There may be no nicer feeling than finishing a project, particularly when the finished object in question is *cough* a few days late (mostly due to my monumental inability to accurately measure my knitting). My disappointment, however, was outweighed by 1. my new love affair with the short row heel and toe and 2. the arrival of my own pair of sockpal socks (yay!).
Oh, short row, how I love you. In the Sherman heel, we see you in your Platonic form, perfect and uncomplicated with bothersome wraps, if a little boxy. There is no picking up of heel stitches, no messy decreasing at the gusset. In a measure of how much my passion for the short row technique grew, after I cast off these socks, I was immediately ready to make another pair for myself. The only thing stopping me is that I have already picked my post-Paloooza project, and I already have two pairs of socks in progress. I am so tempted to rip out the flaps on my mom’s socks and short row ’em. I may need some sort of intervention.
In addition to the socks, my pal will be receiving a custom-sized set of sock blockers created by Knit One Purl Too’s Sock Accoutrement Supply Staff (aka, my husband) especially for her tiny feet with the assistance of Photoshop and power tools. Can you believe it? If my husband were a knitter, rather than simply the world’s Most Enthusiastic Knitting Groupie, his first sweater would proably be an Alice Starmore. I hope you love your socks, pal – I miss them already.
My feelings of loss were short-lived, however, because my wonderful pal, Jen from Knitting for Sanity, gifted me with a beautiful pair of Friday Harbor socks (Nancy Bush, Knitting on the Road) in Mountain Colors Weaver’s Wool Quarters (see a detail shot here). I know spring has barely arrived, but these socks (which fit perfectly, by the way) have me ready for fall. They’re (for lack of a better word) perfect, Jen – thank you! And also? Number of pairs of Nancy Bush socks I own: 2. Number of pairs knitted by me? 0. Must remedy that…but that’s a story for my next post, with a working title I Went to New York and Boston and Came Home With Yarn – Is That Wrong?
Things I have said over the last two weeks:
“Wow, two sock legs at once takes a long time.”
“I am so looking forward to short row heels – the Dream Socks pattern is genius.”
“Hey, I can do the backwards yarnover now.”
“The first half of these heels is going pretty well.”
“Do you think when Priscilla Gibson-Roberts knits three together, it looks this crappy?”
“This can’t be right.”
“Oops – $)#_*$, I dropped a stitch.”
“I’m not ripping back – I’m fixing instead.”
“Aaaagh! I ripped it back.”
“Maybe I should try the Sherman heel.”
You know, at this point, it’s little comfort to me that a. I may have mastered the short-row heel. b. I have knitted something on the order of three socks worth of knitting for my pal (something like six leg swatches from different patterns, 3/4 of a Crusoe, two Dream Socks legs), because I don’t think I’m going to be done on time with the two socks I am currently knitting. Maybe. Maybe not.
For reasons that are a mystery even to me, I persist with the “try new techniques even under a deadline” plan – I did not want to do a flap heel, so I knitted the first half of Priscilla’s Dream Sock heel, oh, four or five times before I had to admit that the k3tog (and even the substitute for k3tog suggested by Sally Melville here) on the second half was not up to my “must look good for the sock pal” standards. So I took the good advice Janine offered with sock pattern featureing the Sherman heel above. “If you’re not sure you understand it, why not experiement with a swatch?” So I did.
I tried the Sherman, and I tried the PGR. I’m sorry Priscilla, it’s not you, it’s me – I liked the Sherman heel better. Even in Bernat CottonTots, it looked neater and there were no holes. So now I knew what my preference was without having to rip back, adjust or reknit for what felt like the 10,000th time. I think the extra work was worth it.
Resistance to knitting is futile. Proof my husband has joined the knitting collective? He sends me, unbidden, an online ad for Kangol hats:
Subject: Read the text in this link:
To be an expert knitter is as complex and hard to achieve as being as good at Kung Fu as Bruce Lee. In fact Bruce Lee once applied for a job at Kangol. At the interview we gave him two knitting needles and said “show us your stuff”. He immediately chopped one in half with the side of his hand. Then ripped off his tee shirt and destroyed the other one by breaking it against his bare rippling chest.”That’s all very impressive, Mr. Lee but that is not going to get many hats made is it?” We said. Fortunately the next interviewee had devised this clever venting Knit while studying the 36 chambers of the Shaolin Temple. Guess who got the job?
With no patience for knitting needles, Bruce Lee would probably crush any knitting project he came to hate: “You frustrate me? I set you on fire!”
Far from hating my sockpal dream socks, I am working away on the second sock leg; I was close to turning the heel on sock #1 and I just had the urge to keep ribbing, so I cast on for #2. Sharon asked “Does it go faster if you’re doing two socks at once?” I would like to say “yes,” but two legs at once just feels like one really long leg. I think I’ll only be able to feel the speed after I turn both heels one right after the other. That will be faster.
I think there is an 87.9 percent chance these socks will be done by May 1, in part due to the unusually high amount of transit knitting time available to me this month. These socks will see New York (upstate and city, two trips), Boston, the Amtrak Acela between New York and Boston, two airplanes and the New York State Thruway. Eagle-eyed blog readers will know that the appearance of the New York State Thruway on this blog means that we are visiting
The Yarn Shop of Geneva my brother- and sister-in-law for Easter; there may be some browsing involved, but I am not telling the socks that I might see other yarn.
For the record, it is also a complete coincidence that my work event on New York’s Upper West Side happens to be a block and a half from Knitty City. Really, I swear.
There’s nothing like ribbing to take the edge off, you know? Just interesting enough to keep you knitting, not so complicated that you can’t carry on a conversation while you do it. I cast on for Priscilla’s Dream Socks Tuesday after realizing that the Pomatomus socks featured in my last post were going slowly enough that I would finish them after May 1 – I may or may not have been ready to commission a fellow knitter at my Stitch ‘n Bitch to make them for me. Yikes! That’s when I knew I had to step back and take a deep breath.
What you see here is six days of knitting, here and there, and I’m an inch or two away from the heel. So, sockpal, you may not be getting lace, but you will be getting my first successful short row heels. Mwah! My little gift to you – plus a bonus gift so fabulous that I can’t even mention it here, but I’ll give you a hint. It sounds like “rusted lemonade rock walkers.” Can you figure it out? I’m pretty excited, and now I’m off to turn the heel.