Perfect versus Good Enough

Have you ever been working on a crochet project and run into a mistake you made? All of us have (maybe not on every project we make, but on some of them). If the mistake is just a few stitches back, it’s an easy fix. But what if the mistake is many rows, rounds or inches back in your work? Now that’s more difficult and time-consuming to fix! Do you want to take the time to go back and fix that mistake, making the project take longer to finish or do you just want to finish up the project and ignore the mistake? I’ve been in this position many times and I don’t always make the same decision on what to do. I ask myself, “Does this project need to be perfect or is good enough sufficient?”

 

In my mind, the answer to this question lies in the time-frame that I (or you) have for the project and the intended use/recipient of the project. If this project is made for a family member or friend, I probably want it to be just about perfect. If the project is going to be photographed for a publication (such as in a crochet book or magazine), then I don’t want to have ANY mistakes in it. There is an unwritten Murphy’s Law that says, “If there is a mistake in a crochet project for photography, then that’s the exact spot where the photograph will be taken!” I’ve seen it happen before and it’s not a pretty picture (plus it can be confusing for those who are making that particular project because the project in the picture doesn’t look like what they’re making)!

 

What if the project is given to a charity and the person who will receive it won’t know who it came from? I guess it’s a matter of personal pride in your work or the ever-present “time constraint” that says “You don’t have the time to go back and fix that mistake; it’ll be good enough”. In my mind, the mistake isn’t as important in this situation and I can live with a mistake a lot easier than I can if the project is going to be photographed for publication. But it’s not always easy for me to leave the mistake alone because I’m a perfectionist (and a recovering perfectionist when it comes to housework, but that’s another story!).

 

How about errors in crochet patterns? Some designers come up with lots of patterns and quickly self-publish them or sell lots of designs to publishers for their books and/or magazines. They type up the pattern quickly and never proof-read their patterns. Then they move on to the next design and work on it at lightning speed! Well, I can’t work that way and I think that’s wrong (unless you’re the sole bread-winner in your household and need all that income). I think there should be more pride in what we do as designers and/or crocheters (or ask ourselves “Why am I a designer and/or a crocheter”?).

 

Being a perfectionist, as I am, has its good points and bad points. I don’t design as many projects as some other designers, but I design what I like and I hope others enjoy making my designs. I don’t want to have errors in my patterns, which often confuse those who purchase and make those designs, so I give my patterns my utmost attention to make sure they’re correct before I sell them.

 

Note: If you find a mistake in one of my patterns, please let me know so I can correct it and forward the corrected copy to everyone who has purchased that pattern. I strive for “perfect” patterns, but I’m only human and an error can creep in from time to time.

 

If you have a question about one of my patterns, please e-mail me and ask me your question(s). I love to help others understand crochet patterns and I learn a lot about how patterns can be interpreted differently. This, in turn, helps me write my patterns better! If you’ve purchased one or more of my crochet patterns and you like the way it’s written, please let me know (or write a review on this website). I like to know both the good and the bad!

 

So what do you do when you find a mistake in your crochet project? Do you go back and fix it? Do you leave it alone and say to yourself, “The Amish intentionally make a mistake in their handwork because only God is perfect”? Do you make the same mistake over and over to create a “design element” in the project? Do you hide the mistake by crocheting a flower and sewing it right onto the mistake?

 

How about when you find an error in a crochet pattern? Do you give up, ask a friend for help, or try to figure it out on your own? With the plethora of free crochet patterns available these days, there are lots of errors in crochet patterns, making it difficult and often frustrating to finish the project with enjoyment. It’s truly enjoyable to find and work with error-free patterns!

 

We’re all human and mistakes/errors happen. So how many mistakes/errors are “acceptable”? I think that answer is going to be different for different people.

 

I’d love to hear from you about how you deal with mistakes in your crochet projects and errors in crochet patterns! Let’s all learn and grow together!

 

Happy crocheting,

Susan

 

P.S. Voting is now open for The Crochet Awards! You can cast your votes here.

 

And Crochetville is holding their annual National Crochet Month Blog Tour again during the whole month of March (that’s just 2 days away now!). You can read all about the designers who are participating and the daily prizes here.

 

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