Zen and the Art of Emotional Maintenance
This morning, I picked up my Knee High to a Grasshopper socks, a pattern offered, hell, three years ago as part of Blue Moon's Rockin' Sock Club--the introduction of BMFS's Silkie Sock yarn, before it was commercially available. When the pattern was released, I loved how it looked in the photos, loved the softness of the yarn (I am a silk whore), loved the colorful interplay of the colorway: magenta, navy blue, green, and brown, threaded throughout with a shot of white.
Alas, the expectation and the reality were far apart. I hated the pattern, "knit" mostly in purl facing. The yarn pooled atrociously on the calves, and although normally pooling doesn't bother me, it did here given the busyness of the patterning. And having knit the knee high versions, they sagged horribly the first time I wore them.
Helpful recommendations were made to re-knit the cuff with an elastic thread carried with it, but at that point, discouragement set in. They were laid aside, in plain sight so I would not forget them, and then left there, for years, waiting for me to be ready to face them again.
I found them there, cleaning the place where they had been left, and I thought about how little needed to be done to finish them for real. I moved them aside, thoughtfully, back to a place in my stash that was still open to view, but that act of moving them was the first step, the first step in acknowledging I might be ready.
Today at lunch, nerves abraided, I sat in a comfy chair at purlescence_rss, listening to my friends working around me, and patiently picked out the sewn cuff bind-off--the first time I had ever done that technique, I recalled as I worked to tease yarn that had started to stick to itself. When the last stitch binding freed a half an hour later, it took fifteen seconds to rip back the 1x1 ribbing, an act of entropy that continues to amuse me even years after I completed high school chemistry, then carefully picked up each live stitch onto a circular needle, remembering how I didn't know how to do socks on two circs when I knit this sock, the pain of the toe cast on using DPNs. I laughed when I realized I'd missed a stitch, eight stitches back, and thought of how upset I would've been if I hadn't caught it and that stitch had dropped.
When I'd finished, the cuff stood ready to be re-knit, but I'd run out of time. Tucked back into my bag, I headed back to work.
But I thought, as I drove back to the office, about how this simple act of choosing to complete a task I'd left undone all this time, and then doing it, had centered me, if for only a brief hour, and how I was anticipating the satisfaction that will come when it is done.
I'm looking forward to finishing them, after being long forgotten.
P.S. Also along these lines is the Sahara top I knit last summer. I did finally finish it: only to then accidentally throw it into the dryer, forgetting that while the body is a cotton-wool blend, the trim is wool-silk, and therefore feltable. Which it did.
After the subscription of issues I'd had with making it, it was the last straw. I threw it on the bottom of my laundry hamper, where it lived until about a month ago.
The week after I pulled it out, Purlescence put the Venezia Worsted used for the trim on sale. Taking it as a sign, I bought a skein to replace the trim, and plan on tackling that as soon as I'm finished with my current non-sock WIP, a tank top based on the Soleil Knitty pattern, but knit in the faux herringbone pattern of the Charade socks (Ravelry link), from Frog Tree's Picoboo yarn.