Saturday, October 13, 2007

Socks and more

Actually, there are two of us involved with this Wooly Work. I'm the less poetic, less creative, less deep half of the partnership. My sister knits and crochets one-of-a-kind works of art that dazzle and amaze. I..., well, I knit socks, mittens, and gloves. Recently I added sweaters to my knitting habit, but I always viewed them as kind of like a marriage commitment. They took forever to complete and the results were sometimes less than I was hoping for. Don't get me wrong, I've been married for 23 years and I'm a happy person, but, well you understand.

So, sweaters. Well, I've completed three seamless yoke sweaters, ala Elizabeth Zimmermann, in four months and I think I'm hooked now. Each one took less time than the previous one to complete. I love them done in alpaca, or an alpaca mohair blend, because of the weight of them and I personally know the animals that provided the fiber.

With Christmas coming, we're getting a lot of orders for hand knit socks. I really like to knit socks, but my problem is with getting an exact match. I like to "do my own thing", which is loads of fun, but can lead to a lot of silly problems that could have been avoided if I'd just either written down what I did with the first sock, or actually followed a pattern--gasp! I think it's a character issue.

I've ordered a book on knitting two socks at a time on circular needles. I hope it isn't a huge waste of money. I'm hoping it saves me time. It may have to wait for later, though, because this isn't the season for experimenting. It's the time to take up tried and true methods and turn those socks out like clockwork. I usually have several hours each evening to work on them, after the chores are done and the supper is eaten. It takes me about a week of evenings to finish a pair of socks, but as Christmas gets closer, I'll knit during the day as well, and then it will be about two to three days to finish a pair. It's amazing what blind panic can do to the productivity of an individual on a deadline.

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