Sunday, May 18, 2008

Second chance.

Not long after the NYS Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck, my family gathered at my sister's in-laws for Thanksgiving.  Sister's MIL and I discussed what a good time my mom and I had, and my relative restraint in purchasing.  I mentioned that I'd purchased more spinning fiber than anything, and had come home with only one ball of sock yarn.  My niece chimed in, "You can knit socks?"

Now, this is a child who has happily received (and even requested) several hand-knit garments in her fourteen years on earth.  I was surprised that she didn't twig that socks fall in that category, but then again, I'd never knit her any socks.  So for Christmas, she received a ball of Schaefer...umm...I believe it's Nancy, I didn't save the ball band, in a lovely dusty lavender/green combination.  (I'm a fast knitter, but was too bogged down under other Christmas knitting to get hers going.)

Luckily she wears the same size shoe as me (6) so I knew they would go quickly if I ever freakin' started them.  I finally did, around February break, and I was right.  The first one went like the wind.  I used Priscilla Gibson-Roberts' "Simple Socks Plain and Fancy" formula, as I do for most of the socks I knit anymore, and a simple repeated four-stitch twist cable with two purls in between.  I love Schaefer colors...Cheryl's eye is like no other's...but I find it can be challenging to use them and not lose either the beauty of the colors themselves, or any pattern stitch within the coloring.  I gotta say, this hit the nail on the head.  It really like the end result.

Then my life fell apart.  No, I probably won't ever give you all the sticky details on that, but suffice to say it really and truly was the worst three months I've ever experienced, including my divorce.  I knit (or wove, spun, ate, or slept) very little during this time, and my niece's half-finished second sock languished along with everything else.

I finally began carrying it with me, and slowly but surely got past the heel.  Somehow the foot always goes fastest for me, and having such a small foot doesn't hurt matters either.  Just last week I popped them in the mail to her, along with a note apologizing that the socks were getting to her just in time for sandal weather.

I was out to visit my sister and family yesterday for my niece and middle nephew's birthday party.  I hadn't heard anything from my niece about the socks, which isn't unusual, but did find them still in the envelope.  I teasingly accused her of not liking them but not telling me, and she blushed hugely, stammering, "No, I like them, it's just...." as I pulled them out of the envelope.  It took about ten seconds to figure out what the problem was.

When she cut the envelope open, she caught one of the socks in the front, just about where the heel turn begins, and snipped a good-sized hole in it.  My sister said she was just devastated, and cried and cried when it happened.  She must have been just a little afraid to tell me too.

Well.  I assured her that accidents happen, and that knitting is endlessly forgiving (as is her aunt).  And luckily, that I still had the leftover yarn and would absolutely fix them for her.  There's no darning the hole, really, so I pulled out the whole foot and heel and have them back on the needles.  It won't take long to redo them, as my knitting mojo is slowly returning.

And now for the corny finish.  I can't help but see this as a little metaphor for life:  bad things happen, but we can fix them and keep going.  It might take some time, but very few things can never be repaired.  Did I mention the sock she clipped was the one where I messed up the heel anyway?  Second chances, friends, in life and in knitting.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stride? What stride?

Last post, I mentioned that I thought I would be getting my groove back shortly (or words to that effect).

Yeah?  Well, NO.  No groove for me.  As a matter of fact, things came more to a screeching halt than anything.  Shan't go into gory details.  Still recovering from the aftershocks.  Hopefully to post more soon.