Monday, June 11, 2012

Little Things

The first friend in my circle of acquaintances is having a baby. It is the time in one's life where you realize that most of the people you know will eventually have progeny. It is a little scary. Well, with some of my friends anyway...

It's a good thing then that this first friend to get pregnant is my best friend. I've known her for over half of my life. I am excited about the baby, already nicknamed Zebulon by the way, but I may be slightly more excited about knitting stuff for the baby. Little things! Oh the cuteness!

For my first project I chose this darling little sock pattern called Cozy Little Toes by Judy Kaethler. Judy did all the math to resize a normal sock pattern for baby feet so you don't have to. Yay! I can cheat and not have to think.

That was the plan, anyway. Grab an odd ball of sock yarn, needles, and knit away. And then I screwed it up. A pretty moment, as the Knitmore Girls would say. And then I screwed up again. These socks were an exercise in how well I could screw up little socks.

Screw up count:
  1. Rib pattern on instep not centered = asymmetrical gussets. In other words, the right and left sides of the sock look different.
  2. After knitting the 12 rounds plain rounds for the foot of the sock and knitting the toe, I set them down and looked at them from far away. Too long. They would be good for elven children with freakishly long feet, but not normal baby feet. Was my gauge off? Ripped out the toe and took out 3 rows from the foot of the sock.
  3. Toe decreases on one sock are one stitch off = kitchener toe is a little funny looking.
How much do all of these little things matter though? Not much. The baby will surely never know. No one will really know, and any knitter who stares at the socks and dares to comment will get a baby sock on their nose before they can sneeze another word out.

It is really hard for me to let these little things go, to accept imperfection. But I must. The socks are actually quite beautiful. I look forward to making more Little Things, for the little one, with little mistakes that show my humanity and are a demonstration of unbounded love.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

5 Reasons Knitting Socks is Awesome

1) When salespeople at sports stores try to upsell socks to me, my response is one they haven't heard.

I do not like advertising. It is one of the main reasons I do not watch TV and I even get annoyed at the short commercials on Hulu. Once I learned in high school all the tricks advertisers use to get people to buy things I just had it. I stopped watching. And the things they target towards children? Ugh. Much of it is truly awful. But that's what a free market economy is right? Telling children that only TV truly knows their favorite characters and stories. Encourage them to think of their own stories? Not advertising that's for sure.

Salespeople are just doing their job, but I still love to turn down upselling when I feel it is for something totally pointless, like socks.

What I say goes something like this, "No thank you, I make my own socks." So far the response has always been silence because that is something for which their salesperson brain was not prepared.

What I am really thinking is this, "No, I do not need your mass produced hem at the toe uncomfortable tubes that you call socks. I can make socks however I want them and in whatever fiber I need them, thankyouverymuch. I can't, however, make my own shoes, so I'd like to shop for those now and unless you have some piece of riveting advice for that activity I will be fine on my own until I need a different size."


Sock yarn is so pretty. People who dye sock yarn are geniuses. Or genies.

3) Sock WIPs are better purse protectors than other options

Other options being a crowbar, a brick, or a mace. These are all way heavy and double pointed needles are a much lighter option. I'm knitting on two circulars now, but they are still pretty pointy.

I actually read a story on a Ravelry thread about how someone's sock knitting protected her purse on public transit in real life. She felt her bag jostle on a crowded bus and then heard someone say, "Oww!" because her socks needles had struck their mark.

Just remember, put the knitting on the top. You won't poke yourself though, because you know better right?

4) Turning a heel makes you feel smart, even though you know you just did what the directions told you to do

I don't value my knitting skills as much as I should. This has gotten better as I have stolen Barney Stinson's phrase from How I Met Your Mother and continually repeat, in earshot of others, "It's because I'm awesome!" Still, I have a tendency to undervalue my knitting.

Turning a heel though? Hell yes I did that. AND I AM THE QUEEN OF THE WORLD!

Something about turning a heel makes you feel smart. Definite awesome material right there.

5) Get your history geek on

I am a really big geek. I love science, nerdy things, band music, Harry Potter, and video games. I have seen the first season of the first ever Star Trek, so I am geek certified.

Knitting socks is a continuation of all things geeky in my life because I love the history of socks. People have been knitting socks for HUNDREDS of years. I am knitting virtually the same heel flap and gusset people knit hundreds of years ago. HOW COOL IS THAT? That's why it's geeky people. Get some geek cred and knit a pair of socks. You know, 'cause it's awesome.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2011 Knitting

I love the new year. It gives me the opportunity to reflect on what I accomplished in the previous year and what I can look forward to in the year to come. 2011 was a big one for me. I graduated with two degrees, one in Geography and another in Music Education. I gave an hour long recital of clarinet music. I completed a life goal to go camping at Joshua Tree during Spring to see the desert flowers. I traveled to Hong Kong(!) and enjoyed experiencing such an interesting place. 

I also started my credential program in music and tried my hand at working full-time and going to school full time. Although I soldiered through it, many of the things in my life that I enjoy, such as knitting and writing in this blog, became neglected. So I won't be doing that again. I quit my full-time job last week and am looking forward to my first job as a woodwind coach at a middle school. In the past month, since my semester ended, I have been knitting copious amounts. There is a constant pile of yarn on the couch. I think I missed it. I'm even doing some designing. What a process! What a joy! 

Here is what I knit in 2011.

Knotty gloves with cable pattern sized down a bit.

Two pairs of socks by Cookie A:
Devon in two different yarns.

Pomatomus in yarn from my never-ending stash of Jojoland Melody.

Swiffer cover, also stash yarn.

 Laminaria, a shawl from Knitty in Zephyr Laceweight.

Two of Stephen West's asymmetrically designed shawl Chadwick:
In naturally dyed yarn by Sincere Sheep.

In Manos de Uruguay Serena and Baruffa Bollicina cashmere.

A pattern called Hege from the book Hat Heads
Knit in KnitPicks Swish I picked up at a swap meet.

An archery finger-guard of my own design.

Quite the year, wasn't it?