I’ve been knitting an adult sized sweater and making mistakes. And thinking about repairing mistakes.

The vulnerable space of opening up a knit sweater to repair a mistake

You can find Part 1 with the introduction to the process and a brief reflection on mistakes and misteps being the reality of being alive here:

1. Mistakes are going to happen if we are alive.

As the attached photograph demonstrates, repairs are messy, which leads to the next thought.

2. Opening up a mistake to repair it feels vulnerable.

I’m not going to say that a Practice of Repair is going to be filled with good feelings.

It would probably feel better to just say, “Yes. You’re right. I’ll fix it,” and then walk away and not explore any further. Or to say, “All of us make mistakes. Let’s just leave it alone.”

Or to have a great big fight with the people who matter most to us to deflect attention from the mistakes in our lives.

In order to do the relatively minor repair on the sweater, I had to get close to the part of the sleeve that had the mistake in it, and then I had to let the stitches off the needle and let the stitches unravel. The process of working towards a fix looked a lot worse before it looked better.

Personal growth requires getting close to the parts of ourselves that are uncomfortable and finding safe, healthy spaces to enter the vulnerability that will allow us to bring what needs healing out into the light.

As I tried to pick up stitches and re-create the pattern in the new context of this small section, I made mistake after mistake. I had to pull the stitches back and start again. Which leads me to another practice for knitting and daily life…

3. Checking in regularly means less time between the Mistake and the Practice of Repair

4. There might be more than one way to work towards healing.

5. It might take a lot longer than we thought it would!

6. Sometimes things cannot be fixed!

How do you hold yourself gently in the vulnerable space between becoming aware of a mistake and opening it up to work towards a possible repair?