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‘The way to knit is the way that suits you, and the way that suits the wool and the pattern and the shape that you are currently working on. Show me any “mistake” and I will show you that it is only a misplaced pattern or an inappropriate technique. There are patterns that include dropped stitches and twisted stitches. There are projects which should be as tight as you can possibly knit; there are others where you have to relax to the point of lethargy in order to make them loose enough. I’ve not yet found a pattern which includes a split stitch; this is the only real mistake I know.’ – Elizabeth Zimmerman
I’ve always been comfortable with mistakes, in life, and in my knitting. My nephew (aged 6) has just provided me with a story to explain myself. Recently, my beloved Nan-nan died. She was just shy of 90 years old and we will be interring her ashes next to my Grandad later this month. To me, she was Nan-nan, to my nephew and niece (her Great Grandchildren) she was ‘Super Gran’. How much cooler than Great Grandmother is that! My nephew, saddened by losing his ‘Super Gran’ has been trying to make sense of the whole thing and was asking questions about what happens to the ‘skin’ (bodies) of people who’ve died. All questions were duly answered and he went off to think about it. He returned with one last question ‘Grandma,’ he asked of my mother, ‘do all churches have skin gardens?’
Perfection in mistakery.
Now, thanks to his mistake, I won’t be standing in the church graveyard interring my Grand Mother. I’ll be with my nephew and niece ‘putting Super Gran in the church skin garden like buried treasure because she’s precious’.
A simple mistake in language can make all the difference to an experience.
Now, of course, this sort of thing can go horribly wrong, like the time I was informed by a small person ‘Auntie Hayley, you look like a working girl.’ Preparing to be offended I looked down at my outfit, check shirt, jeans, big boots….what’s ‘working girl’ about that? Finally it dawned on me, ‘working girl’ is clearly the feminine form of ‘workman’ when you’re four. I stomped off in my boots un-offended and chuckling, but it was a close one!