The Bleeding Obvious

Since I started the self-imposed sock club earlier this year, its really gone smashingly well. I matched up 12 patterns I’ve been meaning to knit with 12 yarns I’ve been meaning to use and put them tidily in 12 ziplocks and stashed them away, the goal being to have one pair done each month.  I’ve loved it.  I pull a bag at random, and it’s a ton of fun to surprise myself.  (I’d rather not talk about the fact that since I was the one who picked the stuff in the first place, it shouldn’t be this easy to surprise myself, but it is.) 

Every month the socks have been finished before the month’s been out, and most months I’ve even finished early – and worked on another pair in the time left before the I draw the next months kit.  It hasn’t really even been that challenging, and I’ve congratulated myself heartily for meeting goal after goal.

That moment, the moment just a little while ago where I thought "You know, this is really going awfully well" is the moment when I took my eyes of the prize.  It didn’t really seem like it needed much work to happen, it was just working out, and I slammed this months sock-of-the-month onto needles and waited for the magic to happen. 

It hasn’t, and here I am on the 23rd of the month, the time where any other month I would be in the home stretch- belting out the last few rounds of the second sock, and I’m not even yet at the toe of the first one. 

Cirque pattern, Red Rocks Fiberworks Aspen Sock in "Betty Boop Blue"

Ever since I realized this was happening, I’ve been trying to figure out why. I ran down the usual reasons for why knitting might be going slowly.

1. Am I bored? 

No. I’m not bored.  It isn’t even the second sock yet.  I love knitting, it’s got charming little cables that keep me awake and I think the whole thing is pretty interesting.

2. Do I actually hate this knitting and am only kidding myself about liking it because I don’t want to hurt the projects non-existent feelings?

No. Good yarn, good pattern, not annoyed by anything about it. 

3. Are there limits around this project that make it hard to put in the time?

No.  I can’t knit it in the dark, but I haven’t really been in the dark, I don’t need to look at the chart, there’s not a lot to keep track of, the needles aren’t bugging me, I’m cabling without a cable needle so I don’t have to perpetually hunt for something… I really don’t think there’s anything here that’s difficult enough that it’s slowing me down.  Besides, a challenge usually speeds me up. Challenges are interesting.

The more I looked at it, the worse I felt. There’s really no reason why this sock isn’t done. I’ve taken it everywhere, I’ve had it with me all the time… why just the other day when I was finishing those mittens, the sock was right…..

Oh.  Lightbulb.  My inner critic asked question #4 and I knew right away what the problem is.

4. Have you actually been knitting on the socks, or are you a two-timing wench who thought that the socks would get done through the mystic efforts of the magic knitty wishes you sent in their direction while sulking off with a sexy new pair of colourwork mittens?

I’d prefer not to answer.


129 thoughts on “The Bleeding Obvious

  1. Oh come on you have 7 days to finish! We know you can do that with your eyes closed! (Just put down that second pair of mittens!)

  2. You mean I have to knit something for it to be completed? No wonder I’m not dome with my sweater yet…

  3. Ooooo, I’ve put the Cirque socks into my own personal sock club queue too. The sock so far looks terrific and now that you’ve publicly admitted your timing issues you’ll zip through this pair and finish on time. I have complete faith in you 😉

  4. LOL I can so relate! I am about two months away from having my first baby, a girl, and months ago I started a baby blanket for her. I mean a huge colorwork monstrosity of a baby blanket! And I was wondering why on earth it hadn’t been progressing until I realized I wasn’t really working that much on it! Now I’m making a point to spend a long time on it every single day, and I’m amazed at how fast it’s flying off my needles! When do we learn??

  5. You have one week and one day, but I would advise monogamy, for this one project. No one is judging, because if it helps, I, too, cannot love and knit one project, in one yarn, at a time. But, think of how wonderful it will feel to know that you can buckle down (by stashing those mittens somewhere inaccessible) and finish a pair of socks a month. (And I must hide that sock yarn from myself, to finish the shawl I need done).

  6. Random question, unless you are a knitter, what needles do you use for your socks and/or which are your favorite to use. I am doing some experimenting and I am not sure if I have found the right fit for me yet.

  7. That sounds so like you. Good thing the mittens are finished and you can go back to the sock. Aren’t you glad it’s the forgiving sort that will take you back no questions asked. No recriminating looks or hurt feelings. Such a forgiving sock. Nice sock. Now go knit sock and sin no more you Harlot you.

  8. It’s the 23rd. This month doesn’t end until the 30th. I don’t see how you figure you’re behind, really.
    I’d prefer to think “Whoo! I’ve got a whole week left!” as opposed to “Aiyee. Only a week left??”.
    (This, of course, is why I do not self-impose any clubs. I’ve got the drive. I do not have the follow through.)

