A very good knitterly friend called me last weekend with a problem. The problem was that she'd knit the whole back panel of a nifty pullover with very cool yarn (a silk/wool blend) that she'd gotten for herself as a kind of reward (in fact, the whole project was a kind of reward for herself) and found her gauge was off and the darned thing was too small.
Yep, she'd knit and knit and knit and discovered the problem rather far down the road. You can swatch all you like and still have a problem like this because swatches are only a small piece of the whole and therefore really won't show you the whole picture, such as when you were knitting during a thunderstorm or while watching a suspense/thriller or thinking about a nagging project at the office -- whatever it was that caused you to knit a tad tighter than you'd done your swatch and therefore cause the whole thing to be a very expensive dishcloth.
But, all was not lost.
First of all, she had more yarn, so she could just start knitting over and use the already-knit portion as a way of checking that she wasn't making the darned thing too small again.
Second, she could frog the offending portion, reskein the yarn, and then wash it and hang it to dry so as to get the knit kinks out of it. (It helps to have a ball-winder for frogging major projects.)
Third -- and this is the most important -- she was certain to get Bad-Knitting-Day-Makeup-Sex.
You see, she's in a new and wonderful relationship with a guy who doesn't know beans about knitting but he loves her to pieces, so if he came home to find her upset about a project she had to frog you just know he was going to say, "Oh, honey, let me kiss it and make it better." And we all know that in new relationships you go from "kiss it" to wild screaming sex in less than 5 seconds.
Those of us who have been in relationships for a while (and for most of us that means we've been married more than, say, 2 years) know that we're never going to get Bad-Knitting-Day-Makeup-Sex without (A) asking for it specifically, and/or (B) promising a few favors in return. It's not that our significant others don't love us; it's that they have figured out that we really know that a bad day of knitting is still better than our best day at the office. Give us some chocolate and/or a decent bottle of wine, and we'll get over the bad knitting day all by ourselves. In the meantime, they will tackle something that will ensure they get I'm-So-Glad-I-Married-You-Sex -- you know, taking out the garbage without being asked, or changing lightbulbs, or just making our favorite coffee and steamed milk (to compensate for the near-hangover from drinking all that wine while we frogged).
"This Old Spouse" pretty much knows when to jump into bed right away (and it happens less and less frequently) and when to hold out for, say, a wild tumble in the laundry room while the washer is on the spin cycle.
But I think there are times when we need to go back to those heady days when we were first in love and anything was an occasion for sex: a bad day, a good day, putting the groceries away, getting out the shower, once for every letter delivered by the postman . . . you get the idea.
Bad-Knitting-Day-Makeup-Sex is definitely the place to start.