Thursday, March 2, 2017

The finally-finished socks

Because I know how to live, obviously, it won't surprise you that my exciting plan for January 4 was to get up early for a meeting about kitchen cabinets and spend the rest of the day finishing these socks:

Both of them were about 10 rounds short of the toe, and I had lined up an excellent schedule of movie viewing and snack eating as knitting accompaniments.  BLISS.  Had I but known that my real date for that day was with a pair of broken fingers and a lot of Emergency room staff...  But never mind all that, the socks are finally finished!  Slowly and not at all surely, I got through all the remaining stitches and am now the proud possessor of alpaca socks with a gaping maw at the top which is drooling out a whole lot of yarn I need to run in.

It really surprises me how much knitting is like golf, in that you can do it for years and years and have plenty of good days and still mess up badly for no reason.  I hope you don't know what I mean, and on that note, I will explain.

I noticed a mysterious problem with these socks, and now with the new pair I'm working on instead of running in ends and Kitchener-stitching the toe, that is just ridiculous.  And it dates back before my altercation with the sidewalk, too, so I can't blame it on the splint.

Somehow, I'm dropping a random stitch from one round while knitting it during the next, so that there's a little bar of unused yarn on the back and an elongated stitch on the front.  And if I'm not doing that with one stitch, I'm doing it with two or three, and somehow twisting the bar of unused yarn so that it gets knit into one or two of those stitches again - AFTER I've used the loose new yarn I'm holding in my hand.  Or instead of it?  Either way I'm not noticing as I do it (so I have no idea how I'm managing it) and I'm only catching it many rounds later when I stop to admire how nice the fabric looks and see a funny little pulled area where the loose yarn is all knit up, but not in the correct vertical order.

Probably I could ignore the little pulls and gaps and the end product would be fine, but it bothers me and as a result, I have expended a great deal of clumsy left-hand energy on dropping down the offending stitches, straightening it all out, and laddering everything back up again.

It is really, really annoying.  All I can think is that I'm getting sloppy and taking my knitting for granted and will have to work much harder.

I mean, it's worth the effort, right?

Because to me, these look crazy comfortable.  Well - okay, crazy comfortable once they don't have needles sticking out of them.  They also look like sock puppets, but I am pretty sure they will settle easily into their keeping-my-feet-warm duties once they are completely finished.

Okay, time for other news:

I don't have to wear my splint any more!!

I saw my doctor this week and in addition to giving me four new physical therapy exercises which are sooooo painful (but necessary since I still have stiff little sausages where my fingers used to be), he said it's time to stop wearing Lambchop.  He also wants me to use my left hand for all the normal things I use it to do (including typing, which is why I am finally posting another Hug - I was SO TIRED of having to talk to the Dragon software, repeating myself over and over and correcting lame mistakes.)  This means I can knit, pour tea with the lid still on the pot, chop vegetables...

SERVICE ALERT: raw fennel, with Boursin cheese smeared on it.  DELICIOUS.

ANOTHER SERVICE ALERT: when I went to get that Boursin link I saw that this is a Quebec cheese and is maybe not available in the U.S.?  You could sub in cream cheese, I guess, or goat cheese for sure.  You have probably been doing this sort of thing for years anyway, I know I have, but since I've been nibbling on it while writing this I felt I should share.


... and wear an actual coat.  With sleeves.

Here's an interesting discovery.  Today in Toronto the temperature dropped back down to 'super cold' from 'unseasonably balmy', and with my awkward bulky bent splint out of the picture, I was thrilled to be able to put on a cashmere sweater and my parka for an early morning errand.

I froze.

When I went out the second time I swapped the parka for a wool sweater jacket and my alpaca cape/poncho thing.  And I was warm!!!

I mean sure, I still looked like an enormous bat, which has been my chief objection to poncho living, but man.  It's true what they say about the value of layering.  And the insulating value of wool and alpaca.

Which is what went into the yarn for these fluffy soft socks.

Oh, I can't wait to have these finished, so I can wear them for three minutes before winter is officially over.

Do you still have winter projects on your needles, now that we are officially into March?


Trish said...

I still have about 10 projects on the needles that I really thought I'd have done before the end of January. Nothing like a few good knitting delusions, I always say...

And from your knitting glitch description, it sound like you're knitting the lower row of stitches, not the live stitch on the needle, but the one below it. I've been catching myself doing that lately with my lightweight yarn projects. Maybe it's the weather...?

Marianne said...

We enjoyed three seasons in one last week. Went from winter to spring then to summer (high of 80) now we are enjoying a few more days of winter again.
Since I am not fully recovered from heart surgery (just a stent to correct the 80% blockage), I have found a lot of time for knitting, I have a shawl WIP that is only a few rows from finishing plus two UFO's that are now just need to be blocked. I am feeling quite accomplished, won't admit to how many UFO's I had created, but at least I found all the missing needles I thought were lost!!! Happy that you are now splint-less, and your hand is healing so well. Take good care!!

Mary Keenan said...

Ohh Trish, that makes sense! I could easily be doing that now, with the one dysfunctional hand, and earlier, when I was in too much of a hurry. Will watch for that. Hope you get one of the ten done now and the others by next January... sometimes swapping out the year is the best we can hope for with knitting timetables ;^)

Mary Keenan said...

Marianne!! I was wondering how you've been - thank goodness you were able to get the stent put in, they are tiny miracle workers aren't they. Oh, the UFOs.... but it feels great to finish them, or even to accept they will never be FOs and retrieve the needles, as I have done a few times out of desperation. That's another upside to your operation, getting a little time to deal with past knitting adventures to clear the way for new ones. SO glad you are on the med, hownever slowly!

Laurinda said...

Hooray for being splint-less!
I'm working on a square garter shawl (so delightfully mindless) & I've accidentally slipped the increase marker over, shifting my yarnovers, on several occasions. I think EVERY knitter knows what those mistakes are like!
Those socks definitely seem worth the effort though <3
& I still haven't picked up my poncho project I was starting for last fall

Mary Keenan said...

I am seriously considering sewing a poncho in the same dimensions as my cashmere one, Laurinda. Much faster, and I have been wearing that thing a TON - it is surprisingly flattering and comfy! Ugh re. the perpetually shifting increase marker... it's like knitting does this on purpose just to keep us from getting smug, heh