Knitting off-season

Off season poinsettia & socks
Off season poinsettia & socks

After months of on again, off again knitting, the socks are done – almost six months to the day since I started. Of course, it’s summer now and ideally I shouldn’t be wearing them but, weather being what it is, I kept them on after taking the photo. We’re having an Off-Season in Canada’s capital.

A great revelation on why I have such trouble with knitting patterns came to me as I was pulling the works of art on my feet. It’s because they look like math equations with brackets and asterisks and coded abbreviations understood only by the knitterati cognoscenti.

Oh my aching head!
Oh my pounding heart!

I’m afraid of math. I have been since grade 9 when Mr. Edwards showed us how to do rapid long division. His plan was to move us swiftly through the boring stuff and get to the super-thrilling line equations with square roots ‘n’ stuff. Even as I write that, my chest starts to constrict and my mouth gets dry and I can’t swallow. I fell behind and never caught up

I’m a slow knitter. I’m a simple knitter. Yes, simple, dull, and straightforward. For me the satisfaction comes with seeing, touching, wearing a finished product. It doesn’t have to be a complicated thing. Nope. Just – “There. I made THAT with my own two hands.” Happiness.  Something knitted is tangible evidence that I am a productive human being, unlike the kind of administrative work I do. Shit. There aren’t even filing cabinets any more that you can look into and pull out a brilliant letter you wrote on travel policy for volunteers back in 2010. No, it’s all stored virtually. As a neat freak, paperless storage makes me giggle with joy but at the end of the day it lacks substance. Knitting is proof I am productive.

I’m tickled pink and green and yellow and blue that the socks are done. Done. DONE! I considered sending them to my sister, the uber-sock knitter who sent me the yarn urging me to reconsider my vow to never again make another pair of socks . Nah. They’re testament to my determination. I overcame the equations. I deserve them.

Don't believe everything you read.
Don’t believe everything you read.

At the end of yesterday’s stitch ‘n’ bitch session, I gave away the sock pattern book, neatly wound the left-over yarn into a ball, and said “Anybody want a free pattern book and yarn?” To my shock, they were snapped up right away. They heard me bitch for six months – they know what they’re in for.

Off Season2

20 thoughts on “Knitting off-season

  1. Cynthia Jobin June 14, 2015 / 10:36 am

    Better you should be knitting socks in June, than an afghan!

    Those socks are beautiful…I agree with you about the “math” of patterns; I no longer use them. I could probably look at your socks and make something quite similar by following a basic sock pattern and “winging it” with the color pattern—-especially since the two feet don’t match.

    I only knit, now, as a meditation, and only create small, tubular things (I love working on 4 needles,: socks, mittens, caps. I don’t want to have to puzzle it out but just zone out and enjoy the repetitive rhythm, the doing something productive with one’s hands. I’d rather get creative with color and texture, an ease of picking up and putting down, and portability. Just now I’m into a local hand dyed yarn from alpacas at The Good Karma Farm, near here, in Belfast, Maine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • redosue June 14, 2015 / 10:48 am

      I 100% agree with you about using colour and texture to create interest in knitting. I’m making a super-simple shawl from a Manos hand-dyed indigo shade that changes ever so-subtly as you go. The body is garter stitch onto which you add a small lace trim at the very end. Just my speed. It is all about the repetition and with the repetition a kind of meditation. I have to be careful about the texture thing, though. Last summer while in Cape Breton, I bought some stuff from a local that was called “Curly-locks”. It had all these loops and swirls on top of which it was mohair-y. I abandoned the project because I kept knitting into the loops instead of my stitches and the dang thing grew in the most unattractive, rhombus way.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Shelley Page June 14, 2015 / 4:09 pm

    I love your socks……they’re very colourful and stylish and it’s inspiring you stuck with them. Looking forward to the next project.


    • redosue June 14, 2015 / 5:45 pm

      I had my sister to report to, Shelley. There was no quitting allowed.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Luanne June 15, 2015 / 6:47 pm

    The socks are so beautiful Susanne. Although I used to knit simple things, I have never been able to comprehend how someone would have the patience to knit socks! Wow, they are really something. You can be very proud!


  4. dawnkinster June 16, 2015 / 7:14 am

    This is wonderful! I have a sweater with a complicated stitch that is sitting in a bag with only the back 3/4 done. It’s sat there for almost 10 years. I might just frame the part I have done and admit it will never be a complete sweater.


      • redosue June 16, 2015 / 7:59 am

        Isn’t it interesting how sisters can be inspirational AND tyrannical at the same time? Not that my sister is the latter, but it’s something I observe in my household of 3 daughters.


  5. Renae Rude - The Paranormalist June 17, 2015 / 6:00 pm

    I could have written this … except, I’ve never finished a pair of socks 🙂
    I like the poinsettia touch too. They look so strange off-season.


    • redosue June 17, 2015 / 7:54 pm

      Hi Renae, It is strange to see the poinsettia with green leaves instead of red. As for the socks, they tested me in every way imaginable but I’ll never make another pair!


  6. I of July July 22, 2015 / 12:28 pm

    you make knitting so interesting 🙂 do you by any chance watch a programme called the The Great British Sewing Bee? not sure if they broadcast that in Canada – I quite enjoy watching that from time to time although I know absolutely nothing about sewing or knitting… still fascinated by the craft though


    • redosue July 22, 2015 / 4:14 pm

      I have heard of this show through my stitch and bitch friends. We came up with our own reality version called “No one suspects the woman who knits”. I think it has juicy potential. Thanks for dropping by, my poetic friend!


  7. Jessica Dofflemyer April 7, 2016 / 4:12 pm

    Just found this – and love it! I can so relate to the math anxiety. And as much as I used to argue that I would never use math in ‘real life’ it seems to creep in to the arts, far more than I would prefer. Musical scales are mathematical, and when all I want to do is play, I feel like I have to understand the music linearly, when it feels anything but. Same with sewing, knitting, crocheting, etc.

    I don’t follow the songbooks, and I don’t even try the pattern books. Your socks look fantastic, pattern-free. My crochet attempts are random, at best, and often lopsided.


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