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Archive for February 19th, 2006

Knitting Like a Champion

Sunday, February 19th, 2006

Finished Socks
Well, what a great week it has been for my knitting life. I finished my 124th pair of socks last Tuesday. Then I finished my 125th pair on Sunday morning, shortie golf-type socks for mom in fingering weight, size 0 needles, top down 4-part swirl toe and afterthought heel with 3-needle bindoff. In greens and blues (celery, lime, forest, and navy), her favorite color combination (at least for her home).

Actually, I still need to work in the yarn ends on both pair but will do that on Monday. All knitting stitches are complete, though, so I call them done enough to be counted on my list.

My Olympic Status
And the top I’m knitting for Knitting Olympics? I’m actually delighted with my progress. The back is done and I just sprayed it with cold water which made it lie flat, not a full blocking but enough to tame it for seaming and hopefully a photo.

Also I’ve knit nearly 5 inches on both fronts. Soon comes the tricky part. It has increases for a sort of “lapel” that doesn’t fold, and then arm holes, and then shoulder shaping. It’s not lace knitting by any stretch of the imagination, and it’s not aran cables… but for me, I’d rather knit five pair of stranded (“fair-isle”) patterned socks than the fronts of this flat-knit, stockinette top.

I am very happy that I have the olympic challenge to push me on this project. I did, after all, buy the yarn nearly 2 years ago with a gift certificate, and I wish to honor the person who gifted this to me. I got the yarn specifically to do this particular pattern (which I am really clear I would enjoy wearing). I’m glad that I had so much time to knit during my travels this week, where knitting (and even purling) made the time go by much more happily for me than traveling without the project.

Foibles
Fortunately, I’m getting more in the groove of that “purl half the rows” part… The beginning of each purl row makes me cringe less. (Yes, I’m a wimp but I do knit for joy as a rule and thus far purls don’t bring joy.)

It cracked me up the other night when we were watching a particularly exciting olympic segment on TV… I would start out purling a row which was supposed to be entirely purled. Then partway through the row I’d realize my hands had just automatically started knitting. Several times!

I think that my hands remember that I typically don’t purl unless I’m doing ribbing… and my favorite ribbing is “Knit 3 stitches, Purl 1 stitch, repeat” ad infinitum. So my hands went from purl to knit as they might in the middle of a rib repeat… and then in the excitement of watching the race they stayed at the knit stitch for sometimes most of a row before I realized what I’d done.

I crack myself up sometimes. Autopilot is different things to different folks, I’d say. For my hands, autopilot is “knit, knit, knit, knit” usually in a circle with no interruption at all.