This blog is starting to pay off.

Not that I ever expected that when I write “send chocolate” (meaning of course the metaphoric chocolate that can be sent with good wishes via the comments) that some incredibly generous soul would haul themselves out to the chocolate shop, stand in line (right before Easter ) score some very good chocolate, scurry to the post office and mail it to Canada.
Many, many thanks to Alison, who definitely won today’s “Stephanie’s favourite person” Award. I’m going to use the chocolate as comfort/crutch to get me through todays Entrelac issues.
I’m starting to understand why so many of you (I wasn’t going to name names but …Alison, Kat and Sylvia, I’m looking right at you) were looking for a guinea pig for these socks.
I, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, do solemnly swear that I have, for the first time in my whole life, had my arse kicked by a pattern. Last night I took the socks with me to spinning class, and I …(oh I never thought it would come to this) I…asked for help.
Dianne bailed me out and made helpful suggestions. Like, say…maybe from now on I might want to knit the rectangles some sort of consistent size?
My paternal grandmother is dead, and has been for quite some time. Now, this is significant today because if she were not dead…I would be calling her and letting her know about something she was wrong about. She was a professional knitter, and taught me when I was 4. When I was 6, I spent an afternoon in the back of her garden with my needles, Patons yarn, and what I thought was a darned good idea. It occurred to me that I could save myself all kinds of time while knitting if I didn’t have to turn my work at the end of each row. I sat there for hours, working out my little plan. When I had it completely figured, I traipsed up to the house, found my Nana and showed her my incredible invention, destined to revolutionize knitting as we know it, Backwards Knitting. (You can see from this link that in the intervening 29 years this has apparently occurred to someone else as well)
My Nana (who was really not your “milk and cookies” kind of grandmother, if you catch my meaning) , trashed me. This was a dumb idea. This was “not how it was done”. This was “silly”. I pointed out that I could just be the first brilliant person to think of it. My Nana countered with the argument that if it was such a good idea…then how come somebody didn’t think of it before me…(a mere child) and furthermore…how come everybody wasn’t doing it? Properly chastised, I returned to conventional frontwards knitting, and it wasn’t until last night when I was working on these entrelac socks with the little five stitch squares that I thought about this.
If I could call my Nana, I would say three things.
-Entrelac. Ever hear of it? Practically impossible without backwards knitting.
-If you hadn’t stunted my thrilling growth as a knitter, do you have any idea how good I would be at backwards knitting by now?
-I never liked Coronation Street. I was faking.
If anybody has any sort of link to the spiritworld, would you let her know? I’m off to knit backwards, have chocolate for lunch and curse entrelac.

34 thoughts on “This blog is starting to pay off.

  1. You deserve the chocolate for attempting this pattern. You should open a bottle of Merlot to go with it. Marcus James mendoza from Argentina is very fine, and very reasonable. (Around 10 bucks here) Enough chocolate and merlot and you really won’t care how well the socks are going.

  2. Barb, I adore your suggestion and second it (altho her family might not thank us when they get home this afternoon and find Steph passed out on the floor, her socks smeared with chocolate and red wine)… but I’m thinking it might not help with consistent sizing of the squares!
    Of course, if she gets chocolate and red wine all over the socks, she will probably have to abandon the project… ;>

  3. Sorry….was that the sound of sombody figuring out a way to abandon this project that could be deemed “accidental”? Where’s my corkscrew…..

  4. Yay for backward knitting! I used to do it too, back when I was first learning to knit. (Not so much now, since it’s faster for me to knit righthanded now and I’ve since learned to purl.) Of course, I’m also a person who is happy to knit Fair Isle back-and-forth (including purling) rather than in the round, which others find even weirder than knitting backwards, so who knows how reassuring this is?
    The sock is lookin’ good!

  5. Hi! At last, a blogger who is attempting entrelac. I’m working on an entrelac jacket pattern by Sara James. I’m using Noro Kureyon #40. It’s looking really good except for one problem. In some corners there are holes between the rectangles. I’ve made a point of making the rectangles all the same way and can’t figure out why holes only appear occasionally. I’m not sure what to do to eliminate the problem. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks, Susan G.

