Last March, I started knitting a pair of wool socks. They were my third of 2009 and somehow I lost the thread – literally – after I finished the first one and right after I started the second one. Slow forward (this IS Maine, after all) to last night while Daughter and I were watching “My Man Godfrey” one of our favorite movies. I dropped the TV remote and when I reached down beside my chair to pick it up, I came up with a sock. With a little more rooting around, I found the other sock – the one that I had just begun last March.
After the movie, I started knitting and didn’t stop until I got to where it was time to turn the heel. By then it was after midnight and even though I knew that, with the time change, I’d be gaining an hour of sleep, I put the sock aside and went to bed. Reluctantly though, because I was in that zone knitters get into when they’re really into knitting and the stitches are almost knitting themselves. I had work to finish today, but tonight, I’ll continue to knit on it. If I take it along to Daughter’s dental appointment, I should be finished with it by Tuesday at the latest.
What made me suddenly return to knitting socks? Or, more to the point since I love to knit socks, why did I suddenly stop in March even though it was mud season in Maine which certainly calls for thick socks, preferably wool, because wool is warm even when it’s wet? Maybe it was because March is also when gardening season starts, the weather gets better and the roads aren’t so icy and we can get out to Audubon meetings and meet-ups with other home learners. Or maybe it’s because I’d knit one too many pair of the little buggers and even with the stripey wool I use that self-patterns into interesting designs, I’d just had enough of fashioning footwear from scratch.
On reflection though, I think it was just that the light had changed. The days were getting longer and the angle of the sun was changing and making it feel like Spring, the season for seedlings and new beginnings and bare feet – well, Crocs, at least – not boots. Or maybe it was because, in March, we lost an hour, so even though I went to bed at 10 that night, when I got up at 6, it was really already 7 and I felt like I just couldn’t catch up. There was barely enough time for the basics, never mind time for knitting. Besides, I was yawning by 8 o’clock and in bed by 9 for a couple of weeks until I got used to the time change. I was cranky and edgy and out of sorts and didn’t feel like dealing with turning heels and picking up stitches to make gussets and don’t even mention Kitchener stitches to me in Spring!
The only part of knitting socks I don’t like is making the toe seam. For years now, I’ve been using the Kitchener Stitch, which involves weaving the two sets of stitches together with a large darning needle. It’s not knitting. It’s sewing, and I hate sewing. I’m not good at it and I always make a mess of it with at least one stitch that won’t lie down and spoils the line of the seam or rubs against my toes and reminds me, every time I wear the blessed things, that I’m lousy at Kitchener.
So, you have no idea how chuffed I was when I stumbled across the following link to An Alternative To the Kitchener Stitch! I was almost afraid to try it, but I found an almost finished sock I don’t have enough wool to make a mate for and tried it on that and it worked so well, I wanted to go back and unravel all my knitted socks and redo the toes. Alas, I’m not good at unraveling either. (And what is the difference between raveling and unraveling I’d like to know?) Well, anyhow, if you’re a knitter, try the alternative and let me know how it works for you. And, TECHknitting, you’re going right onto my blogroll of Good Sites. Mind you, I almost feel as if I should make a special category for your site. Sanity saving sites, perhaps?