. The above drawing was the end result: it almost looks as if the needles knitted the scene…the vines and brick walls of the garden alcove dangling from the needles.


I nearly always have a mistake or two in my sock knitting. I have knitted many pairs and STILL I make little mistakes. This recent pair I finished had some issues in the decreasing of the toe. I think I get a bit too excited that I’m nearing the end and I forget to knit a row in between the decrease rows. I deal with those mistakes in any number of ways depending on the weather.

1. I may just leave the mistake. Especially if it doesn’t seem to affect the overall fit or feel of the item being made.

2. If it’s a dropped stitch, I definitely make sure it is secured somehow. But typically I use a crochet hook to loop the dropped stitch up the rows and into place. (easy fix)

3. Or I may “tink” back to the offending stitch and re-do it, then knitting back to where I was and on.

That’s what I did with this sock: I tinked back a couple of rows so that I could add the knit row in between where it’s supposed to go. I actually have a sock where I did the entire toe area with just the decrease rows and it feels a bit funny on my foot. I wear it anyway, but I learned that it’s worth a bit of extra time to back up and knit the toe area correctly.

I certainly would NOT crumple up my half-knitted (or nearly finished) sock and throw it away because of a mistake or two!! I actually like the fact that my knitting and drawings show evidence of a less-than-perfect human being behind the creation!

My husband says,”It gives it character!”

I’m with him! 😉

6 thoughts on “Mistakes

  1. slmann says:

    I’m with you, I see mistakes has happy creative detours! I teach kids at the park and if they drop a blob a paint on the paper I suggest repeating the paint blog in several others place as part of the design. The suggestion always makes them laugh. – Sharon

  2. freebirdsings says:

    I like your picture with the knitting needles. I feel like a canopy is ready to be lowered to offer some shade. I keep making mistakes in my knitting too. I am definitely, very definitely human if “to err is human” is true! I tend to work around my mistakes. If I had to remove them I wouldn’t finish very many projects!

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