16 January 2009

the return of socks

I don't know if anyone has noticed but there has been a complete and utter lack of sock knitting on my end for a little while now. I have to publicly admit that the reason for this is because I became so intensely frustrated with the last pair I was working on, Mexican Monarchs, that I banished them and refused to work on them anymore.

Now that I started a new pair for mom, I decided it was time to pull out the little traitors and see what could be done about them.

Why are they traitors? Well, let me tell you...

Anything that refuses to fit you properly after you spend hours and hours creating it (and yes, I did a gauge swatch before beginning!!! I did! I swear!) is highly offensive in my book. Imagine the nerve of it. (This would be why I am not a sweater knitter, I don't think I could handle the betrayal. Honestly, I read Yarnhog's blog and I don't know how she handles it, the woman has nerves of steel.)

Here they are:

They are pretty much done. One needs a couple more inches of foot and then they both need toe decreases, not really that much work left. Took me a while to get over it but now that I have a new pair on needles that are playing nice with me (and the temperatures are -2000F and we are supposed to get more snow which makes wool socks very appealing), I decided that I should really try to salvage these. So I shoved them on my feet, silently calling them every filthy name in the book and...and...

Ummm...they fit.

There is one small pucker near the heel on one (I know what that is from) but there is nothing in them that would cause me to give them such a long time out. I have no idea what my issue was when I decided these things were a disaster.

Maybe its the color. Its surprising to me but I'm not thrilled with the darkness of it. I thought I would be since so much of my wardrobe and much of my other artwork is in a darker palette. But it would seem that when I knit socks, I want color. It doesn't have to be neon but its got to be better then black.

I'm still also amazed at how much different hand knit socks feel. I still remember the first time I put on the Olive and Pimento socks after they were done. I looked at mom and said, "I do believe I've been wearing the wrong size sock my entire life."

And its true. They are such a custom fit that until you have a pair, you don't realize just how unfortunate some store bought socks can be. (I sort of had a notion of this anyway. Honestly, how can one pair of socks fit a range of foot sizes from 8-11? Either the size 8 woman is walking around in socks that are basically the equivalent of a non-pregnant woman wearing maternity clothing or the size 11 foot feels more like it has a tattoo covering it rather then fabric. I could never figure it.)

Now Mexican Monarchs are sitting on the coffee table beside my chair and I am putting a few rows on them little by little. I figure I've waited this long to finish them, I'm not in a huge rush to get through them.

Mom's socks are chugging along:

Those double point needles are new for me. They're from Knitpicks and I really do like them but they are about an inch longer then the wood ones I usually use. I admit that I am slower at knitting the cuff but that little difference in length has slowed me down even more. I've been glowering at this sock the entire time I've been working on it. I need to stop, I'm going to give it a complex.

I'm also wondering how this pair is going to pan out. I usually knit both socks at the same time. By this I mean I knit one from the center pull yarn and the other from the end on the outside of the yarn ball. I knit the cuff of one, then go knit the other. Knit the heel on one, go knit the heel on the other. And on and on. That way I finish them both at the same time. (The Yarn Harlot has embedded a tremendous fear in me of Second Sock Syndrome.)

But this time I can't do that. Why? Well, because I am the only person on the planet that is challenged when it comes to winding a center pull yarn cake. There is no center pull yarn end to be found in the yarn I'm using for mom's socks.

This happens to me often, I don't know why. Normally if I'm knitting just one big thing, I don't really care since I'll just work from the outside yarn but this time its different. I'll have to do one at a time. Luckily their recipient won't let me stop at just one sock. The woman will walk around the house with one completed sock on her foot, the other one bare and croon about how nice it would be to have a second one until it is done. The motivation will not be lacking.

Speaking of mom, she is knitting as I'm writing this. She will be graduating from her practice piece to a garter stitch scarf tomorrow. She has also decided that her long term goal is to knit this. I'm so proud, she is a knitter. *sniff*

Oh, and Dooley has a major complaint with this new development of mom learning to knit. He's used to me ignoring him in favor of the yarn and sticks but he has not yet accepted that his mom is now doing the same. In fact, he stands in front of her and chirps loudly when she picks up her knitting.

I scolded him for not being supportive but I don't think he took me seriously since I was giggling the whole time. Besides, he's an easy going fellow. After I yelled at him he hopped up on the sofa, rolled over on his back and looked at me like this:

He uses his cuteness like a weapon.

Now if I could only teach him to knit....


Leann said...

I had read on a blog about knitting one sock inside the other, so you knit them at the same time. I can't find where I saw this, but I did find this: http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEfall06/FEATextreme2in1.html

Gisela Towner said...

Those socks are awesome -- they look soooo warm!
My neighbor, Buck the dog, left a package at my door a couple of days ago. He got me 2-at-a-time Socks by Melissa Morgan Oakes. He's pretty cool that way. I'm still on my first learning sock, from another book.
I suspect that socks may be something that I need to learn in person...