Human

I thought I’d post a quick little entry, despite having absolutely zero knitting progress to show you. This week has been insane at work, and the stress is making me feel not so hot. The worst part is that even when I have a few hours in the evening to knit, my mind is entirely preoccupied with work-related stuffs. Neurons. Synapses. Normalized intensities. Pharmacological treatments. Z-stacks. Oy!

The “knitting” this week has been primarily focused on my Sockapaloooza sock pal’s socks. The word “knitting” is in quotes because it’s more like thinking about knitting and swatching, immediately followed by frogging.

The problem is that I’m over-thinking. Well, let me preface that: I think my pal is the type of person who would like a more simple design. Some simple eyelets, a few cables, ribbing at the top, cleverly put together, and she would be pleased as Punch. Me, on the other hand… I don’t think like that.

I start out with some simple 4-stitch motif. To make the stitch count work out, I increase it to 6 stitches. While I go get a diet Coke, I mentally expand the 6 stitches to 11 to make a more fancy design. When I sit down to graph it, it morphs into a 16-stitch monstrosity. I then insist on mirroring the design for the second sock, and the next thing you know, I’m dealing with a 16 19 24-stitch repeat that’s different for each sock! I take a step back and say, why? Why are you doing this? Your pal will hate this.

I need help. Can you please tell me where my brain’s off switch is located? I need it to be quiet for a moment, while I design something simple.

Alternatively, I can just knit from a pattern, because clearly the “thinking thing” isn’t working out right now. I might do that, there are too many lovely ones out there to be ignored.

Anyway, that’s my state of being as we start the weekend. I hope I haven’t depressed anyone too much. If I have, here’s a photo of the yarn I’m using for my pal’s socks, I know the color cheers me up every time I see it (gorgeous!)

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in berry (23 ns).

53 thoughts on “Human

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  1. Peg

    That is such a beautiful colour! Your sock pal must be like a gal I knit for – I just did mini cables for her and she was tickled pink. Now me, I would like something fancier, but I am not your sock pal! She will be thrilled with whatever you make for her – keep telling yourself that!!

  2. Abigail

    Oh, I just love LL’s sock yarn. The color is lucious. Can I be your pal? A simple cable pattern would compliment the yarn.

  3. trek

    The scary thing is, I understood that whole first paragraph!

    How about putting a bunch of lace/cable patterns that you like to knit into a hat and drawing one? Just a thought.

  4. Agnes

    You are the way you are … just exercise some self-control …

    I think knitting from a ready-made pattern is a solution … the problem is … I think you wouldn’t be able to help changing something little while you knit.

    That colour you chose is lovely.

  5. Laura

    I know you like a challenge in what you knit, but since your sockpal wants something simple… (and forgive me if this is cliche) but what about Jaywalkers? OMG! I would love to have a pair of Jaywalkers knit by you. That would be like .. oh I can’t think of an example right now, but it would be hot.

  6. Jess

    Mmm, delicious berry sock yarn. LL sock yarn is most lovely.

    I hope you can stop thinking and just *BE* for a while this weekend.

  7. janna

    The yarn is beautiful and anything you knit from it will be, too. But I know that ‘thinking out of control’ feeling. Maybe you should just knit calmly over the weekend on something already designed and try to concentrate on whatever project that is. Then when you come back to the sock design, all will be calmer. At least, that helps me when I’m stressed out at work (well, except there’s no knitting involved….)

  8. jody

    i have those same exact experiences. i think we’re both analytical and sometimes our minds just expand and flow in a way that’s not conducive to such a creative process (although you can’t beat it when trying to resolve a fit issue!). i usually battle it with something *close to* mindless to let my mind wander and get the soothing repetition of the knitting as well. sounds like you’re going for that too. good luck!

  9. Kimberly

    Love the color! A simple pattern would work but to satisfy your ‘need’ how about working the sock a different way? Work the leg and top of the foot flat and Kitchener together the ‘leg’ stitched to make a tube. Then work the heel flap/heel/gusset, attaching the foot to the top of the foot stitches as you go. I have a pattern much like this and I love the adaptability to work a simple sock in many patterns that normally would drive me bonkers worked in the round. Lace patterns work really well with this method as the repeat can be quite large.

