Learning from my own mistakes

I finally REALLY finished the Tofutsies socks this morning; I had some difficulty last night getting the ends woven in, because I lost my small darning needle a week ago and so I’m using a sub from my embroidery kit. The eye is smaller and I had the devil of a time last night threading it; and then one of my dogs bumped my hand and out it came again! At that point I gave up. But this morning I had more time and patience and light, so I was able to manage. I’m going to launder the socks, then wrap them and stow them away until Sis’s b-day. What a relief!

And here’s where my first mistake learning opportunity occurred. I noticed yesterday that the section at the back of the heel, before ribbing, looks different on the second sock than on the first. Noticeably different. I tried and could not figure out what I might have done differently. It bothered me mightily, and if I could have found the answer I would definitely have ripped it and redone it so that they would match.

Well, naturally, today −− now that the socks are finished completely −− I realized what happened. Even though I swear I studied the pattern yesterday looking for the answer, I totally missed it, but today it’s clear as a bell. For that section I was supposed to slip 1, knit 1 all the way across; the directions are right there, although I remember that for the first sock it took me a long while to realize that direction was in there and what it actually meant. Second time around I just forgot about it and was utterly blind to it. So my socks don’t match.

Am I going to let this bother me? Em, NO. I’m so happy to be finished with the socks and it really doesn’t matter, in the end. I probably won’t even tell Sis about it . . . yeah, but knowing myself as I do, I probably will. Just because I’m stupid that way.

Last night after I stopped work on the socks I felt so miserably at loose ends; I couldn’t figure out what to work on next. I should feel happy; I have a few days until time to cast on for the SKB, I can choose my project and work on whatever I’ve got yarn and needles for. But I couldn’t figure it out.

I guess I’m going to try again at my Koigu socks −− but I learned this morning that they’re a tad too small. I had a few other problems before I discovered that −− first I was working in the wrong direction, trying to pick up gusset stitches. I ended up ripping out the heel turn and part of the heel flap. But once I tried the sock on and only barely got it over my foot I realized I could NOT ignore this situation. And so my next move will be . . . ?

Actually, since I’m able to knit socks at a fairly fast speed (for me, at least) I was thinking I might frog the whole sock and restart. Maybe I’d try Size 2 needles; maybe I’d make them toe-up socks. The choices were endless. I even thought about trying to do two at the same time (on the same needles) but I don’t want to work that hard right now.

Well, I finally decided to frog the first Koigu sock attempt, even though I had made it to the heel gussets. It was wrong, just wrong. I may have been able to mess around with it and make it large enough to fit my foot (because I’m NOT giving these socks away, uh-uh), but to be honest the fabric was just too dense; I was knitting on US Size 1 needles and even though it wasn’t horrible, it was just not quite right.

So I frogged it, put it on the swift and re-wound the skein with the kinky stuff on the inside (yeah, I know I should have washed it, blah blah blah) and now I’ve started again. This time I’m doing toe-up, just like with the Tofutsies. I’m not making myself footies, though.

Note, Dear Reader, that herein lies my second learning opportunity. I had originally tried to use the so-called “Easy Toe” described on page 58 of Sensational Knitted Socks; I very much enjoyed using the crochet hook to cast on stitches. I also knit the rectangle as instructed, but I soon ran into trouble which led me dangerously close to an adult temper tantrum.

I totally missed the line where it says, “Unzip provisional CO stitches and place them on needles as follows . . . ”

See, I became completely confused because I missed that line and moved on down beyond that. I went ahead and knit 10 stitches on the needle and picked up 2 more along the side, then grabbed my other circ and picked up 2 stitches on the side −− and then I looked at this sentence: “Knit 10 stitches from CO edge . . . ” and I went, HUH? How the crap am I supposed to knit them when they’re not even on a needle? Why doesn’t it say to pick them up first?

Oops. I just realized what I did wrong back there. AAAARRRGH!! What a dope I am. Oh well, maybe I’ll try it that way the next time.

But I can definitely see a pattern (no pun intended!) here . . . no matter how careful I think I’m being, I have repeatedly missed some vital information and run into a boatload of frustration because of it. These are only two examples from TODAY; I’m embarrassed to admit that I’ve been doing this on a regular basis lately, including while working on the Tofutsies sock.

And this from a person who used to get good marks at reading/listening and following instructions. Well, recognizing your problem is the first step to fixing it, right?

Categories: Knitting

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