Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Knitting neuroses

I think I've been subconsciously avoiding blog update-ification out of embarrassment. I keep coming up with excuses: "Oh, I have too much work to do." "It hasn't been that long." "Man, I really should probably tweeze my upper lip hairs instead." Here's why I've been avoiding you, my friends--the sock I showed off last post, the one that you had nothing but kind words about, has been pulled apart into its original yarn ball state. By me. On purpose.

Hear me out. Knitting neurosis #1: I get an idea in my head for what I want a piece to look like, inevitably can't find any patterns that suffice, and foolishly decide to just design my own. The socks were inspired by the kind of ski tracks that you often only see very early at a resort on a powder day, or in the backcountry: the powder 8. Two ski tracks crossing each other as perfect opposites.

In the backcountry at Whistler, BC a couple weekends ago. Love those smooth curves in the background (and on the skier, rawr).

So I've got these curves stuck in my mind. I wanted twisting lines to come down the sides of the sock leg, and then split off like skiers going in different directions at the ankle. Naturally, this is also the part I had the most trouble with. I re-worked the heel three or four times on the original iteration and still wasn't pleased with the results. It's difficult to tell from the original photo, but in trying to keep the pattern straightforward, it ended up looking plain funky. During a few boring work days after the completion of the first sock, I rewrote the leg-ankle section entirely.

And hence the conundrum. I'm ready to start on the second sock, but it's going to come out with a different look at the ankle, and actually be a different length in the leg. When I started obsessing about it, I even kind of wanted the toe section to be longer. I considered about asking you, dear reader, what you would do--but I think I was afraid it would be a resounding "Leave well enough alone you crazy asshole!" But here comes knitting neurosis #2: If something is wrong with a knitted piece, I'll obsess about it until the end of time. So I unraveled the sock in a frenzy before I could change my mind. I know. I know.

Which brings us full circle to where we left off last time: one sock completed. Here's the new, improved ankle section:

Lovingly longer leg section:

Expanded toe section:

Neurotic sigh of relief. They will match.


  1. AC, I like this better...your other sock was great but I love how the green "stripe" runs along the heel cable... this has a much cleaner look. Nice work!

  2. For the record, I would never have called you an asshole. ;-)

    But, yes, your second attempt is much better. Now go and get started on your second sock, young lady!