19 April 2007

Things Finished, and Things Just-Started

I decided after ripping out Chuck's Cabled Socks that I needed a little confidence-booster: an easy pair of socks that I could (*ahem* attempt to) knit perfectly. At least to-the-eye-not-inspecting-my-knitting-for-a-knitting-certificate perfect. I settled on Ann Budd's "Diagonal Rib Socks," featured in the Winter '04 Interweave Knits. They're pretty and fairly uncomplicated. Cast on, start leg pattern, memorize leg pattern, turn off brain, knit for a long time, turn heel, knit for a medium time, decrease toe, Kitchener, done.

It was while I was attempting to join for working and knit my first round that things tensed up. I flourished my KnitPicks Options dpns... if by flourished you mean dropped, cursed at and occasionally sent flying across the room or rolling under a piece of furniture. They just wouldn't stay put... unless I worked at a ridiculously slow pace. This is the pace at which I had started the first pattern rows of Chuck's Cabled Socks, and the pace for which my godfather made fun of me. After 3 or four rows, the knitting tightens itself up and I can work at a normal pace, provided I'm careful not to let the stitches get precariously close to one of the needle points.

Things are rolling right along now, although I'm starting to wonder why people knit socks. I understand that it's great for when one has to put down and pick up work often (as I do), but to sit there and knit for an hour can get mind-numbing. Things improved when I decided to use it as a sort of Zen experience, and focus on the knitting. That lasted for about 60-80 seconds, which speaks more to the fact that I haven't sat zazen in... um... a couple months. So I just let my thoughts wander, and it was satisfying.

I'll finish up with a note on the yarn: this is the disappointing-color yarn I bought a while back, which I re-dyed with food coloring in the microwave. I'm much happier with it now. The texture is still soft merino, and the pre-felting didn't seem to harm it any.

Since I finished the Hearts and Stars blanket, I'm looking to cast on another large project. This will likely be a baby blanket for my mom. She bought me a bag of Cashmerino in light blue and 14 balls of Baby Ull in white to knit 2 blankets for her grandson. I'm currently experimenting with doubling, and perhaps even tripling the Baby Ull. After knitting a baby blanket with fingering-weight yarn on US6 needles, there is no way on God's green Earth that I am about to start a baby blanket on US2. There just aren't enough prescription drugs available to me to make that worthwhile. Perhaps that's a special punishment assigned to some ancient Greek demigod in classical Hell: knitting king-size afghans with fingering weight yarn on US2. Hey, demons with pointy pitchforks and an ever-present haze and stench of burning brimstone would be a cakewalk compared to that. Sisyphus would think that he got off easy.

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