31 March 2007

Sock Virgin No Longer!

I cast on for my first sock last night. Then I ripped it out and cast on again, because I decided the first cast-on was too uneven. Then I knitted about five rounds before discovering that the cuff was a K4P2 ribbing, not K1P1 as I had so merrily knitted while watching Hidalgo (yay horses!). I did a tubular cast on, which sets up a sort of automatic K1P1, and I suppose that's what I had in my head instead of the pattern.

As I started knitting the second (background) color and began the chart, I thought to myself that the prudent choice would probably have been to start with an easy, basic sock. But no, not me. I wanted my first pair of socks to be Chuck's Cabled Socks by Eunny Jang. Not only are they cabled, but they are worked stranded, which I have never done. It took me a while to get used to not picking up and twisting the carried yarn, because all the colorwork I've ever done has been intarsia. I'm still picking up the stranding every so often because leaving them as long open strands bothers me. I imagine my toes catching on them every time I slip them on. Did I mention that this is also my first project on dpns?

I guess it's not that unusual that I pick a pattern that is a bit complicated for a first attempt. After all, my very first oil painting was a portrait... a copy of Sargent's Capri Girl. She's still one of my favorite paintings.

The thought that ran through my head was these words by Thomas Paine:
"The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheaply, we esteem too lightly; 'Tis dearness only that gives everything its value."

That's a little heavy and serious for sock-knitting, but it runs true for a lot of things. If I'm going to bother to knit a pair of socks, they had better be really awesome socks. I want to have reason to be immensely proud of them when I'm finished.

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