I have always been stubborn. I wanted to be right. I can also be very impatient at times. Bring that to knitting and disappointment is sure to await. I’ve been in situations where I have noticed mistakes several inches back and have called them “design aspects” rather than going back and fixing them. I have also made things too short on numerous occasions because if you looked at it from the right angle (and stretched it a wee bit) it was “two inches from the end.” Then I would have to rip it out and go back, increasing my time more than if I had knit a few more rows to begin with.
The first time I designed a pair of socks (it was also the second time I’d knitted a pair of socks) both of these aspects of my personality reared their ugly heads and breathed fire on my knitting mojo. I barely swatched and the gauge I got was incorrect.
As I knit I ignored what was plainly obvious to everyone else. “That’s pretty big,” said my mom. “Are you sure that isn’t to big too big,” said my boyfriend. “That’s a huge sock,” said my friend. On and on it went all the way through both socks. I was just too stubborn to admit that they were right.
When I tried them on my heart sunk, as did the legs of the socks. They didn’t just sink, they gaped open at the top like fishes’ mouths. At least my feet had plenty of wiggle room, I hadn’t started decreasing too soon. In fact, my feet could have held parties in the socks there was so much room.
My mom didn’t say a word as she photographed my feet for me but, I could tell she, even as a non-knitter, knew they weren’t right. “I wanted loose lounge socks,” became my excuse. I wore them to school once and then they slowly sunk down to the depths of my sock drawer where they remained except for a few bitterly cold days when I needed another layer on my feet.
Finally, I decided I was going to unravel the socks and remake them. The wool was nice, I just needed to find a pattern for them that would showcase it in all it’s glory. So I picked the Helix Socks by Sean Riley from my book Brave new Knits. I had been wanting to knit those socks since I had bought the book three years ago.
On Friday night in July I took a deep breath and unraveled the first sock and cast on. The Ambiente was surprisingly forgiving despite the fact that it had thinned in a few spots and had to be cut and tied back together. I think it knew I was trying my best to make things right.
I knit through the weekend and by Monday I had finished the first sock. I meant to finish the next sock that week but I got busy knitting birthday presents and washcloths and before I knew it school had started and I was knitting for the craft show. And the sock still hadn’t had its heel turned yet.
A week or two ago I decided that I was burnt out of knitting hats. I pull the sock out and started up again. It didn’t take long and soon I had new pair of socks. I finished them on Thursday and today I wove in the last of the ends and even had some leftovers to reintroduce into the Blanket. I decided that I would dedicate a post to these socks as the yarn has waited so patiently for so long (and even accidently went through the washing machine and survived somehow!). This will hopefully give them the glory they deserve.
See the ‘Helixes’?