Wednesday, November 11, 2009


This has been a bad year for me as far as finishing things. I've started projects with the best of intentions, the most important of which was to challenge myself to learn and master some new technique or other. I tried entrelac, proceeded from a simple entrelac scarf to entrelac-with-lace-that-will-remain-nameless, then after getting to about the sixth row of blocks, set it aside in favor of something else.
Then came the Sockdown challenge. First, it was yellow, then it was men's socks (like I know enough men who deserve handknit socks *snort*), and now it's mosaic knitting. The yellow challenge wasn't really a challenge as much as it was an experiment to see if I could knit in a color that wasn't my usual blue/green. Coinciding with the yellow sock, there was the sock with little lace cat footprints marching up the leg; one sock is finished, the other hasn't even begun. I tried twice to do the October Sockdown and failed completely with Nancy Bush's Gentlemen's Socks With Lozenge Pattern.
I keep saying it isn't the pattern designer's fault, and it's really not. I crave challenges and colors to test my knitty mettle; most challenges aren't insurmountable, but when the pattern offers only one option as far as size goes, I start to get annoyed, especially when my meagre math skills end up going completely out the window. Funny.. I can do enough algebra to tell you how far it is from the corner of the house to the other end of the solar system, and to figure out the rate of speed of a ballbearing falling from Point A to Point B, but I can't for the life of me adjust a sock pattern from a men's 11.5 to a men's 6.5. It sounds simple to subtract stitches, but is it really that easy?
Okay. So October Sockdown was a complete failure. November is obviously in progress, and so far I'm doing fairly well with the mosaic knitting. My only problem, however, is that the yarn I chose--of all the glorious indie-dyer yarn languishing in my basket--the two shades of brown KnitPicks Palette are utterly and completely blah! In ball form, there's enough contrast to show that yes, they really are two different hues. Knit together, though? It's too subtle and neither color pops enough to do the pattern justice.
I'm knitting more slowly than my fellows, some of whom are knitting amazing socks that look like little pieces of knitterly Op Art without the headache inducing stripes, so it's pretty likely I won't finish my November socks during the month of November.
Holiday knitting? There isn't much this year. Last year's knitted gifts ended up crammed in the backs of people's sock drawers and were never used or enjoyed. That takes a big chunk out of my to-do list, really, and means there's more yarn for me to be selfish about. Not that I don't still have good-sized to-do list: Mitts for two different people, a pair of socks for someone else, and a scarf for someone else. This all hinges, however, on whether or not I can find patterns appropriate to the people in question, yarn appropriate to said patterns, time to knit the objects, and enough swallows to dispatch as couriers.
This, naturally, begs the question "What... is the velocity of an unladen swallow?"


Rachael said...

Hmm... Well, with a fair share of holiday knitting left to do myself, I recommend searching Ravely like crazy for patterns to knit and then prioritizing which people to knit for first just in case you don't have enough time for all of them.

word: "dante" ... the person who wrote the Divine Comedy. I'm surprised it's actually a real word for once.

La Duchesse said...

I have a few patterns in mind for people, but I'm just... blah. No excuses, really, except blah-ness. It's not even a question of choosing patterns of suitable simplicity to compensate for blah-ness, either. Wah...!

Rachael said...

Ah, well, I can understand that. I've had the same problem before myself.