In stark contrast

Thank you, everyone, for leaving me the most delicious comments about mom’s Lace Leaf Shawl. I mailed it to her Friday afternoon, so there’s no verdict yet with respect to its “stupid” (hopefully not) status ;). I didn’t expect to finish the project so quickly, but everything just came together perfectly. There were no false starts, there was no tinkering or thinking – it just worked from the first try. So, it was easy to just put my blinders on, ignore all other projects, and knit and knit and knit.

But not all projects work out beautifully like that. In stark contrast, I finally finished these socks for grandma:

If we count from the time I cast on using Mountain Colors Bearfoot (which rubbed my fingertips raw), it took me almost two months to finish these.

Why did it take me two months to finish a measly pair of socks?

I hated knitting these. Man, how I hated knitting them. I was modifying and adjusting and cursing and frogging like a madwoman most of the time. I guess I don’t like thinking when it comes to socks… I just want to knit, dammit! Socks are my choice (my weakness?) when it comes to mindless and portable knitting, so when they stop being mindless, and when knitting them is accompanied by three pages of written notes, the knitting side of my brain rebels. What is this? What is up with this? What kind of nonsense are trying to pull here, Grumpy? And so, once the socks acquired the status of an official PITA (pain in the ass), I did not even touch them except when I went to Stitch ‘n Bitch, or waited in line, or rode the bus. I couldn’t stand to look at them more than I had to, and it took me two months to finish them.

Anyway, they are done, and I’m quite happy with how they came out. It’s interesting how satisfaction with the end product can make all the crap associated with how it got there go away.

Pattern: very loosely based on Broken Cable Rib Socks from Interweave Knits WebKnits. I opted to cross the cables to the left on one sock, and to the right on the other. I first noticed and noted the pattern when I saw Carolyn make these for her Sockapal-2-za pal.

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock (75% superwash wool, 25% nylon) in periwinkle; 2 skeins.

Needles: The toe, foot, and heel were knit on US 0, while the leg was knit on US 1. Both sizes from this set.

Modifications: I knit these from the toe to the cuff, used short-row toes and heels (wrap method), incorporated the pattern into the foot while partially excluding it from the cuff to avoid a tourniquet-like effect . Those are some major changes, if I say so myself.

Here’s a fun tidbit – grandma doesn’t know about these! At all! I think she’ll be very surprised when she receives them in the mail. I live for moments like this… I wish I was there to capture her reaction when she opens the package.

Speaking of socks, with the Jaywalker KAL in full swing over at January One, the gallery has been seeing a lot of action lately. I do my best to hunt down finished Jaywalkers and offer the knitters to include their FOs in the gallery, but I can’t keep track of everyone, right? I just want to be clear that this is not an invitation-only process – drop me a line or leave a comment, attach a picture or a link to your blog, and I will be very happy to put your socks (or Picovoli or whatever else) in the gallery! It’s not a “Grumperina hasn’t asked me, so I guess she doesn’t want to include these” situation – every FO is welcome!

16 thoughts on “In stark contrast

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  1. gail

    congratulations on persevering on the socks for grandmama. They are lovely and grandma will be thrilled–what grandma wouldn’t be?? You have stamina, girl!

  2. Kim

    Seems that you felt about these socks EXACTLY how I felt about the gift I made for my Aunt Faye… I was SO happy to be done.. and I was even more happy to get the dang thing OUT of my house!! It was so frustrating!! Definitely a pain in the ass!!

    ..Anyway.. those are some great lookin socks.. even if if they were a pain.. I think she’ll love them : ) Even better that they’re a suprise!

  3. Angela

    Gosh, those socks look great. But I’m sure you’re glad they’re done and over with. I love how the pattern on the leg turned out, almost like a staircase.

  4. Amanda

    Oh I’d like to be a fly on the wall chez your grandmother as well. If she is anything like mine she’ll a) be ecstatic to receive a package from a beloved grandchile b) hyperventilate when she sees those gorgeous socks c) where them EVERYWHERE and let EVERYONE know her granddaughter knit them specifically for her. Job very well done!

  5. Carolyn

    They look fabulous! I love the colour and what you did with the pattern. That’ll teach you to mess with a pattern;) Even though they made PITA status, they are perfect.

  6. Laura

    You’re much too modest on these socks, they’re gorgeous! I love the way the cables fit the instep and ankles, your feet look cute in them. The sock looks so trim and snug without binding off the circulation. Goal achieved, huh?

  7. Sarah

    Those socks are simply delicious! I’m so impressed (especially as I just finised my first successful sock — with no patterning whatsoever — this weekend). Your grandmother is so lucky; I certainly hope that she spends enough time admiring your fancy work on her feet!

  8. Purly Whites

    Oy, 3 pages of notes? That is a bitch. Congratulations on getting them done and I can’t wait to hear what Grandma thinks. Although I’m sure whatever she thinks, she’ll tell you she loves them. :)

  9. PJ

    Wow, those socks rock! They are simply gorgeous! I wish someone, anyone, would knit me such a beautiful gift.

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