About Me

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Five years into widowhood, after one year of incredible happiness and nearly 14 years of single blessedness. Have given up perfect manicures and pretty hands in order to resume playing the soprano recorder and to see if I can figure out how to play bluegrass banjo. Singing in the shower. Still really, *really* love to knit!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Sock Wars (Cue the Soundtrack)

Long, long ago in a knitting bag far, far away...

I finally bit the bullet and frogged Sock the First to where I should have commenced the heel turning. And then I began to play catch-up on Sock the Second. I also made new stitch markers with some of the jewelry supplies I that bought a few weeks back and my brand new round-nose pliers. Sweet! [Unfortunately, I'd removed them by the time we took these pictures. So you'll just have to imagine them or catch them on another project.] These new stitch markers are sterling and red tigereye -- which is more a rusty brown than a true red -- and smoky quartz, and they look[ed] splendid marking the center backs of these socks.

All those funky little squiggles that you see on the socks? I found some really cool plastic split ring markers. They look a little like commas in the fetal position, and you slip them into your knitted fabric to mark stuff you want to remember [such as short rows or darts] and not just slide them onto your needles to mark the end of a round or a pattern repeat. I’m using blue ones for Sock the First and white ones for Sock the Second, and the pink ones are just lying around in their little envelope, whining because nobody wants to play. The odd-colored markers show decision points: a bit of a gusset at the ankles, a larger needle.

So I put a marker in at the end of the toe increases, and I put a marker in every ten rounds, and then I noticed something: the blue-marked sock, which I’d already frogged, was about a centimeter longer after [only] 20 rounds of plain knitting than the white-marked sock, which I’d knitted while stewing over recent drama in my tribe. My tension was that much tighter on Sock the Second? The Harlot is right: “angry knitting" is a sad thing, indeed. If I hadn't compared socks, I would have ended up with one to fit Andre the Giant, and one for Tom Thumb.

[Silver lining: I was finally getting the recommended gauge for my yarn on Sock the Second.] Decision time: do I rip Sock the Second and try again on larger needles, or do I rip Sock the First and try to replicate the tighter gauge, even though I was beginning to simmer down?

I pondered this for awhile and decided that I liked the tighter gauge on Sock the Second, so I frogged Sock the First again, this time all the way back to the end of the toe increases. And every ten rounds, another marker, and a quick side by side comparison of the two socks. So far, knock wood, I am knitting consistently on both socks. I’m doing ten rounds on one, then ten on the other, and I’m nearly to the end on *both* socks. A miracle on the order of the loaves and the fishes! I have learned one Jonah-sized whale of a lot about what not to do when attempting to make socks.

I was hoping to finish both socks this weekend. My knitting friend Elizabeth http://www.elizabethklett.com/knit.html
is racing to complete a lovely cardi for the first day of school tomorrow, the 21st. I wanted to wear my new socks to work that day. Alas, not to be.

These are my new teddy bear end protectors. Inexpensive, cute, effective, but they make me hungry.

Completely off-topic: can somebody teach me how to add a "steal this button" to my sidebar? Or expand my sidebar, for that matter? I would also love to be able to insert a link like the Harlot does, but HTML R Not Us.

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