Sunday, September 03, 2006

How knitting has taught me courage

I'm burning my way through the second Magic Loop Trekking sock and will almost certainly finish it this week. No second sock syndrome for me this time. It's only the fourth pair of socks I've ever completed and the first pair made out of 'proper' 4-ply (fingering-weight) sock yarn (the others have been thicker boot socks made out of 6-ply and 8-ply yarn). And while I'm not yet feeling courageous enough to enter Yarnmonkey's Sock War 2006, I'm contemplating that maybe I should try a different pattern next time, perhaps try and learn a toe-up pattern which seems to be a much more sensible way of ensuring that one knits socks that actually fit (as you can try them on as you go enabling you to make a better judgment call as to whether to add a few extra stitches for width). Then there is the Knitting two socks on one needle technique which I think would be the ultimate way of ensuring one ends up with two equally-sized socks without having a heap of yarn left-over (which I will this time - although it is much better than getting towards the end of the second sock and realising there isn't enough yarn ...) Maybe a few socks into the future I'll contemplate that.

Anyway I know there are other knitters who seem to be able to pick up the teeny tiny thin needles and make a perfect 4-ply sock with no strange holes in the ankle and elaborate patterns and calf-shaping down the leg from the word go but I'm not one of them. My first few attempts with 'proper' sock yarn were failures. So I went a step further back and started my first completed pair of socks with thicker yarn and have worked my way up to a 'real' thin-yarn sock. And now here I am mid-way through my eighth completed sock getting maybe just a little bored and contemplating something new.

It would have been a lot easier to say "it's too hard, I can't do it" and not try again after my first failure but I am really proud of myself for perservering. Because the reality is that a year after my first failed attempts I have definitely succeeded, and if it took me longer than for some other people, so be it. There are more non-knitters than knitters out there and none of the non-knitters are making their own socks (the cynical part of me notes they are saving money by spending less money buying the socks from the store than knitters spend on yarn and needles -- but it's not the same).

I still have 20 balls of Jo Sharp yarn which I will one day turn into a jumper. But I want to do it right. This experience with my socks convinces me that that day may be closer than I think.

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