I have finished my first pair of socks for 2011! The are Jaywalkers. I realize that this in itself is not much of an accomplishment. There are probably a ton of knitters that have finished their first pair of socks already and are onto their second or third pair. I am sure that there are even a few knitters who have just finished their first pair of socks ever, (which I believe is a big accomplishment.) But these socks and I have a history that involves ongoing antagonism right up to the point where they were finally on my feet.
My first attempt to make these socks happened on a summer day about two years ago. I had the skein of yarn in my stash and as soon as I saw the pattern, I knew that the skein had to become these socks. Unfortunately, I was jet lagged. I was so badly jet lagged that I literally could not count too eight reliably and it took me nearly two hours to knit about 2 ½ inches. I struggled with the double decreases and the knit front and back until the phone rang. When the person asked me what I was doing and I answered with “I am struggling with a sock pattern, it kind of needs my attention,” and her response was “uh-huh” before keeping me on the phone for 45 minutes, I gave in and tossed the whole damn thing (frogged) into the closet.
For the next six months, the ball sat in the closet undisturbed and taunting me. I would have to move it occasionally to get to other items in my stash and every time I saw it I would think “Jaywalker” and then ignore it again. Last year I tried again. I set it up with the other patterns and skeins that I matched up to make 12 pairs of socks last year. Well, that didn't happen and somehow they just didn't get knit. (I think I managed about 5 pairs of socks last year.)
So finally, right around New Years Day, I took the ball and the pattern out to try again. (I have been told in the past that I can be quite stubborn.) I cast on and they are going well. And then I tried to put them on. They would not go over my heel. I'm not sure how small your feet would have to be get them on, but I'm thinking 10 year old girl. So they were frogged again and had another “time out” . I went up both a needle size and a pattern size and cast on again. This time, I finally seemed to have the magic combo and the first sock flew off the needles. I loved the striping, and even though it was a tiny bit too big, I was still pleased. I was not going to allow second sock syndrome to strike me down, so the second one was cast on and the cuff completed before the end of the day. And then I had a horrid thought.
“Do I have enough yarn?” I bought this skein so long ago, it was in my stash for at least a year before I tried to make the socks for the first time, that I don't know if I can get more, and the label is gone so I'd have to guess anyway. Suddenly I found myself harnessing the spirit of the Yarn Harlot and truly believing if I got to the end of the leg fast enough, I would somehow magically increase the amount of yarn that I had in the ball and be able to finish the sock before finishing the ball. This tension became the driving force behind the socks. I was unable and uninterested in knitting anything else. After turning the heel, I become “cautiously optimistic” about having enough yarn, but believed that if I said “I had enough,” that the yarn elves would hear me and steal away half my remaining skein when I got up for a coffee. The game was defiantly on and I really wasn't sure who was going to win it, me or the sock. Turns out, in the end, it was me with a handful of grams left over. They are finished. I am happy. And I think that after 6 years of knitting, I can finally say that I am a sock knitter!