Great expectations.

Or the entry that could be titled “Lace socks keep me humble.” My SOP (standard operating procedure) for sock knitting is to use the Twisted German cast on and the knit one row flat before joining; I use the K2tog method of joining, BTW, b/c IFILF (I find it less fiddly).

In the first attempt at these socks, I neglected to note that because the ribbing for the cuff is not reversible, you will be at the wrong end of the row and your 12-stitch repeat when joining after knitting back. I gamely turned a blind eye to this fact and worked several inches of the lace pattern backwards, telling myself it would work out all right in the end. This is what it looked like shortly before I frogged, not happy with overall quality but wanting proof I was actually knitting.

the second sock is better, don't you think?
Now, I’m at the heel of sock #1, and here is what I know: Fear has no place in knitting; being afraid of screwing something up is your subconscious saying “this is a technique you should practice more.” Before I got into the swing of things again with my cabled sweater recently, I disliked working on it – too fiddly, not as much fun as more mindless knitting. Then my hands and my brain tapped into the fun again, and I enjoyed the cabley goodness like we had always been best friends.

The same thing is happening with this lovely sock. At first, with all my difficulties, I resisted the charms of the lace even though I find lace beautiful. I said “perhaps this is not for me: too fiddly.” After all, when you drop a yarn over, that little guy is gone, leaving the innocent knitter to say “why do I have four stitches here when I should have five?” What a pain, all this thinking! Then I gave in to the Zen; I dug out my row counter and my stitch markers, admitting that using the right tools would make the job easier. And it has been; these socks have gone from “not my favorites” to ones I want for myself. I’m back on the lace bandwagon. If you want more lacey goodness (and who doesn’t, really?) Here’s a closeup of the eyelet pattern; this is the pattern I’m using after considering many, many others.

I neglected to mention that my trip to Threadbear Fiber Arts included a gander at the ubersocks: the Broadripples that started it all. I think my gushing over these gave Rob a little crisis of confidence: if people love them so much, how can he ever do anything better? Confidential to Rob in Lansing: Creativity is a renewable resource – don’t worry that you’ll run out. That reminds me that I can practice being creative – perhaps I’ll need to look at The Artist’s Way again – after I’m finished with Don Quixote, of course.

5 thoughts on “Great expectations.

  1. nona

    Inspiring post! I totally agree with you — there is not place for fear in knitting. Besides, what’s the worst that can happen??? I believe the best knitters are those willing to take chances, try new things, and rip out when necessary. Your lace socks are looking great!

    Reply
  2. Carola

    This is the right way of thinking! I’m just about to phrase a lace knitting mantra for myself 😉
    Your socks do look fantastic.
    Thanks for your nice comment.
    Talking about Lopi patterns.. Great that this inspired you to try your own way. There’s so much inspiration around here at the moment, one could speak of a Lopi boom. I’ll try to post some pictures or links the next days (or weeks, to be honest). Though I guess a creative person as you is inspired enough with a little thought-provoking impulse.

    Reply
  3. Carola

    Forgot.. I have to read Don Quixote this term and therefore had to check out your link. How exciting to find “knit one read too”. What a nice little extra impulse for reading a book. Sounds like a very promising project.

    Reply
  4. Christine

    I need help getting the word out – I’m collecting knitted goods to take to the local group here in Houston coordinating the clothing drive. I’ve posted about it over on my site; the main thing I want to collect right now is baby bootees – it is hot down here. Plus they are fast to knit. Afterwards, anything is needed.

    Thanks for your help!

    Reply

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