  9. Yes, reason four is why I’ve had a summer cardigan on the needles since March. Of course, nothing as ambitious as colorwork making me unfaithful; I’ve been caving for dishclothes lately!

  10. With me I rarely get past question one – “What’s wrong with it?”. When I spend more time looking at it than knitting it the reason is usually that there’s something very wrong with it that I’m trying hard not to acknowledge.
    Does it really matter if you don’t get done? Stick it back in the cupboard in the space that you take the next kit out of and catch it up next month.

  11. Yep. Been there. Too often. This time it’s the current STR socks that aren’t finishing themselves like they should, in favor of the new wool that I promised myself I wouldn’t buy in Iceland. But there was all that space in my suitcase.

  12. It’s okay- -you’re not bad, you’re just drawn that way! Embrace that multi-tasking ADD part of your life. It’s why so many of us follow you.

  13. You have tons of time..remember the time/space thing where you knitted a sock in a day? That could happen here..there is a week till the end of the month..lots of time.

  14. I am loving the socks for your “front feet” comment. I think it is brilliant and really very observant.

  15. Look on the bright side. You’ve got a beautiful pair of mittens finished before the cold sets in, which could happen any day now, and a whole week to finish the socks. You can do it!

  16. Definitely a warp in the space/time continuum. Usually occurs 93 days before Christmas and rears its ugly head around key deadlines.
    This too shall pass.

  17. I’m sure tomorrow’s post will have the finished pair of socks. You are a super knitter as we all know and you will make it happen. I don’t even need to have faith in you because you just always get things done.

  18. Yes, I learn that lesson over and over: If you knit it, it will get done, and if you don’t, it won’t. Why is this so hard to learn? I come to this realisation several times a year, I think…

  19. Well duh!, I am a procrastinator of the first order, I have projects waiting for me to finish but every time I get a new magazine,(are there any other than knitting)or a catalog , I space out what I am suppose to be doing and dream. Your mittens to die for, the socks, another minute dreaming won’t hurt will it?

  20. Socks come in pairs, mittens come in pairs, both are portable and worked in the round…it’s really not a far leap from one to the other. All the same, best remind the socks that variegated yarn is just as hot as colorwork and finish up the pair before the lone sock takes up with something from the UFO basket.

  21. two timing wench! LOL! I actually choked on my tea! you are hysterical! thanks very much for the belly laugh! and I’ve seen how fast you can knit. I’m sure Sept. socks won’t be late.. you’ve 10 days to do it!

  22. Yup, the mittens are pretty, but they won’t keep your feet warm in your clogs on a chilly day in October, will they? You have a week, you’re speedy, all you need is focus, right?

  23. Wench is such a harsh word, and the socks are beautiful, could it be (gasp) that they just aren’t that into you? Nah.

  24. Isn’t it funny how the obvious most often escapes us? I have all the confidence of the world that you will get these socks finished before the end of the month. The yarn is beautiful and the pattern isn’t shabby either.

  25. Early this month I broke out my BMFA Silkie Socks yarn and Rivendell. Lovely pattern – lovely yarn – but wait – I need something small and easy in the tote for work and stoplights and waiting time, so I better start these little brown generic anklets. Ohhhhh – but Wait – LYS is having a sock contest and I have this lovely pink yarn and a Cookie A pattern – better get going on it – BUT WAIT – the new STR yarn came in and isn’t it just perfect for the Dublin Bay sock – I mean, look at how it’s doing this spiral stripe thing – – – – – –
    I just wanted to say – I feel your pain!

  26. Not only are you a Yarn Harlot but a Mitten Floozy and a Sock Slut…you’re getting into some dangerous territory here. Maybe you need an image re-make?

  27. Dammit, do you mean the gloves I’m making for my father won’t knit themselves in my handbag? But I’ve been carrying them everywhere for weeks!

  28. “The truth will out” I had cause to remind my son earlier this week when his friend found a $100 note, and wouldn’t tell her parents!, it sounds as though I have another occassion to use the quote. LOL.
    Unfortunately I have the same problem this side of the ditch, only my excuse is: I get to a problem with the knitting and then stop. Rather than awarding myself the time and headspace to work the problem out, it happens time and time again with me.
    Anyway the mittens were breathtakingly beautiful, I can see why you would err on their side.

  29. I was wondering what was happening with this months socks. As for the surprising yourself part, you picked this stuff out in December or January, how are you expected to remember with life happening everyday? That said, you are an amazing knitter and if you put your mind to it, you will finish them before the end of the month.

  30. It happens to me all the time. In fact, the happier I am with a project, the easier it is for me to cheat shamelessly by sneaking off with another project.
    Oh, who am I kidding? Sometimes, I don’t even sneak!

  31. hehe, knitting infidelity!
    *Are* there knitters that don’t occasionally “put out” for a project from the wrong side of the knitting bag?