  10. Angela

    I know what you mean. For my Sockapaloooza pal, even though it’s my only 3rd pair of socks *ever*, I’ve decided for some reason that I’m going to create a sock pattern, though at least with an existing stitch pattern. Apparently, I like a challenge.

    To echo a few others, that colour is stunning!

  11. Christie

    I wish I could help, but I”m not a sock knitter. D: sorry! The color is gorgeous though! Who wouldn’t love socks in that color?

  12. Norma

    *zzzzzzonk* That is the sound of my head hitting the table right now. I just got that frickin’ work monstrosity off my back. But when I started reading your opening paragraph, I said, “Oh, noooooooo!” It too closely mirrors my week. I apologize, but I couldn’t read any more, and just skipped to the pretty picture of the pretty yarn. It’s the best I could do tonight. ;-)

  13. Jennifer

    If you find that off switch in your brain, will you let me know? Maybe mine’s in the same place, I also have a tendency to “overthink” gifts for others. It’ll start with a very simple idea, than morph into some HUGE thing that will actually drive me crazy to accomplish.

    That is beautiful yarn! I just love Lorna’s Laces.

  14. Ashley

    Please–gorgeous color, the softest yarn, and a Grumperina custom-made job? Your pal will be thrilled with whatever you come up with! But, I think any of the Nancy Bush socks would look glorious in tht yarn, so there are fallbacks.

  15. Nik

    oh. my. God. don’t say “z-stacks”…makes me vomit. sounds like you’re up to your elbows in microscopy.

  16. Philippa

    It’s beautiful yarn! And speaking as someone who has never worn a lace sock in her life, I think probably simple enough to partner an ambitious sock pattern withouth being ‘too much’.

    I can’t imagine you getting on with a ready-written pattern unless it was absolutely perfect, particularly in your current frame of mind. You’d spend hours unpicking it, wrestling with it, making it better and of course ultimately yours, so why don’t you just start off with your own pattern from the beginning?

    How about a shaped foot like the Meg Swansen sock? That could be challenging and beautiful in a really simple way, and maybe you could continue the pattern through simple shaping up the leg?

    Just a thought.

  17. Kate/Massachusetts

    Off switch??? If you find it, please post! I have, however, found that a long walk followed by a hot bath with some sort of aroma therapy smelly stuff in the water helps to let go a little. Another thing that has helped me is to learn some sort of relaxation technique…there are some good tapes available…I’m sure you could find something in Cambridge that would help! Kate

  18. Jennifer

    After knitting,losing, and picking up stitches on a sock the other day and finding 2 dropped stitches on a “finished” shawl, I actually went a whole day without even wanting to knit a stitch. Sometimes the off switch is necessary!

  19. CatBookMom

    Gorgeous color! About the obsessive c**P running around in your mind, been there, survived it (but only barely). Maybe your best choice would be to just go hang with a few friends?

    About a pretty pattern, there are a couple in the two most recent IWKs, or you could re-jigger the Dragon socks the Keyboard Biologist just finished. In two related but different stitch variations. http://www.keyboardbiologist.net/knitblog/

  20. Teresa C

    I think you should stop thinking. You and I are much alike. You set a standard, like “I must knit my own design for the sock pal thing.” Then you go nuts trying to make something extra special. Thing is, the Diagonal Rib Stockings on the IK website (subscriber section) would be perfect. LL is the perfect yarn for them. Go and make them. See? I did the thinking for you.

  21. Amy

    Oh, dear, I hope those socks are for me!!! The yarn looks lovely, and I know from reading your blog and seeing your finished objects that whatever you come up with will be wonderful.

  22. LoriG

    I really understand not being able to find the “off” switch. I’m right there with you. As for the socks, well the yarn is gorgeous (and I say that knowing that it absolutely isn’t a color that I would wear, but I can sense beauty). Go open one of Nancy Bush’s sock books (any of them)and knit the first pattern that strikes your fancy. I’m sure there is one of the Vintage socks that you haven’t knit yet that would be perfect in this yarn.

