Some censuring Readers will scornfully say, why hath this Lady writ her own life? Since none cares to know whose daughter she was or whose wife she is, or how she was bred, or what fortunes she had, or how she lived, or what humor or disposition she was of? I answer that is true, that 'tis to no purpose to the Readers, but it is to the Authoress, because I write it for my own sake, not theirs. ~Margaret Cavendish in 1655

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

delusions of gauge

I am not the best knitter in the world. This is a known fact and one not up for dispute. I knit to make myself happy and to perserve what passes for my sanity. This is also a known fact and one, also, not up for dispute. Currently, I am in the midsts of a sock-mania. I knit socks of various types, such as big boy boot socks, fingerling-wear-with-loafers socks and just about everything inbetween. This July, I joined a Knit-A-Long (KAL) for socks. The basic recipe starts as such: sock yarn + size 1 needles (glorified toothpicks) and 63 stitches. I, being in the midsts of said sock-mania, thought to myself, "This sounds great! It doesn't matter that I have 3 different pairs of socks currently in progress, this will be terrific! I have the needles (which I promptly went out and bought) and the yarn (which I had picked up the the previous month as souviner yarn from Florida) and plenty of time on my hands, so why not?"

Did I mention that I occassionally lie to myself?

Then I thought to myself, "Heck, I'm rockin' the socks, I can just follow the directions and these socks will turn out great!" (Was I the only one who heard Tony the Tiger in the last part of that sentance?) Thus, I followed the directions to a T. Without swatching. Without a care in my heart, and obviously, not a thought in my head of what could go wrong.

Did I forget to mention that I have exceptionally tight knitting? Stitches cry out in pain as they are bound to their brothern, row after row after tight row. I knew that I was a little short in yarn, so I didn't make the leg as long as I normally do. I knit both socks at the same time, so as to avoid SSS ( Second Sock Syndrom). I turned the heels on both socks and became concerned that the amount of wool left in the ball was looking a little thin, but I knit on. Just after turning the heel, I tried to put the sock on and found out that my foot was too large. Heck, my ankle was too large for the leg, but that did not deter me, the all-mighty sock knitter. No! This would just become a Cinderella Sock (a sock that everyone tries on until it fits someone to go home with). Luckily, Cousin Jamie fit the bill (barely), so I have a goal of finishing the socks for Cousin Jamie.

I knit and knit and knit until I am about halfway down the actual foot of the sock, when I run out of wool. Literally. I panic. A sock is not a sock if it stops at the arch and does not cover toes. I think its a rule. Like a big rule. Of course, this happens in September, months after I have started the socks and months after I have taken the wrapper off of the wool and I can't remember what I did with the label that has the name of the maker, colorway, country of origin or anything that would be remotely helpful. I believe I cursed and drank the night away when I finally figured this out.

The blinders have come off... I am an idiot and I don't dare reproduce at this point, since I can't hardly be responsible for a lousy pair of wool socks, how on earth will I keep track of a small human? This is horrid! I have made promises of socks and she has tried them on for pity sakes!!!! One cannot tease another with promises of handknit socks and not produce them forthwith. That is cruel.

I then find the label for the wool and a prayer of thanksgiving goes out to the goddess of wool and foolish knitters. I google and lo and behold... I find the company. I order the yarn and it comes in. How lovely it is in it's wooly goodness.

Thus, I am now finishing this ill-begotten sock project without any drinking. That is, until I have to kitchner stitch. How I end up with an odd amount of stitches when I started with an even amount confuses even the knitting gurus.

I believe, at this current rate, Cousin Jamie will have a lovely, snug (just hugging her feet a little tighter) pair of red wool socks for Valentines Day. What is 6 months between a knitter and her socks?

No comments: