Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The Yarn Harlot, "IT" and the sock marathon

The sock marathon began, in my imagination, in September. 

It didn't quite work out as I had hoped.  

I am not alone.  Like any self respecting knitter I pay homage to The Yarn Harlot and read her blog.  I am also catching up with her back catalogue by reading The Secret Life of a Knitter.  She writes about the knitting madness that all passionate knitters recognise.  

There is no greater madness than what The Harlot describes in  her chapter  on "IT" which is about her annual good intentions to knit a Christmas present for each of her nearest and dearest.  She describes six phases, I leave you to read them but it is enough to say that phase 1 consists of writing a huge list of projects, telling herself there is plenty of time and phase 6 is "IT" when she looses all sense of time, knits through the night, neglects her family shamefully and is still knitting into Christmas morning.

Once or twice in the Autumn I did mention that I was knitting for Christmas, particularly here and here but I did not tell you the true extent of it THERE WAS MORE.  I planned to knit a pair of socks for each man in the family, with a fairisle pattern that reflected their interests.  There were to be garden spades, cannons, a design like this "@@@" and something transport related  all patterns marching around the tops of socks knitted in charcoal grey Rowan Cashsoft 4ply.  Big soft socks to wear over ordinary ones from M&S, inside safety  boots that they all have to wear from time to time at work.

You can't have too many socks

But can you try and knit too many?

I did finish the shrug for The Little Model and the sweater for my father.  I even got the shawl made, although after blocking it was so huge I renamed it a throw and you have seen the quilt.  Then I struck the diversion that was Fenton

By the time I had finished the Fenton project there was two weeks, three pairs of cashmere mittens and four pairs of socks left on the to do list.  I made and posted the mittens to my three girlfriends first, after all the socks only needed to be ready and wrapped by 11am on Christmas morning.

It was when I took my knitting to bed, working on the first of 4 pairs of socks into the wee small hours, picking them up again as soon as I woke that I came to a decision.  I would not descend into the knitting frenzy, ever more to be called "IT" where I imagined there were 26 hours in a day and no need for sleep.  I would complete just the first pair, the rest of the yarn could go back into stash and I would begin earlier next year.

It was the transport related socks I completed for DS1 who does things with signals and points on the London Underground.  He is also someone who understands my minor obsessions, having the odd one himself  (he is currently building a mini photographic studio in the garage for stop-motion photography)

He loved the socks and suggested he might even sit with his trousers rolled up at site meetings.  

To avoid impending "IT" in 2012 I should be starting now but I'm not - yet.



PS the socks were worn for the first time on site Saturday 4 February


Brooke said...

I got lucky and avoided "IT" this year, but that was mostly because I had fewer people and all my deadlines were in January. Last year was pretty crazy (apparently socks and mittens and a full-blown sweater and scarves oh my), and I ended up finishing the sweater just before I left. Man, was my mom impressed by her 'sweater' christmas morning (I laid all the pieces out for her I had done and showed her the pattern).

Angela said...

You made me laugh today, thanks for that! The socks look fabulous! Your son sounds like a sweetheart:0) I did try to knit some gifts this year, as well. I managed to finish four hats, two pairs of fingerless mitts, a shawl, and a baby hat. Typing it now, it seems like a lot. The smug ones who say, "I decided not to do that to myself this year..." just irritate me!