March 28   Finished Socks!

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Thanks to those who left feedback on my craft post of anguish. I am terribly behind at answering comments. I took all your advice and packed up and put away the Charm Quilt project. I packed up all the pieces that I had laid out and put them in a ziplock back and made a box just for this project. And that alone made me feel so much better. I’ve got a few pieces of that project still out on my sewing table – a few of the hexagons all pinned and ready to go – and some of the scraps. I’m mostly just mildly contemplating them from a distance. I feel like I could finish them off so they’re still out. But I am also very aware that I might feel completely better if I just packed them all up and put them away for now. Of course as soon as I did this, another little batch of fat eighths I’d ordered from a Jinny Beyer sale as a reward for something I finished came in. I took a photo of them and then popped them in the box as well. I’ll figure out what I’m doing with all that another day.

Tansy says I always have this panic and I always move in cycles. I dunno though – this quilting thing is pretty new. I only really started collecting fabrics just as my relationship with my ex was breaking up. So – oh. What’s that? 5 years ago now. Hmm maybe it’s not that new after all. Maybe I should just chill out about this and let go and let the cycles happen on their own. This forcing business only makes me feel bad anyway. It’s just that I have so many beautiful projects that I want to get to and I also want to actually finish the ones I have started. Anyway. This is not the point of this post. In any case, this time round, I really want to hope to believe that I can somehow be immersed in two crafts at once. Just like you can be immersed in two books at once. Oh. Nevermind.

I took up some very excellent advice from Sim in the comments to my last post. She suggested that I audit my projects. I’ve only partly started this. I’m hoping to have finished it by the end of the week. However, this exercise was very interesting because I found where all my sets of DPNs (double pointed needles, come in sets of 4) were. Yes, they were in various stages of different pairs of socks.

I decided that what I really want to focus on is starting and finishing the socks from the Cookie A’s sock club before the next skein of yarn comes in. So I went in search of the right needles. I found them in a sock project I had stashed in C’s glove box for those times I’m with him and we’re driving somewhere (we live 45 mins to an hour from stuff). I was maybe 25% away from finishing the pair. I’d started them on a couple of days field trip in the last job, oooh what? Last June? Last October?

Yes, well. I pulled out the project and assessed it. It was close to being finished but very quickly, I also discovered that the second sock was a little bit shorter than the first – I’d put the heel in too soon. So I ripped back the half of the gusset and the heel and started over. I was a bit annoyed at that, creating more work etc, but the stripes, they didn’t match and I’d made a point of casting on the second sock exactly at the right point so that they would. And it would only annoy me every time I wore them if I didn’t fix them now. What’s an extra day of work compared to be annoyed every time I wear them? These socks wear really well – they are a commercial self striping sock yarn and about 15% nylon so they machine wash and wear great. The first pair I made with them, something like 8 years ago, still look fantastic.

So in summary, I ripped back the sock to almost halfway, reknit it and finished these off over the weekend. A weekend in which I was out for most of Saturday and did various work things as well. A couple of hours and a new pair of socks. Makes me eye off the other socks in various stages on the needles. How long would it take me to have all new socks before winter? I suspect some of this has come about because I am so used to knitting for other people. I’m not sure why I am like that for knitting but a vast majority of what I have knit I have gifted away. And that sort of taints how you feel about it, I think. I mean, I love knitting and it might be that I am more process than product focused. Thus as long as I am knitting, I am happy. And how many of any one craft thing does one person need? Etc. But at some point, if you never enjoy the spoils of your labour, you must lose enthusiasm. So, whilst I do have a list of projects I want to gift this year, I think I really need (and I think I already had done so?) to set aside this year and craft primarily for myself. You know, til I have too many hats, scarves and socks etc.

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  • By Kirstyn McDermott on 28 March 2012 at 11:48 am

    They are gorgeous socks! Once again, makes me want to learn to knit …

  • By Mit on 28 March 2012 at 1:55 pm

    Dpns only come in sets of 4 in Oz for some reason. I have some US sets that are 5. Makes it much easier to use and less chance of ladders.

    I think I’m a bit of both. I like the process of knitting until I’m about 2/3 of the way through then I just want it done. I like wearing them too.

  • By AlisaK on 28 March 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I don’t really have a problem with ladders – just pull much tighter that first stitch on the next needle. I think 5 would be too many needles for me? But I haven’t tried it. 5 needles would mean than if I bought 4 sets, I could cast on 5 socks!

    I suspect I too get to a point where I want whatever I am working on to be done but i reckon it’s further in than 2/3rds. I can stall a project with only 10% left to complete.

  • By AlisaK on 28 March 2012 at 10:26 pm

    Thank you! These are really really easy too because they are self striping. You just knit and knit and knit and then … socks!

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