Sunday, November 18, 2007

On Frogging

Thursday evening, I sat alone watching TV and knitting. I was making a pair of house socks for myself since the ones I use most of the time are starting to look like they need a little break. Plus, I have a few skeins of Manos and I thought it would be good for house socks. (And house socks will knit up pretty quickly in Manos.)

These are not meant to be worn anywhere except at home, so I thought it was a great opportunity to use up some leftover balls and to experiment with some color work - a la Elizabeth Zimmerman. Something like what I did in this experimental hat some time ago.

I made a little pattern on the leg. It was only about an inch and a half (3 cm), and then I switched back to straight knitting. The next day, I realized that I had pulled so hard on the color work (in an effort to make it not too loose) that it was difficult to get my foot through the sock. (Not a lot of give in the color work.) And of course I did both socks at the same time (using Magic Loop, which I recommend to anyone thinking about knitting socks) so it was also about having identically screwed up socks, not just one. There are a lot of parentheses in this paragraph. (But I don't mind it so much, because it gives it a conversational tone.)

Side note: juggling four balls during the color work section is ridiculous. You just have to accept that they're going to get a little tangled and keep adjusting their position. Don't try this is you're easily frustrated. This is the time for a figurative (or literal) chill pill.

So I had these socks coming along that were looking sort of interesting, but they had this hitch in the middle that my foot couldn't get through. What to do? I could make the foot smaller gift them to a person with a smaller foot. I could throw them in the Dulaan bag for next year. OR I could rip them back and try it all again.

A year or so ago, I heard someone say that upon finding a noticeable mistake in one's knitting, the experienced knitter will rip it back (or go in with a crochet hook) and fix the mistake while the new knitter will shrug and keep knitting. The idea being, of course, that to a new knitter, ripping back a few hours of work sounds like madness. (I know this because Fred would no more rip back his knitting than build a small campfire in the living room.) However, I always feature myself as someone who knits because he enjoys knitting, not to pile up finished knitted objects.

So I ripped it back and re-knit it. I'm always striving to expand my skill set and increase the quality of my knitting. I figured it was the "mature" thing to do, even though I wrestled with it in my brain for a while, trying to come up with and alternate solution. (It's sometimes like that doing mature thing, isn't it?) Then Friday night I got the rest of the leg done, almost to the point of beginning the heel flap.

House socks are one of the things I like best about being at home in the winter. They're really cozy, especially when the house is...not very well heated. They're also especially good on hardwood floors.

So here's to maturity.

1 comment:

Mama Mojo said...

Wow. You're an amazingly talented knitter! I love it!