  32. I’m laughing. My monogamous knitting streak on the jumper I hope to finish for THIS very Fall is not going well either. I’m two timing too.

  33. Like others have said, you are the (yarn) harlot after all. And if you can’t have cheeky on-the-side knitting dalliances, then who of us can? Make sure the socks know their loved, but cheat on I say! 🙂

  34. Come to think of it, there’s also a sweater OTN, isn’t there?
    What’s a poor sock have to do to get your attention? Especially in that gorgeous yarn. :o)

  35. Maybe you’re just enjoying the ‘one pair of socks a month’ thing so much that you don’t really want to finish – you know, like the last bite of pie? the last drop of eggnog?

  36. Aarrggh, an ye be forgettin’ it wer Talk Like A Pirate Day jus’ a few days back. A harlot such as yerself whot be galavantin’ ’round with the likes o’ such handsome mittens, as ye were, should be ashamed o’ yerself when ye has such bonny socks awaitin’ fer ye a hame. GAAARRR!!!! (Oy vey, what a mishmash of dialects! Apologies….)

  37. Bet is too many blue..better yet..the fun is at an impass..Guess it is time to do two at a time knitting..Christmas is around the corner and speed is needed..

  38. I totally agree, and love the idea of the self imposed sock club. Oh, do I agree that you are easily swept away by another brilliant bit of color work— well. We are all turned by something wonderfully distracting, be it lace, color work, or that pretty new bump of fiber.
    I shall have to think of the same–as the sock bin is overflowing with such lovely sock yarns. My only dilema is I have promised my hubby to make him a pair for every pair I make myself. Believe me I am trying my best to honor this as he is so appreciative- and shows them off.

  39. Would there be any point to mittens AND socks for next year’s self-imposed club? Just a thought…

  40. I hope you do this self-imposed sock club again next year. I had way too many patterns and yarn to choose from and only managed for the first few months. And being the *harlots* we all are I have flitted from project to project. But knit on!

  41. I sure wish the “mystic efforts of the magic knitty wishes” worked! I have several shawls that need to get finished. I haven’t figured out a way yet to knit on multiple projects at the same time. Oh, to have the arms of an octopus…and the brains to have 4 projects going at once!

  42. Thanks for the laugh, I needed that…you two-timing wench of a knitter. Ha ha ha! Don’t feel too bad, I’m more of a seven-timing wench myself. Only in the crafty part of my life, thank goodness. 🙂

  43. I think you should solve this problem by renaming it the “sock and mitten club”. You started the club, you can bend the rules just a bit.
    The mittens were so pretty and they are perfect because they’re finished before the weather gets cold enough to need them. You can knit two pairs of socks while everyone else is trying to force their frozen fingers to knit mittens!

  44. Also, you’d be wise to get the November sock done early because of the retreat.
    And maybe the October sock will need to be done before you get all involved in the preparation for November.

  45. Huh. I guess reason #4 is why that baby blanket I was working on when you came to Dallas (OK, Plano) last year (it was only last year, right? Not the year before. Right?) is still sitting here, waiting for the final eleventy-billion stitches in block 10 to get finished so I can do the border & be done. Block 10 *is* the last one, right? Right? Well, if it wasn’t before, it by golly is now!

  46. Darn those sexy colorwork mittens! I’ve been having a similar problem. I think I should have these questions printed up, framed and placed somewhere prominent in my home.

  47. Back away from the mittens. Or at least alternate: an hour with the socks, then an hour with the mittens (or whatever timing works for you).

  48. You are clearly to be forgiven for ignoring the socks since the mittens are beyond sexy – they are perhaps in the addictive category. Oh well, that would explain a lot!

  49. Option 5. The sock yarn is blue. You have difficulty with monogamy to blue. How long for summer in KS? Years. I’m reading the archives.

  50. which just goes to show you how much knitters can act alike. This happened to me more than once over the past month or two.

  51. I just read about the time you had to make 8 pairs of socks in 8 days. Remember those child laborers in days of yore. A sock and a toe in seven days? Get a hold of yourself!

  52. I am a philandering knitter of the worst kind. There are some gains to be had by this behavior. While I can go stretches with nary a FO, suddenly, I find a closet full of UFOs that have only to be bound off or seemed together. Within a short amount of time I can produce multiple FOs.
    But all the sneaking around and indulging my licentious side can be exhausting.

  53. It is now time to declare your knitting in a state of emergency. In order to correct this you must knit and drink coffee until they are all done.
    It is now time for you to renounce your Harlot ways!!

  54. You’re fine. You can’t fool us. We saw you knit a sock in a day, remember? If you really, really want to…you can knit October’s, November’s, and December’s socks by the first of the month.

  55. Magic knitty wishes. Harlot, I think you’ve coined another new phrase. Knitty wishes, indeed. I have a few of those floating around the ambient too.