  6. Excuses? You don’t need no excuses. You simply need to repeat calmly, whilst unraveling and re-balling the yarn, “I know how to knit entrelac socks now. I simply choose not to do so.” It worked for me with entrelac!
    However, wine and chocolate are an amazing combination and I recommend that course of treatment wholeheartedly. Oddly enough, old-vine Zinfandel and Tootsie Rolls are nearly orgasmic together.

  7. Your post makes me think of three things!
    1. I didn’t know that if I wanted chocolate, all I had to do was ask someone on my blog and it would be sent! Score! I’m off to make a blog wish list!
    2. Trust me, your Nana heard you loud and clear, I have been sending messages to deceased family members for years – and every crash of thunder lets me know that they heard me!
    3. I hated Coronation Street, too! And why does BBC America keep playing it? (This isn’t a fair question for you because you probably don’t get BBCAmerica.
    I love how you write just like how I think, and I am excited watching you work through this pattern so that I can decide if I ever want to (or will be able to) survive an Entrelac pattern!

  8. Oh Stephanie, I *need* you to make these socks. I haven’t any idea on this earth how to do them and you are such an Excellent Knitter. 😉
    No really, you can do them!

  9. Oh, that was too fun! But you posted “send chocolate” the day after I got a package in the mail myself: a friend I’d met through the Knitlist had looked up my address online and out of the blue had sent ME a box of good chocolates! I was just getting back at her! But man, yours took a long time to get there. Did the customs guys eat the one in the corner? I’ve been told chocolate shows up on X-ray security machines as being dense and suspicious; does that mean they’re da bomb?
    And how did you guess you were being my guinea pig on the entrelac? I confess: entrelac is the one knitting thing I have never yet done. I consider myself really good at this knitting thing, but somehow… If I wanted to enough, I’d do it. Right now I’m letting you do it for me first. Good luck!

  10. hmmm.. chocolate and wine.. almost as god as chocolate and pretzels (and is that sees candy there?? oooh, I want some)
    was wandering around blog land and saw this look at april 17th entry and think about your stripey yarn.. and as the owner of the yarn you can stop entrelac any time you so chose. (but only if you want to)

  11. Hmmm… I have a granmother like that. The best thing to do (when your brain replays those wonderful converstaions) is to firmly tell your memory-nana to SHUT UP. (Fortuantely, my grandmother just failed to teach me how to knit. I tried… and failed…. I think she almost fell over when I started knitting at as adult.)

  12. Steph-
    I’m just back from the Spiritworld and your grandmother said you were right all along – everyone in the afterlife knits backwards. In the midst of telling me all sorts of embarassing things about your childhood, she mentionned Coronation Street plays on every channel in the afterlife.
    Your socks do look good though, they remind me somewhat of marshmallows. I’m very much looking forward to the hell, I mean heel, on these puppies and what the gusset is gonna look like.

  13. Wait – I thought I invented backwards knitting when I did a sweater full of bobbles a long time ago. Well, maybe I was the American inventor!

  14. Love your new heading and blog button! Must get one of my own.
    You can keep the entrelac…it’s not worth the effort! However, with enough chocolate and wine anything goes.

  15. Since I’m making you be my guinea pig for this, and since 15 of my last 24 hits have come from you linking me, I think I’d better send you something too. More chocolate? (Sorry, I don’t do wine.) Real New Hampshire maple syrup? Nah, I guess you have that in Canada too. Something from my trip to New Orleans next month? Send me your address. 🙂

  16. Oh, honey, you’re sunk. They look edible. But may I suggest, from the lowest sinkhole of my own particular psychology, that you cast on sock #2 right now? In the first place, if you screw up on one and have a duplicate screw-up on the other, you have a fighting chance of passing it off as a design element. In the second place, once you’ve finished that let’s-face-it-gorgeous sock and have licked all the novelty off of it, you are not going to want to start it all over again. Trust a woman who thinks Dove dark chocolate and merlot constitute a major food group — a foot and a foot, a heel and a heel, a leg and a leg and DONE. (I’m at least the third person exploiting you as a surrogate, and you’re making me crazy — I =own= that book and can’t find it. Off to search again.) — rams (p.s. Elizabeth Zimmermann/Meg Swanson were educating the world on knitting-back-backwards about the time you were sitting in that backyard — you’re obviously attuned to the knitting zeitgeist.)

