Knitting socks may hold one of the great secrets to life.
When I first started knitting socks, I joined this Yahoo Group of sock knitters. All socks, all the time. Don't post about anything other than socks or you get reprimanded.
You would not even believe how big and busy this board is. It has more than 11,000 members!
If you're not a sock knitter, though, or even for those of us who are fairly new, it's freaking amazing to think that so much correspondence and interest can be generated about SOCKS. (Nothing else or there is some hand slapping. Don't ask me how I know this but just don't join unless you want to talk seriously about knitting socks and ONLY ABOUT THAT.) I mean, I couldn't believe it at first--after you talk about HOW to knit socks, I mean, how much more is there to say?
Go on, it's me here. You can 'fess up. You're thinking the same thing.
I cannot adequately explain the lure of knitting, and talking about knitting, socks. I just can't. Trust me that once you are hooked, you'll need some sort of 12-step program to understand how not everyone sees this as the most fascinating subject on the planet. Plus, there are as many varieties of hand knitted socks as there are SOCK KNITTERS, my friends. And sock knitters are amazingly helpful and generous in sharing their time and expertise and patterns and pictures of their finished work. For some of the participants, it almost seems like a full-time job.
But here's where *I* confess. When I first joined, I heard people talk about how "the yarn hadn't told them what kind of sock it wanted to be yet."
You can just imagine my response, right?
But I kept quiet and still people kept talking about experiences they'd had "trying to make a yarn be something its not."
But then, I took this gorgeous yarn and tried to knit a sock with it. Specifically THIS sock
I was TRYING to make THAT sock into THIS sock. But you can see how the color is "pooling" in areas, which makes me crazy.
This wool is so beautiful but used in this sock pattern, it looks splotchy and the pattern looks... funky. (Plus, it appeared to be growing with each round. It would have made a nice sweater for the dog by the time I got through with it.)
So, I tried it again.
And just once more for good measure. Until I looked like this.
And then, just as I was losing all hope, I "got" it. The yarn was telling me it didn't want to be that pattern. It wanted to be THIS one.
(I'm sorry but I think I uploaded the big version of that picture so if you click on it, it's going to look like the sock that ate JAPAN or something.)
Look at how the color doesn't pool on this one. Just look at that!
It's a plain pattern called "Bamboo Walking Socks" and it really shows off the gorgeous yarn. Makes Barb VERY HAPPY.
You know, I'm a writer and I've had similar situations where characters didn't want to do what *I* wanted them to do. They just wouldn't go there. I don't know why it was such a stretch to think that sock yarn would be the same way.
And I have children, as you know. Before I had them, I thought they came into the world like little lumps of clay and that it was my job to mold them into fine upstanding people. (Every mother reading this just spit soda at her keyboard. "BWAH HA HA HAHA! MOLD them! HAH! That Barb Cooper--she is so silly!") But see, they come into this world like certain yarns and you have to wait for them to TELL you what they need to be. If you try to fit that gorgeous introvert into an extroverted pattern, you will find one splotchy sock whose true beauty may never shine through, regardless of your knitting.
(Work with me here --I'm making a total ass of myself for a reason. I have a point. That almost never happens.)
My point is that I should never judge the utterings of knitters until I've knit their patterns. And sometimes, my friends, you gotta listen to what the yarn is telling you it wants to be.
Words to live by.
PS: It's very hard to take pictures of yourself, even when you're TRYING to be silly. Be gentle.