Wednesday, June 20, 2007

The Socks That Wouldn't Die

<--photo c. 1826
I'm not going to mince words here: those stinkin' Step socks are sucking the will to live right out of my body.
Yes, I'm still working on the same Step socks I started working on at least eighty or ninety years ago. (During Sock Hop, maybe?) A nice serviceable grey patterned yarn infused with lanolin and jojoba and more bad juju than a kinder knitting goddess would have allowed. (My sister 1776 addicts will recognize the paraphrase.)
I've been knitting on those damn socks for so long that I'm at the point where I'm seriously tempted to string myself up by the 47" cord of my Addi Turbos and call it a day.
How can one pair of simple, standard issue socks kick a knitter's butt the way these Step socks are kicking mine? I'm not a novice knitter. I have at least a modicum of expertise in the process. Okay, so I'm no Elizabeth Zimmerman but I can knit and purl and turn a heel with the best of 'em. So why on earth have I been making every possible newbie mistake a knitter can make on these poor unsuspecting socks? Picking up the gusset stitches without turning the heel. Dropped stitches that weren't discovered for fifty long rounds. (Wanna have fun? Try picking up said stitches in a moving vehicle.) I have the distinct feeling that a malevolent knitting gremlin sneaks out of my stash at night and unravels all my slow and laborious work while I sleep so that I'll stay two measly inches away from starting the toe decreases for the rest of my natural life.
Or even longer.
The problem, of course, is the fact that I am quite possibly the World's Most Stubborn Knitter. I'm not going to let myself cast on for a new project until I finish these blasted things and at the rate I'm going that could be a looooong time.
This is where an all-or-nothing personality really hurts a girl. I tend to get a little crazy with freedom after I finish a book and leap into all manner of household projects in an attempt to create order where chaos usually reins and each of those projects takes up a considerable chunk of my allotted daily 24. I mean, do I really need to catalog all of my yarn? Is it entirely necessary for me to go through the many boxes that contain my postcard collection and wax nostalgic over pictures of Coney Island and Luna Park? And, let's face it, my pantry has lived happily in disarray for twenty years now; another twenty wouldn't hurt at all. Oh yeah, and there's a new book that needs to be worked on and research for said book that needs to be dealt with and the harsh truth that no laptop has ever left my lair alive . . .
I'm convinced these Step socks are emblematic of something bigger. A major flaw in my personality. Conquer the socks and I'll be able to conquer anything? Well, maybe not quite, but if I conquer the socks at least I can start knitting on something that isn't grey.
At this point, I'd settle for that!


Anonymous Carol said...

Go for it Barbara. You can conquer that sock.

10:48 AM  
Blogger Knitterary said...

Well, is it any wonder? You've had a lot on your mind with all the postcards and memories and pantry shelves and such. I can forget to turn a heel on even the calmest day!

Sounds to me like you're just recharging your batteries. Recharge mine while you're at it, OK?

11:45 AM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Oh man, do I hear you, Barbara! This sweater for my MIL just goes on and on and on, miles and miles of endless stockinette stitch in black, black, nothing but black. Good thing I love her so much!

I'm itching to get on to the next project which is going to be a) small, b) brightly colored and c) for me, me, me. I'm thinking a felted totebag. Yes, I know I keep saying that but I never seem to actually get to knitting it. It's kind of like owning a Jaguar, fun to dream about but not very practical.

Hope you wrestle those socks to the final castoff soon!

4:19 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Here's to the Sisterhood of 1776 Addicts, and small colorful knitting projects!

Barbara & Nancy, I'm cheering you on from the sidelines. Fortunately for me, I have no problems casting on multiple projects at once.

5:19 PM  
Blogger Nancy Herkness said...

Ah, Nicole, I envy you your more relaxed approach to the knitting life.

5:50 PM  

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