That's a respectable total, I think, especially considering my tendency to over-think knitting projects in general, and socks in particular. After a recent speaking gig somebody asked me, "Do you swatch?" and I replied that it sometimes feels like I never do anything else.
Those Looking Glass Socks I wrote about a few entries back, the ones made from Supreme Possum, are a perfect example. I fussed and fussed and cast on and knit and ripped back and cast on again and ripped back again and broke out the colored pencils and doodled on napkins and Googled "Fibonacci" and created charts in Illustrator and stared at the wall and bent the ears of several persons willing and unwilling. I wound up with this.
I'm happy with it. It's fine. It may even be cute. But after all the exertion I keep thinking of a favorite anecdote from one of my culinary idols, Madeleine Kamman. In When French Women Cook, Madeleine tells of slaving for hours in the kitchen over a new dessert intended to impress the chef to whom she's been apprenticed. The chef looks at the finished dish, tastes a spoonful, and says, "Congratulations, chérie. You have just re-invented Nesselrode Pudding."
After all that effort, it does seem one might have come up with something more revolutionary than 2-4-2 stripes, doesn't it?
On the other hand, just at present I need a bit of plain vanilla. When I have an odd moment to knit, I can pick these up and knit. No charts to consult, no maneuvers that can't be accomplished on a speeding bus, no passages that preclude conversation. There's something to be said for that.
Part of the swatching process involved testing five different solutions for avoiding that ugly color jog that you get when working stripes in the round. The first two solutions were
- pretending I didn't care about the ugly color jog, and
- pretending the ugly color jog didn't matter if I kept it at the back of the leg.
I will show you how well it worked. Here's the foot, with the spots where the color jog would be in plain view.
Here's the path of the jogless jogs.
As you can see, Meg's maneuver (which I can perform, but still not comprehend) causes the first stitch of the round to travel one stitch to the left each time it's performed. Here's how it looks on the inside, with the unused yarn being carried up a short distance between stripes.
Maybe, just maybe, if I keep fiddling and dawdling, I'll eventually come up with such a fabulous contribution to the field.
Or maybe I'll be 96 and still knitting freaking stripes. Time will tell.
A Gold Medal
Ironically, while I've been doing this very unremarkable work I've also been preparing a reward for those who have completed extremely remarkable work.
It's the Gold Medal for Yarn Harlot's 2010 Knitting Olympics. If you like it, you can get one of your own here, or snag sidebar- and Ravelry avatar-sized versions from Stephanie's blog.
A big ol' salute to everybody who took part, including Harry, who finished his animal blanket with time to spare and didn't even care when Dolores told him the cow looked like an elk.