  23. Christina

    Save the sock for a day when you’re not stressed. When you feel relaxed – in the morning or early afternoon, perhaps – pick it up again. Definitely lay off the Coke.

    You could do a 7 stitch pattern repeat. Eyelet(yo), purl, 4 cable sts, purl. It would be a simple pattern that would look great on a sock. A simple 2×2 rib on top, slip-stitch heel, St.st. foot. Ta-da.

  24. Laurel

    I would so love the off switch when I’m trying to sleep. I keep designing stuff in my head when I know I should sleep.

    And, the sock yarn is soooo pretty.

  25. betty

    They yarn makes me want to eat it. Berries!

    Just in case i’m your sock pal, i would love that 24 stitch repeat. ;)

    And just in case i’m not, and you need to knit a simple thing, i love Philippa’s idea (Meg Swansen’s shaped foot). Just that would make a great sock!

  26. JennyRaye

    Great color! I agree with the poster who said that anything by Nancy Bush would look awesome in that yarn–New England, ohhh–Whitby–any of the texture stitch socks in Knitting on the Road. Use the knitting from a pattern time to come up with something really delicious for yourself!

  27. suzanne

    I have similar stress with my sock pal. I have bought, started, knit, nearly finished and then rejected the original sock idea (the rejected sock will go to FaveSpouse, who happily wears every sock I knit, no matter what color or pattern.)

    I love the sock color choice. Its GORGEOUS! and really, who would not want a bit of cable and pattern in her socks?

  28. Sheila

    You have had a really trying week – won’t you just knit something as per the pattern and enjoy the act of knitting? You don’t have to be so creative every time you pick up the needles – give your brain a break!! Just try it – you might feel better – - at least I hope so.

  29. Caren

    Hi Kathy, I just finished a pair of vine lace socks (from Socks Socks Socks) in that exact same color of Lorna’s Laces. You can see them on my blog if you so desire. Have a great weekend!

  30. Silvia

    Such pretty yarn! You could take a gander at the Whisper Rib Sock pattern…it’s quite pretty and interesting enough but memorizable–does that make sense? How about just opening one of the Barbara Walker Stitch Library books to a random page and using that stitch–yes I’ve done that before…

  31. diana

    Love the color for the socks! Now, breathe and focus on the word “simple”. No need to transfer the complexities at work to the socks.

  32. Laura

    Hello? Hello? In case I’m your sock pal, I’m SO easy to please. You’ve picked a beautiful yarn color – anything – ANYTHING – you knit with it will be just wonderful!

    And in case I’m not your sock pal, all that anyway. :)

  33. Karen Hansen

    Walk, dear lady, just walk. Bundle up, go outside, walk briskly, slowly, mix it up, march, stomp, but walk. While walking, observe. Look at sky, clouds, branches, people, buds poking up (if any), architectural details, coins dropped in the street. Walk and look, mindfully.

    After an hour or so, go home, make some hot noncaffeinated beverage, sink into a chair, put your feet up.

    Regards

  34. Heather

    I knit a pair of mittens out of this very same yarn/same colour and love them–what I love about LL is the spring and the give in the yarn. I’m sure the socks will be a joy to wear…

  35. Isela

    Wishing you an easier week for this coming week and some needed knitting therapy time. The yarn you have chosen for your sock pal is gorgeous. I am sure that whatever design you do is going to be a superb pair of socks.

  36. Sandi

    Maybe it’s something in the planetary orbs this week-and last. I haven’t been able to knit ANYTHING I didn’t hav to rip out and start over..and forget about the really catchy design I woke up with in my head over the weekend…that’s gone the way of the Edsel also…Let’s just blame it on the moon…whatdya say???????

  37. Alden

    That yarn is *such* a beautiful color! I’m sure whatever you do with it will make your sockpal happy.

    Plus, the whole making-up-your-own-pattern thing? Is hugely impressive.

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