Not finishing enough, and the sock in my purse

I’ve started feeling desperate about not producing enough FO’s (Finished Objects) lately.  So I’ve cast on a lovely bulky red/purple yarn for the Jenny Cloche.  Theoretically this should be a quick knit, but at my crawling pace of late… well, we’ll see.  I plan to knit the style without the big floppy bow (eg. this Raveler’s lovely project), because I am not a big floppy bow sort of person.


There is still an ever-present sock in my purse.  It’s possible that the sock is part of the reason I feel so angsty about finishing something.  I was cruising along cuff-down and about to do the toe decreases when I discovered that my creation would not slip over the recipient’s heel.  I was concerned that I wouldn’t have enough yarn for three socks, so rather than having a mismatched sock for myself (yes, I would happily wear mismatched hand-knit socks, I am that sort of kooky), I had to frog it.  O!  The agony! Actually, at the time I felt I took my gauge mistake rather philosophically.  I frogged, changed needle sizes, went a size-step over on the chart, and cast on again immediately.  It is only now that I feel this terrible weight of not finishing anything for a long time.  Some sort of delayed frogger’s-remorse.


It’s my own fault, of course.  I was using my favorite Grannie Linda Siskiyou sock chart but I failed to realize that the Zwerger Garn Opal Saphir 8ply yarn I previously used successfully with this chart is actually a very different yarn from the current project’s Zwerger Garn Opal Harry Potter 4ply yarn…


I know, I know, I honestly didn’t see that it was a different ply count until I looked up the proper names just now.  But the yarn difference was visible too, if I had only paid attention to the “gauge instinct”.  You know the one?  The one we all ignore at our peril, the instinct that tells us that there is NO WAY that we are making a garment that will reasonably fit the body part it is intended for.  When we ignore the gauge instinct we wing it, even though we know better, and don’t stop even when some innocent bystander asks if we are ‘making that sock for a little nephew’?  The Yarn Harlot does much better justice to this subject than I ever could.   I can’t find the specific story I’m thinking of on her blog, so I’m guessing I read it in one of her books.


As an aside:  I love the Yarn Harlot’s writing, I added all her books to my holiday wishlist, even though I’ve enjoyed half of them from the library already, just because they’re great to refer back to in times of knitterly trial.  She normalizes all those painful mistakes and reminds us that most  knitters do make them, because all knitters are human.  She’ll make you feel better about your stash guilt too – really, she is delightful!


Back to my sock gauge confessions:  it wasn’t just the yarn size.  Way back in March, I discovered that the TKGA Master Knitter Program had changed my gauge (for the better!).  So I should have also been taking into account that my gauge had changed when I started casting on for a sock without doing any kind of gauge swatch.


So yes, foolish mortal that I am, I paid no heed to either the yarn size or changes in my gauge before casting on blithely and knitting a too-small-sock.  That was about a month ago.  Due to this knitting-impediment called graduate classes, I have gotten only so far as to make it back to the heel flap.  And thus my story has come full circle, I have cast on a hat in bulky yarn hoping for some near-term Finished-Object gratification… I also have bulbs to plant this weekend, apple butter to can, applesauce to make and then can, a porch railing to stain, and a few other little projects in mind for this weekend… so as I said, we’ll see.


That said, let me make myself feel better by sharing photos of another project I finished this summer, that I only recently remembered to take photos of:

Captain Capacitor (pattern here):

Captain Capacitor - knitted toy

Captain Capacitor - knitted toy

Resisty the Resistor (pattern here):

Resisty the Resistor - knitted toy

Resisty the Resistor - knitted toy

I made these cute little guys for my favorite geek, my husband, who has been taking electrical engineering courses over at the community college.  I made sure to pick a resistor banding pattern that really meant something – no point in making an inaccurate geek-gift!  As for the patterns, they were free, delightful, and easy to follow.  And Anna, the designer over at the Mochimochi Land blog, has a zillion other irresistibly cute (very kawaii inspired) patterns to whet your toy-knitting appetite if you don’t know any budding electrical engineers.


Until next time, keep your needles clicking…


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