Thursday, January 14, 2016

She made me do it

The continuing saga of knitting socks

The hand knit sock that started it all

I swore I'd never, ever, ever knit a sock. That was before I owned a pair. 

After my daughter knit a pair for me, I was converted to the unquestionable value of hand knitted socks.

And to wear them, I needed to knit them. 

And I have. Thing is. I don't feel as if I've mastered socks. Oh, sure. I've knit socks. I've knit them from the top down and from the toe-up. I've knit them singly and two-at-a-time. I've knit them on double pointed needles and on circular needles, in different patterns and with a variety of heel and toe structures. But I still feel like the sock knitting newbie.  

Here's why: I have yet to knit a pair of socks that I'm 100 percent happy with. Now you probably know by now that I'm a nitpicker. Stitch off way back in row 3? I see it from 10 feet and hate it. Always will. Ditto for too-tight cast-ons, unbalanced gussets, etc. Still, I keep trying to grant myself the freedom to overlook and accept imperfections.

Perfect as the enemy of good

Years ago I took pattern making classes with a teacher who had a starkly different approach to finished garments. She focused on the fit and how it looked. She wasn't at all bogged down by construction mishaps. Didn't go together quite like you wanted? No problem. Tack it. Glue it. Fix it with safety pins. Whatever. Make it look good from the outside and move on.

Whenever I see a mishap--knitting, sewing, weaving, whatever--and begin my bout of angst about it, I try to channel that woman's approach. Not always successfully, mind you, but I keep trying.

Needles in motion

I recently started knitting a sock with a lovely lace pattern. I still am striving to knit that perfect sock, but there is another reason. Socks are ideal projects for travel. They're small and suitable for picking up and putting down at a moment's notice. 

You see, Vogue Knitting Live New York is this weekend. It's an event I look forward to from year to year not only because of the intoxicating and infectious atmosphere, but because it's time to spend with my daughter. Precious time. 

Granted, there is precious little time to knit, but should I find myself with a few minutes spare or needful of a little quiet focus, I can whip out my half-finished sock. It's unlikely that I will knit more than a few rows, but you never know. 
"Welt fantastic" pattern tames yarn with color variations

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