Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Via con Dios...Year of the Sock

When I arrived in Indiana, my housewarming present from my yarn pusher, er my good friend Cynthia was a battered Yankee trash can that sent my blood running cold....and a beautiful little basket with some needles and a ball of brightly (and I mean brightly) colored sock yarn inside. She meant to turn me into a knitter.

For the first two years, she asked me "How are those socks coming?" and I'd answer "How in the world do you expect me to knit when I constantly have kids in my lap??!!"

She'd patiently respond "Ya know, pointy sticks can solve that."

But, in the Autumn of 2005, it all of a sudden seemed like my lap wasn't quite as busy, or that my daughter's destructive tendencies mellowed and her meanderings seemed to be guided less by impulse, and I could actually sit and occasionally even do something, so once I got rid of that nervous twitch I'd developed when she learned to walk....I took up those 5 little needles with about 3 rows on them and started to knit. It was peaceful. And like any good knitter, about 20 rows into a project, I saw another pattern which would make a great Christmas present.....dress socks for my husband! He'd never been happy with store-bought and had even had the gall curiosity to ask Cynthia if she'd be open to knitting him some. So I bought more wool, smaller needles (???) and sat aside the pair I was doing for myself and began knitting a wonderful, delightful Christmas present for him.

I swear that I checked the gauge! But the first sock seemed a little big...but that is what he got for Christmas. One sock....with a promise to have the other done by Epiphany.

"Do you have enough wool?" he asked.
"Yes, definitely. More than enough." I replied.
"Because this sock is really cozy, but it seems a little big." he tentatively stated.

I'm sure there was a flash of fury in my eyes, before my heart sank. "Ungrateful wretch" I thought. "I can correct that" I stated, and cast on the next sock... but in the process, I saw some really nice cotton yarn that would make beautiful socks for my baby goddaughter....and her sister...can't leave her out. And they were cute socks...but I was making it up as I went along, and neither pair fit....maybe someday I'll actually measure their feet and try again....

So sock #1, attempt #2 was finished on Valentines Day, and boy I needed a break from that pattern. It is NOT fair!!!! It is hard enough to finish a 2nd sock because you feel finished after the first. Now I have to do sock #3??????

So I went back to my patiently waiting multicolored yarn for me. I'd finished sock #1, and so now I started sock #2. Oh, LIFE IS CRUEL. My knitting ability had improved so much on all these dysfunctional socks that the stitches were so different the 2nd sock made sock #1 look like it was done by a nearsighted four year old. My sock pusher did not say a thing, bless her cursed soul, but then she affirmed that it was exactly what she would've done, when I ripped all the stitches from sock #1 in order to start over.

Oh but they were warm and cozy. Amazing. That is them on the right. The yarn is called "Vegas Lights" and it does remind me of the neon lights of home, and the dreaded gaudy carpet color-scheme in every casino on the Strip. Not usually my style, but you'll have to rip them off my cold, dead feet.

But, with the victory of a real PAIR of socks behind me, I rushed to cast on the 2nd sock (lets be real...it was the 3rd) of Jeff's and finished by his birthday....a final journey of 8 months. And everyone wants wool socks in July, right?

I breathed a sigh of relief and was ready to give the pattern back to my friend, when my beautiful angel of a son piped up "I would love to have a pair of socks just like Dad's." Sadistic brat, how could you hate your mother so???? "What a beautiful thought....to want to be just like Dad" I thought, and with the seemingly endless supply of Blackberry Ridge charcoal DK (which while it is supposed to match black, also has a troubling brownish tinge to it), I cast on 46 stitches (by our computations, completely correct, since his dad needed 64), and then I started on the ribbing.

My son's sleep is more akin to a coma or a deeply vegetative state...so once he was asleep, I pulled his foot over the side of his bunk and tried to get the 2 inches of sock on his foot....it wouldn't get past his toes. I stretched, I shoved, I yanked....to no avail. But I did break one of the size one needles that the sock was on...."drat, the kid broke my needle! Now I'm down to 3. I'll have to buy some more." So I gave up on the idea of trying to knit something in my house as a secret, and had him try on the one where I cast on 56 stitches. "It's a bit tight" the little infidel stated. 60. Here we go.

The only problem I encountered after this point was that the infinite ball of charcoal yarn did eventually run out, but happily, I had hubby sock monstrosity #1 to rip and then there once again was plenty. Both father and son have matching pairs of socks (with the exception of a different color toe on Chris's, so they end up in the right drawer). Now I'm just waiting for someone to thoughtlessly throw them in the dryer and rip out my heart.

I also knit three washcloths, three scarves, and started a couple of projects for me during this first year of knitting, and I am happily, addicted. But I doubt there will be another year so completely and tortuously dominated by socks.....Thank God. I blame that danged Yankee trash can.

Posted by Picasa


Robin said...

HA HA HA! I tried knitting socks and had all the same problems! Solution: knit Christmas stockings - you only need 1 of each and they don't need to "fit"!

Rebellious Pastor's Wife said...

A woman in my knitting group has a husband who's had one foot amputated.

The lucky woman can knit socks to her heart's desire and never get Second Sock Syndrome!

My husband doesn't seem to appreciate the benefit of this the way I do.

Sir N said...

Just think of all the experience you're getting! :D

I probably shouldn't tak or my uncle who knows how to knit will suddenly make me learn and then I'd really be able to talk.