Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Got a hard, hard head

First, and unrelated to this post, an addition to the things that make me cry: fire trucks. SERIOUSLY. After 9/11, any time I saw or heard a fire truck, I would choke up. Later, when my brother became a volunteer firefighter, I became more and more emotional. Often, when a fire truck drives by, I have to stop walking or biking just so I can collect myself. I'm most likely to lose my shit if I'm by myself.

Now, knitting.

It's either a sign of obsession or a sign of stubbornness, or perhaps a delightful mix of both. Whatever it is, allow me to present to you Attempt Number 5 on the first of two Jaywalker socks:

Attempt Number 4 got to the heel and to the leg before I finally admitted that it was just slightly too big in the foot:

The first attempt at these socks started on a Trenton-bound train, January 15. I started the sock as a top-down, carefully casting on and dividing the stitches over 4 US 1 dpns. About 4 inches later that same day, I found that I had to frog the thing--I'd miscounted during a counting row and my Jaywalkers were, in effect, jaywalking all over themselves. I started in on the darn socks January 16, but then had to stop because the bamboo needles were rough. I picked up a couple pairs of US 1 circs and figured happy days were here again. At the heel, I realized that the sock was way too tight. When I checked the gauge, I realized I was missing about two inches of circumference, so I frogged again. The third attempt found me trying to rewrite the pattern. Much like reinventing the wheel, this was redundant redundant. To make up the circumference, I only needed half a pattern repeat, but to make the sock work and work well, I'd actually have to do a full repeat. Attempt four started, and with it, there were new needles--US 2 dpns--and a new pattern revision: this time, it's toe-up. Less than 5 days into this try, I was at the heel, I was turning the heel, and I was at the leg before I realized that these socks are about an inch too long in the foot. Drat. Shit. Fuck. Damn.

Rip it.

With Number 4 facing the ripper, I thought, "Oooh, maybe I'll just knit these up slightly larger and send them to Nat." But, I was then reminded that I give away more of what I make than I actually keep and that DAMN IT, these socks were meant for me from the beginning: the yarn, the pattern, the freaking dedication to actually attempt to knit these fucking things more than once, twice, thrice. Sorry, Nat--you'll get your own handknit socks sometime this summer.

I need to hold my breath, cross my fingers, and avoiding stepping on any cracks--as of last night, I was about 3/4 of an inch away from beginning the 5th gusset. If nothing else, this whole debacle will be a lesson in sock knitting like none before or after.

I don't know about you all, but I need proof that I can finish a pair of socks without running into every knit-wall known to fiber. And, here it is:

Mike's socks, finished, worn more times since finishing than any other pair of socks knit by me. Top-down on US 3s (two circs), using Austermann Step. I made up the pattern: 1x1 ribbing at the cuff, then a ribbing panel on either side. I took guidance from a few socks patterns for the heel, but mostly I just knit it to fit and did not take notes (I'll never make it as a pattern-writer!).

I'm particularly pleased that I got the self-patterning yarn to match up so neatly. Here's another shot of my latest sock model:

And here's my sock model singing an ode to his new most favorite pair of socks ever:

And, just because, two pictures further proving that my cat is not in attack mode 24/7.

Here's Chico, snuggled in the afghan my sister crocheted for one of our anniversaries:

And, here's Chico taking possession of my recently-recovered (as in, from the piles of yarn, fiber, needles, etc.) Poang:

1 comment:

Stitch Witch said...

I can not believe your husband let you #1 photograph his feet and #2 post them on the Internet. They are FEET!