I’ve been very busy with all my projects. One of the all-encompassing projects has been knitting socks. I had it in my mind to knit Mom a nice pair of socks for Mother’s Day. The only problem: I hate using double pointed needles*. Really hate. It’s not that I’m inept with them, it’s more that I have a very different reason for knitting that tends to interfere with using double pointed needles. The whole reason for my knitting is to give my hands something productive to do while my brain is busy listening. I have always listened better while doodling or making sculptures from kneaded erasers during history class – yes, kneaded erasers can be shaped into schnauzers wearing berets. It took most of the Hundred Years War, yet it can be done.
I took up knitting because it’s portable (I can mush a ball of yarn, a set of needles and my project into a plastic bag, shove it into my purse and not worry about wrinkling the yarn), lightweight and easy to stop and resume so I can take notes or participate in the matters at hand. Therein lies the crux of my hatred for double pointed needles: once I transfer my project to them, I must commit to finishing it in one sitting. If I try to place it on the table and walk away, there’s nothing preventing those stitches I’ve worked so hard to put in place from slipping off one end or another. It’s bad enough using them to finish a hat, but socks require them almost exclusively, thus socks have always been avoided with a studious intent.
The thought of socks ran through my mind as a possibility when I heard about a book that teaches how to knit socks using two circular needles. I found it in the library and I taught myself the technique. Then, when I went to the local shop to buy some really red yarn to knit Mom’s socks, they told me how I could do the same thing using just one really long circular needle. Well. It was like a genie decided to grant me a wish when I didn’t even know there was a lamp there to rub. Magnificent.
The only hitch in my grand plan was that Mother’s Day was a mere few days away and I my previous socks were all learning experiences (read: practice socks and a couple of false starts regarding sizing – Mom is not in need of socks that could fit over clown shoes). I hunkered down and finished one sock and had only the leg and cuff to knit on the second.
Oh! I forgot to mention, this book also taught me how to knit from the toe up so I could be sure the sizing was right before I was 1/3 into the knitting. Brilliant! Plus, the cuffs and legs are the easy part. I’m all about doing the hard stuff first. It’s like they know me!
Back to Mom.
So, on Mother’s Day, I presented her with a handmade card and a little bag of goodies. In the bag of goodies, there was the one finished sock. This caused a great deal of joking about how it was so beautiful she’d be happy to just hop around on one foot to wear it, etc. I took out the second sock and promised it would be finished before she left, and it was. I sent her home with a pair of socks in bright crimson red and she has already worn them. Success!
I’ll see if I can convince her to wear them here so I can grab a picture of them. Or, perhaps I’ll just knit myself a pair. I don’t think I’ve ever owned a pair of bright crimson red socks. Maybe it’s time.
* For the uninitiated, double pointed needles have nothing stopping those precious little loops of yarn from falling off the ends while working on a different needle. Usually, 4-5 of these little menaces are used in knitting in the round on an area too small for a circular needle. They are necessary for finishing hats and socks.
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