Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Socks on the road

Lately all the knitting I've done has been while in transit, which means chemo hats and socks, because everywhere I've needed to go is just so darned far away and then of course the commute eats up any time one might spend on cardigans knit from yarn on cones.

I guess I'm impressionable because ever since Helena pointed out the importance of always having a sock just cast on and ready to grab in case of emergency I've tried to have one in that state (and then I get interested and by the time an emergency comes up - they do keep happening, dagnabbit - I'm on to the heel and can't find that part of the instructions.)

That's why I have two pairs of socks going right now, one super easy plain knitting, and one that's complicated by the fact that I'm writing a pattern for the leg design.  This is foolish and completely misses the point of emergency knitting but I seem to be compulsive as well as impressionable, and also I haven't been able to bring myself to just knit a pattern swatch for heaven's sake but must knit 3" of sock before I decide I want a slight change in the stitch.  Sigh.

This is what's sitting on my counter at the moment, for grabbing and going.

The back bag is both of the pair of complicated socks; the front one is just one plain sock.  Taking just one makes the bag lighter and smaller, and keeps the two balls from getting tangled, but of course you run the risk of making one sock longer than the other.  Yesterday after another age on public transit I compared the one in the little bag to the one in the storage bag and panicked a little.

The Tavener on the left is the one I'd worked on that morning; the sock on the right was the one I'd put aside last week because it seemed like it was getting close to long enough.  They are almost the same length; thank goodness I didn't take the left-hand sock to a coffee shop yesterday while exhausted but came straight home instead.

Post-panic, I counted rows on an existing perfect-length sock and then on these two, coming up with an ideal row count that I don't know why I didn't write down before I cast on in the first place unless another of my bad qualities is the urge to live dangerously, or at least overly complicate things (which I think just might be true, don't you?)

Sock on the right: half a row short of ideal.
Sock on the left: 12 rows short of ideal.

Whew.  Except ACK. Because once again: I'm at the heel.  Two heels.

So the Deco cardi is going to wait just the teensiest bit longer while I get these two socks over the bend so they can go back to being mindless emergency knitting.  The patterned socks I've finally worked out, and last night I wrote up the details and made a cheat sheet such that they are both embellished and mindless, even better for emergencies because they give you a sense of progress while allowing you to read the sock and not the instructions. 

I think I might be nailing this business of turning my character lemons into lemonade, don't you?


Sel and Poivre said...

The road to efficient knitting is a long but worthwhile one to make! It must feel great to be on the right track!

Kathleen Taylor said...

It's time to settle on a favorite heel and then memorize it (or keep a little cheat sheet in your knitting bag with the proper numbers), then you can do your heel any time.

Love the socks, by the way!