Friday, January 28, 2005

The Knitting Tortoise Is Still in the Race

I had a very stressful morning at work. I am in charge of all the data processing for the largest survey in the US – 1/4 million questionnaires a month from now until eternity. Can you imagine how big a stack that would be? Today we were in crisis mode. I am also in the middle of a pissing match with an egotistical, macho Puerto Rican guy who is trying to tell me how to do my work. Now that I am eligible to retire, I find that I don’t take any crap from anyone. It still doesn’t make me feel very good to be in an adversarial position with anyone. By the end of the morning the production crisis was positively resolved. The situation with Alfredo (otherwise known as Freddie) was pending.

The good news is that my afternoon was reserved for knitting with my friend Mary. Mary was my last-ditch hope to salvage the miserable socks that had been restarted 5 times. My good-will offering was a batch of homemade very garlicky lentil soup and fresh fruit for lunch. Even Rachel, the garlic queen, would have approved of this soup.

After we had our hearty lunch (on a viciously cold day), we turned once again to my knitting. The first step was to unravel everything I had done the last time. Then Mary had me knit 2 rows and check the guage of the stitches (to see if my sock was going to fit, given the yarn and the needle size). That part checked out. We unraveled the test rows and began in earnest once again. She then showed me how to cast on stitches the right way. It turns out that that was the part I had been missing before. I cast on 72 stitches, split them between the 2 circular needles, locked the top stitches together, and I was off. I spent the next 45 minutes doing exactly one complete row – K2, P2, K2, P2, etc. I was not going to be wearing these socks any time soon. However, after I managed to get through the tight first row, I started to get a rhythm, albeit still pretty slow. I added 2 more complete rows, resulting in about ½ inch of the top of one sock, and decided to pack it in for the day – quit while I was ahead, so to speak. The ribbing was starting to be apparent. It was definitely going to be a sock some day.

Mary agreed to come back in the picture after I completed the next 6-1/2", because at that point the heel begins and it has some nasty twists and turns, it appears from the pictures.

While I was there, Mary pulled out her absolutely gorgeous Fair Isles pattern scarf that she was knitting. It looks like the type of thing you would pay big big bucks for. Maybe some day...

I am still quite humbled about this whole idea of knitting, but I am definitely not the miserable failure I was a week ago. My sock is going to happen, and then maybe I’ll start one for the other foot. By then, I will really know what I am doing in the sock department.

Stay tuned...

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