Thursday, November 09, 2006
What lazy perfectionism really means
This, folks, is my first real sock. I did some fuzzy feet for my dear friend Chet last spring, which taught me the basic construction of a sock, but nothing of what it means to knit with itty bitty needles. I'm planning to do a pair of pomatomi for my mom for Christmas, so I thought I'd do a practice pair for me and/or The Lady first, just to get the hang of it. I also decided to do one cuff-down and the other toe-up to decide which I prefer. (This is the cuff-down twin.)
Somehow, however, my own need for "interesting" knitting turned my practice sock into a crash course in design...
Attempt #1: I cast on god knows how many stitches (too many) and off I went in stockinette. Soon realized this was too big, too ribless, and too deathly boring.
Attempt #2: Decided I liked Eunny's Bayerische sock but didn't want quite that much of a challenge, so I'd just use the twisted stitch cabled rib instead. My judgement left me briefly, and I put one single, lonely purl stitch between each cable. It was holey and terrible.
Attempt #3: Put a couple of ribs between each cable. Forgot how much cables and ribs would draw the fabric in, and i couldn't even get the thing over my toes.
Attempts #4 and 5: Frogged for less interesting reasons... just plain old mistakes, I think.
So after two weeks of working on this fairly consistently, i had nothing but a cuff. I took it on the plane with me to Chicago in October and finally it all came together. If I had it to do again I'd use smaller needles -- it's rather loose and lacy at the gusset. Here's what I mean about lazy perfectionism though: I'm more than willing to rip anything I've only been working on for a day or so. It seems totally worth it if there's anything that's just not happening right. Once I'm into a project, however, it takes a pretty major gaffe to make me go backwards even a couple of rounds. Witness the little lump near the ankle where I knit into the stitch below and didn't catch it until about 6 rounds later.
I would love to subscribe to Grumperina's maxim: "If it can be fixed, it must", but once I've invested a certain amount of time I just can't make myself go back. I hear someone in my head lecturing me on the sunk cost fallacy or something like that, but that's just the way it is. Now, if I were knitting a gift for a fellow knitter it might be different...
Incidentally, this is also the project that (forever?) re-converted me to combined kniting. But more on that tomorrow. Instead, I leave you with the state of the leaf lace shawl, which is currently stalled due to one Very Bad Dog. (Again, more on that soon.)