Archive for June, 2009

The Soul-Sucking Socks of Despair

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

5elementknitter used the word soul-sucking in her comment on my previous post, and I think that is the best word to describe my last sock knitting project.  The Socks That Wouldn’t End.  The Socks of Doom.  The Thorn in My Side Socks.  The Ninth Circle of Hell Socks.  The Oh-My-God-I-Need-To-Stab-Myself-In-The-Eye-With-A-DPN Socks.

Once again, for the record, there is nothing wrong with this sock pattern.  Nothing.  Not. One. Thing.   In fact, I think it’s a great pattern for beginning sock knitters who would like to make something that Looks Really Impressive and Complicated, But Isn’t.  This pair of socks lets you tell every non-knitter How Hard and Challenging They Are.  Srsly, cats and kittens, we’re talking a 17-stitch lace pattern worked over 8 rows, and only 4 of those rows involve lace.

These socks took me 10 weeks to knit.  I know I’m a slow knitter, but I usually take no more than a month on a pair of socks, knitting on and off.  I was three-quarters done with these socks when I ripped back the entire Second Sock and started over.  It was ugly.  I’m glad I did it, but it was ugly.  In any event, I wanted to write my standard FO blog post and then hide these socks until September/October when I won’t mind looking at the yarn again.

Black Rose Socks

PatternBlackrose Socks, by Suzy Anvin

Yarn:  Dream in Color Smooshy, Gothic Rose, approximately 360 yards.  Even though I love this colorway, I think staring at it for 10 weeks was the major problem.  My next pair of socks will be made with something considerably brighter.

Size:  Small

Needles:  US 0, 1, and 1.5 to customize the fit.  I started with the 1.5’s, then switched to 1.0’s after the first four lace repeats to accommodate my skinnier ankles.  I switched to the 0’s to make a dense (i.e., less prone to holes) toe.

Mods:  I did very little modding on these socks.  I did nine repeats of the lace pattern before the heel turn instead of eight repeats since I wanted to add a little length to the leg.  I did my usual shortened heel flap by working 27 rows as opposed to the 33 called for in the pattern.

They fit like a dream come true.  These are my fourth ever pair of socks and I think I’m getting the hang of customizing socks for my German Peasant Calves and Dainty Elf Feet.  Or something like that.

Further Bulletins As Events Warrant

Friday, June 19th, 2009

“You lack faith,” said Candide.

“It is because,” said Martin, “I have seen the world.”

— Voltaire (Candide, Chapter XXIV)

Checking in — Not necessarily because I have something to say.  I’m hoping if I start typing something, anything, I can get out of the not-blogging rut.

For the insatiably curious:  I have played 350 games of that 1-win-in-200 solitaire game without winning a single hand.

For the knitters:  I finally finished the Black Rose socks.  I have rechristened them the “Thorn in My Side” Socks.  10 weeks of knitting.  It’s not that it’s a difficult pattern or that the yarn was hard to work with.  It was all operator error.   I ripped back the second sock after I seriously goofed the heel turn and tried to fix it.  I frogged four-weeks’ of progress in a fit of pique.  I don’t have a decent picture to show you yet , though.  My photography skills, such as they are, are failing me.

For those monitoring my mental health:  Let’s just say that if I wasn’t on Wellbutrin, things would be Extremely Bad.  On the Wellbutrin, it’s Merely Bad in General.  Hate summer.  Hate light.  Hate heat.  I’ve been trying to make a list of “positive” things about summer.  Let’s see.

  • Lots of time sitting in an air conditioned house working on big knitting projects. 
  • Thunderstorms.
  • Fresh home-grown catnip for the pusses.
  • Nectarines, my favorite fruit, are in season (and sold in lovely air-conditioned produce sections at the store).

That’s it.  The rest of it is all sweat and humidity and mosquitoes and People Who Really Shouldn’t Be Wearing Anything Sleeveless.

Enjoy your weekend, cats and kittens.  I’ll be sitting on my couch, watching documentaries, and ploughing through 4 inches of 1×1 ribbing.  On 220 stitches.  Pictures may or may not be forthcoming.  I’m just happy to keep my head about water right now.

Holding Patterns

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

I feel like I’ve been stuck in the same loop for a while.  I’m still knitting the Same Damned Sock that I was knitting four weeks ago.   I’m still monitoring Emma’s blood glucose levels.  I’m still trying to win this really, really annoying version of solitaire that gives the odds of winning as 1 in 200 games (I’ve played 250 games so far — no dice).  I’m still feeling the rumbles and stirrings of The Black Dog — it’s twitching in its sleep, I swear — and I’m hoping that it slumbers on for a little while longer.

There’s a wonderful article on the history of the metaphor of The Black Dog here.  I wish I had the energy to absorb it all, but I may need to wait until my Black Dog Season goes away in the fall.  The incongruity there is not wasted on me.