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Friday, April 07, 2006

Sock Madness

On Wednesday I started a "Knit Basic Socks" class.

Now in the past, if I was going to start something new, I would go to the library or bookstore and research my subject. I like to feel prepared... helps with my confidence.

But for this sock class, I decided that I would simply show up. After all, the class description said that the skills needed for the class were basic knitting skills. Well, I know how to cast on, knit, purl and bind off so I thought I was set.

I sat down at the classroom table and confidently took out my worsted weight yarn and 2 of my size 5 needles. My fellow classmate smiled and said, "You are going to need all five of your needles."

First flutterings of panic. Little birds have taken residence in my chest and are frantically beating their wings. If I listen closely I can hear them squeak, "Run away, run away!" So, give me a point for not creating a fantastic lie and running from the room.

The instructor then had us cast on 40 stitches and then begin to knit a basic knit-two and purl-two rib onto 4 (FOUR) needles. Take away a point for me loudly blurting, "Holy Sh*@!"

We then join all of this together, creating a circle or tube. Now, I've worked in the round before so I'm starting to calm down. A bit.

But then the instructor says that we are going to work around using a fifth needle. Now give me credit. I did not complete the expletive that wanted to blurt out. I stopped myself at "ffffffffuuu!" I even tried to blow off the curse I just started by ending it with a panicked chuckle, "huh, huh, hah".

The instructor reminds me to keep breathing. I manage to do so and knit but I end up holding my breath and then gasping. Not pretty to see or to hear. She smiles and says, "Knitting your first sock is an act of faith". I manage to choke back the "No Sh*@!" that is echoing through my head.

So with shoulders bunched, hands shaking I managed to complete several inches of ribbing during class. The instructor stated that we needed to have at least five inches of our sock completed before the next class. She explained that many times students will make a mistake like dropping a stitch or two and want to rip back and start over.

She wisely added that we are not to do this but to keep knitting until we get the five inches completed. Then, if we want to start a second sock (without the imperfections) we are welcome to do so. I particularly loved her comment that our first socks would not be taken to the State Fair and that we should drop the perfectionism and just concentrate on learning.

Great advice! Very wise indeed. For how can she teach me to turn the heel if I don't have a heel knitted?

So, despite my groans and curses (and many! dropped stitches) I am proud to say that I have my homework complete and I've cast on a second sock.

If you look closely at my homework, you'll see the ribbing on the far right (which will hold the sock up on my leg), the stockinette part (in the middle), and the waffle-stitch heel flap (far left)....and several holes!


At 9:35 AM, Blogger revrose said...

I'm proud of you for staying with the class in spite of your desire to curse and run. I look forward to many warm socks.M0M


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