The Wrong Counselor

So, Self-imposed sock club. I really thought I was going to get out of this one.

I am well and truly sick of socks. Last month’s pair I hated, pretty much every stitch of the way. I was all geared up to finish the last two pairs by the end of the year, but when I went to pick the next month’s project… three little bags of yarn fell off the shelf. I almost cried.

Not only that, but out of the three remaining sock projects, two of them prominently feature traveling stitches. Traveling stitches are pretty, but fiddly, and are a major part of what made the last pair so hateful. So much fiddling, when I so don’t care anymore!

I was ready to cash in my chips. Pull the neatly organized sock yarn out of their neatly organized bags, and shove it all back into the drawer for undesignated fingering-weight yarn. The stuff could become shawlettes, for all I cared, and they could wait until the next millennium for that to come about. I was even ready to call this “maturity” and “accepting my limits” instead of “wimping out.”

But I couldn’t quite bring myself to make that decision on my own. I needed a little encouragement.

So I went to the one person who I thought would give me a break. The one person who is most familiar with my neurotic idiosyncrasies, yet least likely to give them credit: my husband. If anyone was going to let me off the hook, it’d be him, right? Our conversation went something like this:

Me: So, I’m thinking about giving up on knitting through that sock book.
Hubs: Why?
Me: I’m just sick of it. I’ve got a bunch of socks out of it already, and I think I’ll hate knitting the rest of them. Why waste my knitting time when I’d rather be knitting something I like?
Hubs: Hm. How many socks have you knit for this thing already?
Me: Out of this book? Fourteen, I think. Pairs. Fourteen pairs of socks.
Hubs: And how many do you have left?
Me: Three.
[Note: This is where I thought his next words would be: “Makes sense to me. Cut your losses and knit what you want.” Instead he says:]
Hubs: But… you’re so close to finishing!

That’s when I knew I’d made an idiotic mistake. My husband may not be quite as obviously neurotic as I am, but he can be a pretty intense completionist. This is the chap who played through Zelda: Twilight Princess three times, the second two times getting every single item that it is possible to collect out of all the different kind of collectible things. Down to the one hundred glowing bugs hiding in random fields. I mean, what weirdo at Nintendo has time to come up with something like that? I like my video games, but I do not grind for stuff like that. No.

But I also knew he was right.

I am so close. Three pairs of socks is maybe 48 hours of knitting time. Just over a week of full-time knitting. It’s not that much, and I can still get through it by the end of the year if I decide I want to. I give myself the freedom to say no… but in the end I say yes. When it comes to knitting, I will absolutely grind for something like that.

So I heaved an enormous sigh, muttered something about “first world problems,” and trudged upstairs to the sock shelf. I looked at the patterns and couldn’t even decide which one I would hate the least, so Naomi and I did eenie meenie miney moe. I wound up the yarn, and cast on 72 stitches for “Canal du Medi.”

And then, surprisingly, I didn’t hate it. The traveling stitches were way less complicated than the previous socks’, and don’t wrap around the whole leg. The yarn, a Koigu KPPPM from pretty far down in the stash, is a fascinating mishmash of flecks. Out of things currently on the needles, this might even be first to the finish line. Maybe.

So it looks like I will be finishing this trek around the world, following Nancy Bush’s sock-toting travels.

I make no more promises about being done by Christmas, though.


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