Friday, November 11, 2005

Q & A: On learning to knit again with Magic Stripes

Question: Hey, Stephanie. We've heard a lot about this elusive Magic Stripes sock. It was trouble, it was shaped funny, it was on hold for ever. Now it's another tragic story? Please. We're going to need pictures.

Answer: Gosh, I'm so happy you asked, stranger with my writing style. Let me tell you about my second knitting project ever. I think.

It all started many moons ago, or at least sometime in 2004. I think. Anyway, I wanted to knit some socks. This is after the Knitting Revival, in which I came crawling back to knitting after a hiatus of approximately 14 years. What can I say, I had no technical support and I could (and still can) crochet like a madwoman so my yarn needs were satisfied. Anyway, I made a fun fur scarf and then considered myself intermediate, so I got some sock fixings and got going. The problem is that AC Moore stopped carrying sets of 5 double pointed needles in (US) size 3, which is the size recommended for these socks. No amount of torturing the sales staff could fix this. I decided, finally, that I might knit tightly anyway and bought some size 4s. Off I went, la de da. A sock was born. I was so proud.

It's kind of big, so Marie made fun of it. But Marie makes fun of other people's lunches, so I didn't take her too seriously. It fits me kind of loosely. And at that point, Christmas Crafting Fever took hold and I worked on other projects, leaving my sock to hang out in a plastic bag for a few months. I did cast on for sock #2, and worked through the top and about halfway through the heel flap. But then it wasted away in a bag for (more) months.

One of my intermediate projects was Paul's sweater, which has a dramatic history of its own; the most notable part of that history is the part where I re-learned how to knit. I discovered the very, very hard way that you always bring the yarn around the needle counter-clockwise or else every stitch is twisted and there is a slant and you've ruined everything, ahhhhh!!! Oh, the heartache. Oh, the mockery I endured when I kept ripping out the bottom of that sweater (which I was also resizing in the process, so I should get crazy wild credit there). But I am a changed woman. I did it. I knit properly now, and much faster!

Which led to my trepidation regarding the sock. Half of it was not knitted correctly. I am such a perfectionist, but I knew NO one else would ever wear those socks, and NO one would ever know, and I was NOT ripping out what I already did - so I picked up right where I left off, and finished the sock! Aren't you proud!! I got over my little hurdle!

Sort of.

Do you see the problem? Here, let's try another angle.

Apparently twisting stitches changes the gauge. A lot. Enough that within minutes of these photos being taken, I ripped back to where I'd picked up again, slid in my size 3 double points (I have 2 sets now, since I made such a big deal about not being able to find any), and got back to work. But my heart is not in it.

Which explains the crowd of works in progress - I'm drowning my sock sorrow in new projects.

1 comment:

Rhett said...

Marie, make fun of people, Are you kidding? Those are great socks! I love the fact that the right one would fit OVER your shoe :)