Tuesday, January 23, 2007

One whole day of knitting gets me ...


I spent the whole day knitting (the whole day for me is about five hours, after getting ready for the day, reading a bit, taking care of some business, taking some time out to eat, and wrapping up in time for DD and DH to get home).

I was determined to knit an anklet sock for DH's Grandmother, who is turning 95 this month! We are travelling through many states to celebrate this momentous event, and I wanted something special for DD's "Gan" (Gan, DH's grandmother, chose this name).

My ingredients? None other but the rockin Socks that Rock. The hank I was saving for myself. The hank that is a lovely and vivid display of pinks, chocolates, and greens. Stand up colors. Shout out colors. Colors that scream, "Boomin Granny!" 95 is something to stand up and shout about, and this yarn fit the bill.

Thing is, time and materials were against me -- the party is this weekend. We have to factor in family time, flying time, prep time, work time. The clock is ticking. Next were the materials -- I actually didn't get enough yarn to make a full and proper pair of socks. This is my first hank of STR after Cara raved about them. This was bought before I ever finished my first pair of socks and thus had a bit of sense about how much is needed.

But I was determined to overcome both.

I hunted around for different patterns. I tried different needles. I finally decided for a hobbled together pattern from multiple patterns:

* picot edge cast on
* simple rib for keeping the sock up
* an anklet length to account for the shortage of time and materials
* a basic St st after the rib to the toe, to make for faster knitting
* the traditional heel of sl p-wise, [k1, sl]* repeat, end k1
* knitting through the back loops of the picked up st, as promoted by Grumperina
* a simple rounded toe

All was well. All was swimmingly well. I worked out the gauge. I did the picot CO. I knit the simple, effective, and lovely rib border. I switched to St st. Measured to make sure the anklet heel started in the right place. Made it through the heel. Made it through picking up the gusset st. And then discovered mistakes.

Two mistakes that, to even a non-knitter, were unavoidable:

1. an extra st (or so I thought), which I lazily tried to hide in a k2tog, only to discover later on I had counted wrong, which I lazily tried to hide by doing a simple m1, only to discover later on a horrible glaring scar in the front of the foot where the unnecessary dec and then inc appear. An unavoidable scar from these two lazy mistakes. A scar which is unforgivable given how it came about.

2. a sloppy decrease line along the gusset where I accidentally dec in two back-to-back rows instead of dec one row, k one row even, dec next row, etc. Not so bad, I suppose. But again, I discovered this early on and decided, lazily, to keep plodding. Bad mistake. Even to a non-knitter, this line is now crooked, as if it went on a bender and, well, got bent.

And finally, a third insult. The fatal flaw. The guillotine of it all (because, after all, I could rip all of this out and fix the mistakes) -- the anklet is Too. Short.

Even for an anklet, with the heel, it's just not long enough for a proper anklet.

How the Mind of the Lazy Works

Mistake 1: "What is one little mistake? I won't make it again. This will be the only slight flaw. No one will notice."

Mistake 2: "Oh, another mistake? Ah, shhhhh. I'll hide it. It's striped yarn. It's a short sock. No one will notice."

Mistake 3: "Ack. Another? What's up? AHHH!! Look at the clock! Must keep knitting."

Mistake 4: "Ah fuck."

It's not all doom-and-gloom, I know, but the clock is still ticking. A whole day wasted on stupid, simple mistakes. Gan may just have to get these toasty goodies late. Hopefully DD's gifts will overshadow it all: the handmade card, handmade bracelet, and the tape of DD singing. Hopefully, the love and handmade care of a 2 1/2 year old will cover it all up.

1 comment:

Amy Lane said...

The more I knit, the less I settle for mistakes like that--but you'd be horrified at some of the glaring errors I've never frogged.