In February of 2006 I learned how to knit. My son wasn’t
yet a year old. My previous life of staying up late playing videogames,
hanging with friends and ordering food in was starting to diminish. Oh we
held on far, far, longer to that life than we should have - only now in 2010
have we stopped having friends over on a twice a week basis. Getting old
It was 2006 and Valentine’s Day was coming. I
mentioned to the hub that I wanted knitting lessons so he paid for me to take a
class through our local adult education program. My teacher Lorraine was
a feisty woman. On my third class she came to me and my sad, pathetic
strip of yellow acrylic knitting. She took my work out of my hands and
without blinking just started to frog it right there in front of me. She
said something along the lines that when she was learning to knit someone
had done the same to her and that was the action that finally got her to learn
it. Well it worked for me too. I actually started “getting”
it after that. Another thing she taught me was to read a whole pattern
through at first, but when knitting a pattern to only read to the comma.
This meant that in a line of instructions, say “purl 3, k2tog, knit 5,
yo, …” just do the purl three. Then do the k2tog. Then
knit 5. She said not to get ahead of ourselves and get distracted.
This has always been very good advice for me and has served me well.
But it doesn’t work for charts.
Which is the whole point of this post.
I love charts for colorwork but I LOATHE them for lace. I am what one may call a total flaming idiot when it
comes to yarn overs and decreases in the same row. Totally freaking slays
my intellectual capabilities and I have the paperwork (and the student loans)
to prove I am an intelligent woman. Now this may accent or contradict my
intelligence, but I am also pretty determined to challenge myself and take on obstacles
for the simple fact that they’re in my way. To that end I have
started knitting my first pair of patterned socks. What? What I
have done before now? Ribbing. Good old functional ribbing.
But I am better than that! I have paid my dues and am ready to get off
the bench and onto the field with the big girls and knit some fancy socks for
Pete’s sake. I have this very pretty ball of sockotta and a copy of
the Monkey Socks pattern and I hit the road running yesterday.
This has not been going well for me.
Kind of like the way throwing water on an electrical fire
would not go well. Or forgetting to check my pockets before I throw them
in the laundry and trash my birthday check from my grandpa. Or taking my
kids to the library at the time at which the little guy always poops (he’s
very regular) and not bringing a diaper.
I’ve finally gotten past the 1 inch of twisted ribbing
that was just slightly annoying for the fact that I had a knot in my yarn after
knitting like 8 rows. I thought that might be a sign to start over but I don’t
believe in signs and plugged on. Even though I screwed up and had to tink
past the yarn join three separate times. I don’t believe in fate
dammit! I don’t!
I’m on row 6 of the first repeat of the first sock and
I have basically knit the damn thing twice already for how often I have had to
tink back and re-do. Tinking yarn overs ALWAYS screws me up. Maybe it was
because I started the pattern on the train before I had any coffee. At least that's what I told myself. I was
reading the chart very carefully yet whenever I came to the next row there were a
whole mess of purl stitches that weren’t purls at all but knits!
What the hell! It wasn’t even all of them or even sections, it’s like I
read the symbol and my mind started blinking in and out of consciousness at
random intervals so I would stop purling and knit a few.
Thinking I might just need coffee before I challenge myself I
took it out again on my break. I can’t even complete one row
correctly! It’s me. I’m disabled by lace and charts and
yarn over and decreases.
Should I accept this and move on? Should I frog it and
get on with my life? Should I just shove these aside as my pick-up
project and just do a row or two in between projects? Or suck it up and
make myself get over this stupid obstacle? Telling me that I can’t
do something makes me crazy and really fires me up to prove I can, but I don’t
think telling myself I can’t works the same way. If it did I’d
be super fit and rich at this point in my life and right now…well, let’s
just say I’m not ;)
If I never mention these socks again you’ll know what