February 6, 2008

Not enough coffee in the world

Last night, I sat down (for maybe the third time over the last two days) to finish the Vintage socks, and I discovered a big problem. It is not a knitting problem, per se, but an emotional problem which has a knitting effect.

I am done with these socks. This wouldn't be a problem at all, except that I am not done these socks. To put it bluntly.. I'm sick of them. Its been an engaging knit, and a super fun one, and boy...have I learned some cool stuff, but I'm down to the madness that is the fiddly, all consuming time suck that is the business of attaching all the leaves, doing the embroidery and dealing with the ends. It is taking forever. Time stops while you do it. I keep thinking this time that I sit down to work on them they will be done...and then I work and work and work, and they aren't done. Up until this morning (when I sat down to finish the socks and once again...didn't finish the socks) I was actually starting to believe that these socks were some sort of sick time loop. That maybe they just can't be finished. Maybe there's always something more to do and you just can't finish them. Maybe there's some twisted reverse shoemakers-elf thing going on while I'm not with them, I don't know. If I don't finish today, I shall surely never be the same.

Here's how you finish the socks. (I think. they are not finished, so I'm not sure.)

Step one of the leaf phase. Ignore instruction to place first eight leaves. Decide to make the second eight leaves the first eight leaves because it seems less fiddly. (Laugh to self, because the whole thing is so fiddly that "less fiddly is a meaningless comparative term. Wonder if laughing at knitting is a sign of declining mental health. Laugh again.)


Decide where the first eight of the leaves you are integrating should go. Rearrange stitches to incorporate new order.


Finish that. Note that grey hair has fallen from your head and is going to be incorporated. Wonder absently if you had this much grey hair before these leaves, or if hair loss is normal at this point.

Step two. Work integrated i-cord, while noting that you did not leave ends long enough to fully integrate in the manner the instructions suggest. Pen brief letter to the designer. Delete letter to designer who is actually a nice person and can't really be held accountable for your failure to follow her thorough guide. Sigh. Drink coffee. Integrate i-cord.


Step three. Finish i-cord. Feel superior. Note that there are 24 more leaves to deal with. Feel woozy. Drink coffee.


Step Four. Begin sewing on second tier of leaves. Confirm that you have in fact made a decision to put the leaves on backwards - stockinette side out, as opposed to the purl side out that pattern "suggests". Feel sure that this cannot matter, try to remember if you gave the designer your address. Remember she is not over-controlling freak who cares how you sew leaves on socks. Make more coffee....first whole pot is gone.


Step Five. Figure out that it makes really good sense to run yarn along back of leaves rather than back of sock while sewing multitude of leaf points down.


(Decide to tell blog that you did indeed do it the other way first, but then discovered that you had entirely compromised elasticity of damnable ribbing, thus defeating purpose of socks, since if you can't put them on, you can't wear them. Decline offer of husband to take pictures of you weeping as you remove leaves, since it is humiliating enough without a permanent record).

Step Six. Wonder if you have had too much coffee, considering that your heart is beating like a hummingbird. Look at socks. Pour next cup.

Step Seven:


Finish sewing on first sixteen leaves. Invent short interpretative dance of joy. Perform for cat.


Step eight. Begin to do funky decorative attached i-cord stem. Stop drinking coffee when caffeine shake interferes with ability to be intricate and fiddly. Switch to calming herbal tea.


Step Nine: Begin embroidery. Wonder how knitting turned into embroidery and feel pang of idiocy for knowing it was coming all along and failing to gird self.

Finish. Feel the warmth of completion and the joy of stick-to-it-iveness. Congratulate self for having the wherewithal to stick with the whole thing. Remember that there are great rewards for those who persevere. Feel the happiness that only comes from approaching things with the tenacity of a pit bull. Lift head high. Sigh with satisfaction. Look down at knitting basket. Sigh with .....something else.

Step 10. Begin to repeat for second sock. Contemplate how early in the day is too early to switch from coffee to scotch.


Right this minute, the only thing keeping me going is the knowledge that the taste of bliss I had with the first sock can only be doubled when I do the other one. That, and I know that if I stop, I'll never finish. Toronto is getting another big storm today,


and I'm going to take advantage of another crippling snow day by finishing. Really finishing these socks, before they finish me. Mercy.

Posted by Stephanie at February 6, 2008 2:15 PM