Saturday, August 16, 2008

Something Finished

It's easy to get jaded in the land of internet knitting. We put ourselves under constant pressure to make something fancier ("maybe I should make it in lace with fair isle!") , more complicated ("so, if I start with a knit octagon which will eventually be the bottom of the foot, pick up stitches...") and with more exotic, hand-painted-ier than thou yarn. While all of these things are awesome and I do love a challenge, I've lost a little bit of perspective.

While I was knitting my latest pair of socks, I just saw them as a rookie stockinette project that took up space on the shelf in my studio. I can't tell you how many times I whined to my overly patient friends about my inability to make things while I knit round after round on these bastards. My colleagues, incredible painters and metal workers, would reply "How can you say that? Look at what you're making!"

While I was washing my new socks for the first time today I remembered my first pair. I had only been knitting for a few months and somehow decided that striped socks were the answer to all of my construction-induced anxiety. If I could knit a sock, I could make anything. I started with the most awesome red/white/orange and blue self-striping yarn (I love this color so much I have another ball of it for when my first pair wear out) and a photocopy of a pattern from the yarn shop. I knit my socks while I soldered, fiber-glassed, cast plastic, welded (this I really shouldn't do strictly for the safety of anyone within 15 feet of me). After four months I had a pile of mediocre sculpture and a pair of freaking striped socks!

The moral of the story is that at one time stockinette socks were the pinnacle of my engineering aspirations. Since then I have knit way more complicated things, made some really weird objects etc. but before all of the antibiotic marshmallows and leeching tables, there were the damn striped socks.



The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Sometimes I look at the first pair I made and remember how hard they were, how I was so jealous of the ladies at the LYS who just cranked these out by the dozens. And while I've moved on to more challenging projects, I must say that it is a pleasure to have the trusty stockinette socks around for some low-cognitive load zone-out relaxation!

kim said...

I haven't even made one pair yet. The most complicated thing I'm working on right now is a Baby Surprise jacket. It's all garter stitch with 2 increases/decreases every other row. And I still manage to skip right over them!

Team Knit ! said...

It's funny how far we come with our knitting prowess, and how when we're knitting now, sometimes it still feels like we're not getting anywhere!I find socks and sleeves little knitting black holes- your knitting and knitting, but they never seem to get any longer!

- Julie

=Tamar said...

And handsome socks they are, too.