Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sock Mojo

I'll admit it: I really like knitting socks.

There's something wondrous about turning the heel, picking up the stitches, creating the gusset. Stitches running perpendicular to one another never cease to amaze me. Dennis even signed me up for the Rockin' Sock Club as a Christmas gift. I enjoy knitting socks.

Or I did.

Way back in February I was planning on knitting some socks for Kate, my four-year old. I would take her to the yarn store, let her pick the yarn, then let her choose a pattern from Sensational Knitted Socks. Before any of that could happen, though, I was sidetracked by having my entire family stricken with the stomach flu (except the kids) while my parents were visiting. At the same time, we were supposed to be delivering the hundreds of Girl Scout cookies that Emma had taken orders for a month earlier.

Eventually I did manage to procure some very nice Koigu for Kate's socks, though I foolishly picked the yarn myself. This was a mistake. It took me a couple of aborted tries to settle on a pattern (Again, one I picked myself. Mistake.). I started the sock. It went slowly because by now I was sick again, this time with endless respiratory symptoms. But it went well. The first sock was finished in the early part of March. The second sock never saw the light of day.

I ended up with full-blown bronchitis and mild pneumonia the week of Spring Break. Yep, that was fun. Knitting was impossible for a few weeks. Then came Emma's birthday and a special knitting project (the Egyptian outfit) for her, and before I knew it, we were well into May and still no second sock for Kate. I decided it was time to get back into the sock groove. This was when I discovered how seriously I had screwed with my sock mojo by pre-empting Kate's choice of yarn and pattern.

I cast on, began the second sock, and was well into it by the time I realized that it seemed out of all proportion to my daughter's foot. I tried the original sock on her. It was too small! At first I thought I could fudge it. It was a stretchy ribbed pattern, after all. I tried it on her again a couple of days later. There was no way she could wear a pair of socks that size and retain circulation in her feet. I ripped out the unfinished sock and pouted. I stretched the too-small finished sock and fumed. I even toyed with the idea of frogging that first sock and re-using the yarn for a new, bigger pair, but in the end I knew there was only one thing to do.

At our LYS, Kate picked a lovely green shade of Koigu with flecks of tan, brown, grey, and blue in it. It took her all of 20 seconds to choose the yarn. It took her under a minute to pick a pattern from More Sensational Knitted Socks. You can see the them at the top of this post. Finished just about 2 weeks ago. Pretty, aren't they? You'd think that was the end of the story. It's not.

Sock mojo firmly back in place, I began a pair of Fourth of July socks for Emma to wear when she walks with her Girl Scout troop in the Independence Day parade. These were knit in strict secrecy as a big surprise, out of lovely Regia Nation Colors. When I finished them this evening and showed them to Emma, she was delighted. Until, that is, she tried to put them on. They are too small. They are, in fact, a perfect fit for Kate.

I have concluded that knitting socks for growing children may not be the best idea.

Left to Right: Kate's original Koigu sock from March, Kate's new Koigu sock from 2 weeks ago, Kate's Fourth of July sock (intended for Emma).

Emma will still get a pair of red, white, and blue socks, but they'll be anklets, as I don't have enough yarn (or time) left for a full pair.

And I'll make them big, so she'll have room to grow.


Arlene said...

the rare times my mom makes socks for her grandkids, she makes them huge... with elastic straps to hold them up. even when your girls outgrow them, they make such cute mementoes, i think!

and hey, i've tagged you into revealing 8 things about yourself ;)

hope you're enjoying your time away from 30:30. ever since you left, i've never stopped thinking of civ 4 and how much i want to play it. temptress!


Sharon Hurlbut said...

Ooh, elastic. Now that's a thought.

Civ 4 is fun, though I'm still learning how it differs from Civ 3. I've also been playing Heroes of Might & Magic V a lot. You know it's bad when your children ask if you've conquered the world yet or how many zombies your army just defeated.

I'm not sure I can come up with 8 things to reveal about myself. Oh wait, you didn't say they have to be interesting, did you? I'll see what I can do...

This break really is great - I can feel my writing batteries recharging already. Have you started another 30/30 yet?