As you’ll see, I was so happy to have this finished that I stuffed it onto the sock blocker before properly dealing with all the goo from the peeled off price label.
“S” Is Also for Sisyphus
What you don’t see is that this is the hundredth go at knitting my first sock. (OK, it’s actually the ninth. Just felt like the hundredth.) I scrapped the first try about half way down the cuff — couldn’t bear the ladders I was seeing. It was also a little tight. I cast on again with my trusty DPNs… And then ripped back.
I started reading anything and everything I could about how to avoid those tell-tale culprits. Yet, no matter how many times I went back to the ribbing and restarted, I couldn’t get it right. In fact, it got more wrong. Minor ladders became swinging bridges. I feared monkeys on the lookout for jungle vines were soon to be headed my way.
Knitting this sock became personal. In the worst sort of way.
Enter the sanity-saving 9″ HiyaHiya circulars. My fingers were cramped but those ladders were gone. Make that banished! Funny thing is, when I got to the instep shaping I used my DPNs and all was just fine. I couldn’t begin to explain why. Nor did I tempt fate with the foot, returning to the circulars.
With my first sock finished, I slipped it on my foot only to discover a flopping, too-long toe. Sigh. (OK, actually it was much cursing.) So I started and finished the second sock with the correct modification (shown above) and it fits. I feel like Cinderella!
Is “S” for Irony, Too?
The too-big first sock has been frogged and the yarn is now on its way to becoming my second sock. As I was working on it last night, a thought occurred to me: “S” is also for slipper.
My tenacious Grandma would be so proud. (And this time, yes, I will make the pair.)
Thanks to Julie at Knitted Bliss, I discovered Pinterest a few months back —and have since spent many hours on my new “online happy place.” The site is an endless source of inspiration for leisurely browsing and a quick way to reset the writing/editing mind (sort of a visual sorbet course).
Yet of the many delightful things I’ve stumbled upon there, this is my hands-down favorite. Those ’70s head scarves? Straight from the Learn to Knit book my grandmother bought me back in grade school. And the item I most wanted to knit. While I labored on my practice swatches of knit and purl, I pondered the flowers vs. stripes question.
But Grandma Doris had other ideas… And the yarn money. She showed up with two denim-y skeins of acrylic and insisted that I make the pair of slippers in the book. It would teach me increasing and decreasing. And, yes, I did argue that both were needed to make the head scarf, but in vain. Grandma D. was one tough cookie. So I knit the first slipper.
And looking back at it now these 35-odd years later (have I mentioned my pack rat tendencies?), my first reaction borrows Grandma D’s favorite exclamation, “For the love of Pete! Her fixation on my finger-threaded tension really paid off.” I mean, seriously. Just look at those stitches. Amazingly even for a 10-year-old’s first project.
Given the clearly unworn slipper shown above, you can probably guess that I never knit the second one. In my mind, I’d proved I could make an FO, and I wanted yarn for that head scarf. To Grandma D., the job was half done — and not to be rewarded. And so the impasse began. (Did I mention that we’re both Tauruses? In fact, if I’d had the decency to wait another 3 hours, we would have shared a birthday.)
I didn’t pick up knitting needles again another 12 years. Yet since then, I’ve never really put them down. Thanks, Grandma!