Monday, December 11, 2006

murphy's pair of socks (a letter to my sweetie)

Dear Sweetie,

Remember those handknit socks I promised you for Christmas?

First, I started making you a pair of blue/green socks. After a couple of inches I decided that that yarn was too purply, therefore too girly (eventually I showed it to you and you said it was fine, but by that time I'd started on a different, more masculine pair of socks for you). So I gave up on those.

So I knit you the first sock of a new pair. It was the same yarn and the same needles and the same number of stitches as the pair I made you this summer, but I used a different stitch pattern for the leg. I was worried about the size as I knit, but didn't listen to myself. When the sock was finished it was clear that this pattern made an insufficiently stretchy, therefore too small, leg. So I gave up on that sock. Using the same yarn, I started another sock in a stretchier pattern.

I knit that sock. There doesn't appear to be anything wrong with it.

I unraveled the first, too tight sock, rewound it into a ball, and began knitting the second sock. Yesterday while you were at the museum with the penguin boy I finished the leg and turned the heel on that sock. This morning I picked up the gusset stitches and began the ankle decreases. After about 8 rows I noticed that something was wrong: in a place where I should have had 16 stitches on a needle, I only had twelve. After several minutes of counting, ripping, recounting, picking up, more counting, I figured out that, indeed, I have knit the ENTIRE SECOND SOCK with four fewer stitches than I knit the first (sufficiently stretchy, therefore not scrapped) sock.

I cannot fix this before Christmas. I have to knit a penguin. I love you and I want you to have many many pairs of handknit socks, but on this particular pair of socks in time for Christmas, I have to say "uncle."

with heartfelt apologies, I am your lovin


Thursday, December 07, 2006

knitting like mad, nothing to report

Like everyone, I am knitting like a nutcase but it is all stealth holiday knitting and therefore cannot be publicly posted. With luck I'll finish yet another hat for penguin boy to wear for safety patrol (he lost the first two I made for him within a week), and that I'll be able to show you.

In other forms on noncommunication, I have LARYNGITIS. This is something a singer never wants, but a singer really really really does not want it in December. Gigs out the wazoo, and no voice to bring to them. I have a brief 3-day respite from singing (starting today) before the next onslaught, and am following the generally approved advice which is to drink plenty of fluids (the advice doesn't specifically instruct, but I've found that the corollary mandate is to make many trips to the restroom) and don't talk. So I ain't talking. Not talking is awesome when the phone rings, because I hate the phone. But I'm planning to be a little embarassed at my haircut in an hour... The kids went through this no-talk routine with me a couple of years ago, and it becomes a kind of game for a while.

So there I am: shut up and knit.