  17. Just catching up and delurking to say…I am having the same problem with some Lorna’s Laces “cool” colorway. I’m doing a simple spiral tube sock…at first, the colors divided into a really awesome swirl around the sock….then I noticed it seemed to be not swirling anymore…now it just looks…er….well, like crap. 3/4 of the way done on one sock, too lazy to rip it…feeling somehow cheated…glad someone else can understand!! By the way, great blog, you crack me up…oh, that’s right, I was already cracked….. 😉 Lisa in Oregon

  18. Yeehoo, Steph, chere, I’ve kept quiet till now because I don’t knit socks. Ever.
    But, well, here goes: feh entrelac.
    Awkward to accomplish, awkward looking.
    Eat the lovely Sees candy, come to your senses, move on.
    Bear in mind this opinion comes from someone who enjoys knitting and crocheting with embriodery floss.

  19. Drop’em like a hot stone! Looks like a knitting-nightmare (the wine and See’s Candies will help you forget…..) – besides, you’ve got a great halo hanging over your head from the Snowdrop shawl – should last long enough for another month of doll clothes 🙂
    Come’on – jump on the Broadripple bandwagon…you know you want to…..

  20. Wow! You’re knitting entrelac socks?! You’ve got a lot of courage to take that on! *bow to the yarn harlot*

  21. Hmph. Broadripple is interesting, but definitely not a good pattern for LL Hawaii, which has about 24″ of white, 12″ of dark amethyst, 12″ of turquoise, and 12″ of emerald. The white in the garter ripple is speckles and doesn’t do it for me. The colors are spiralling a bit, but not enough. What’s the length of the color repeat in the LL you’re using?

  22. Entrelac has limited uses for garments and its welcome wears thin, I’ve found. However, in doing the Forest Path Stole, I’ve realized that the technique can be expanded upon, so maybe it’s worth a second look for unshaped items.
    I never bothered to learn backwards knitting since it would take me longer to learn it than to knit entrelac. I don’t mind the turning. Why do knitters whine all the time about hating to do this and hating to do that? Even EZ whined about purling. Sheesh.

  23. I see the box of See’s chocolates and instantly want to head over to the website and buy some myself.
    I guess I should go back and read the rest of your post now. ;o)

  24. There’s a website? *Smacks forehead.* Of COURSE there’s a website! I bought them in Silicon Valley, fer cryin’ out loud!

  25. I definitely approve the entrelac project — on the grounds offered by so many already that our Fearless Knitter is taking on these Perilous Socks for her loyal blog following. And because these socks are another pair that I really want to watch someone else knit first :).
    One question that has always puzzled me about them — how do all these diverse and diverting rectangles and triangles feel on the feet of the (undoubtedly) successful sockknitter? I worry that they have the same properties I attribute to bobbles on the backs of sweaters, neat to look at and uncomfortable to rest upon.
    Try a Sauterne with the chocolate –the genuine noble rot variety (NOT generic sweet wine) melds magnificently with chocolate. This combination was a WONDERFUL surprise at the end of a wine-tasting birthday surprise birthday party I threw for my husband a while ago.

  26. Although, it wouldn’t have had half the thrill of the hunt that way… Nor the free samples in-store (“Mom, you didn’t bring US any?” You come, you get, kid, you stay home, you lose.)

  27. Steph: I’m socking along with you, albeit surreptiously. I started Waving Lace tonight! Although you’ll probably have both of your entrelac socks done before I finish the first of my Waving Lace ones. But they’ll all be lovely! So thanks for being inspirational.

  28. All you need to add to that picture is a pair of shoes and you would have my universe. Coffee, knitting, chocolate….and shoes! To me, wine and coffee would be interchangeable. I think someday I’ll develop coffee or chocolate scented yarn. Talk about getting addicted!

  29. Yesterday these socks looked like marshmallows floating in hot chocolate. However, today they appear to look more like some strange fungus amongus. What happened overnight? What will they morph into by tomorrow?

  30. re: sending you things – there are many lovely things here in the ewe ess uv ay that you might like…but i am not in possession of a means by which to stalk er, write you. 😉

  31. What a hoot! I just ran across this blog and about fell out of my chair laughing. How fun. You really DESERVED that chocolate!!!

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