  56. Hm, then you probably don’t want to see spillyjane’s new pattern “Warm Woolen Mittens” which I am going to have to make asap. I’m just saying.

  57. I’ve got 2 pairs of socks on my needles that I guess I’ve been waiting on the Knitting Fairies to finish for me! Guess this is the Knitting God’s way of motivating me….lol

  58. I’m sure you will get this months socks done. Those fantastic mittens were worth being a little late.

  59. A leopard can’t change its spot, and a yarn harlot always changes her mind. I’m sure its some fact of life-at least for knitters anyways.

  60. Didn’t you start a sweater too? (Technically, I’d say you’ve started it twice.). That makes you a three or four timer.

  61. Does Canada have the equivalent of our (U.S.A.) “pleading the 5th”? Meaning – I refuse to answer on the grounds that I might incriminate myself (the 5th isn’t a bottle, it’s the 5th Amendment of the Constitution).

  62. Beautiful socks and I love the color. Also I should tell you that the whole concept of the self imposed sock club is pure genius, I mean, why have random yarn show up on your doorstep which you may or may not love while there is plenty of yarn in the stash which you do? I hope you don’t mind, but I’m planning on stealing your sock club idea next year and doing one for myself. I might even do a few small shawls (the kinds that use sock yarn) – since it’s self imposed I think it could work for more than socks right?
    Oh, and I wouldn’t worry too much about the ability to surprise yourself, I can do that too. It makes life more fun when you don’t know who’s going to surprise you next!

  63. I know Canada doesn’t have the 5th amendment – protection against incriminating yourself – but perhaps we could loan it to you, just for a little bit.
    Pretty yarn, pretty pattern.

  64. Oh goodie…..we were due for one of your up-for-62-hours, overcaffinated, running-hell-bent-for-the-finish-line-will-she-make-it-or-won’t-she posts.
    I have no doubt what the outcome of this will be but I do so enjoy watching you ramp up to warp speed. >:-)

  65. I too am borrowing your idea with all the sock yarn and single skeins of loveliness that I’ve bought but can’t seem to knit up — in some cases I have several patterns but can’t decide which one wants to be which — so I will have a “Sock YARN and Single Skein” club all my own. Might even start it in October rather than wait for January 1. But who am I kidding, I will have way too much gift knitting to do in November and December to have a shawl going in the background . . .or will I?? I love the idea of surprising myself!

  66. Is “Sexy Mittens” a new Canadian band?
    If not, can I move to Canada and start a band?
    (I don’t think “Sexy Mittens” would be a really good name for a band from North Carolina. Never mind that I’m not particularly musical).

  67. It’s so easy to get distracted! I had 2 different pairs of socks going, one I’d started months ago and one last month, and somehow confused the sizes, decided I liked mitered heels better, and totally undid one of the older socks as a result.
    So I got crazy and stayed up until midnight to finish one of the socks, and am having a tough time typing with any accuracy today. But – I finished a sock!

  68. How is your Wild Apples sweater? You haven’t posted about it in a while–didn’t know if you finished it and I missed it or if it had gotten put to the bottom of the pile.

  69. I am screamin’ laughing at this post…and everyone who answered!!!
    Oh my head!!!! Thanks Everyone!!!
    (I soooooooooooo needed this!!!)

  70. lolol
    This is the same phenomenon that dooms us to be late to nearly everything . . . and it all begins with “We’ve got plenty of time . . . ”
    At least you’re knitting something. I’ve just been researching and searching and swatching, and haven’t come up with ANYTHING yet. Well, I have . . . but I’m always short a skein, or the yarn I have won’t knit to the right fabric, etc . . .
    And with all that said, get on it, girl. :o)

  71. Darn it I though all you had to do was cast on and somehow it all happened. Now I might have to rethink and actually put in some effort to finish off all those WIPS

  72. Isn’t it more like three-timing? You did start that lovely Cirque sweater with the diesel yarn this month!
    The sock is beautiful, good luck with finishing!

  73. I struggle with such guilt over those unfinished projects… I’m always falling in love with that new yarn… my most recent fling is with this silk/wool blend singles yarn… it’s so glossy and I really couldn’t describe the color as anything but pearly, and it even SMELLS good… my poor cabled socks didn’t stand a chance.

  74. That’s funny, because I too have let my Cirque socks fall by the wayside in favor of other projects, even though I love the pattern and have been longing to wear them. The first sock came along nicely, and then people started having babies. So I stopped and started knitting stuff for them. Then I got pregnant and had more baby stuff to knit, and gloves I’ve been promising DH for 2 years, and a sweater for my older child. But I really want to finish my darn socks! Don’t let yours go almost a year like me. Put the mittens down. They will still be there later.

  75. Good luck with the sock club! What do you guys use for sock yarns? Paradise Fibers has a few I’m looking at.

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