Sock Number Two is done!

So, the boyfriend socks have actually been done for 3 days, but I had wanted to also talk about the next project down the list to finish until it frustrated me so much I wanted to quit this whole thing and just start a new project. Here’s how it went:

Thrilled with myself that I actually made it through knitting a pair of socks for my boyfriend, I immediately picked up the next bag full of sad and forgotten knit-with-so-much-love sweater pieces for this jacket. Started, oh, sometime two winters ago, it lay in the bottom of my project bin with only one sleeve and the collar to make – wait, but here is the catch: I was altering the sleeve which was originally knit flat and sewn in, to a top-down, in-the-round, short-row shaped cap sleeve that did not, thank you very much, have to be set into the body at the end. (Those of you who have absolutely no idea what the hell I am talking about, don’t worry – it is as awesomely complex as it sounds…well, the math is, at least.)

So here I am, tackling sleeve number two, following the cryptic notations I had left myself 2 years ago (because why write it all out for my future self struggling through decoding my own thought process?), and I am almost halfway through when I realize, hmmm, this looks a little funny.

If you couldn’t tell in the photo, there is a wild size difference between the left and the right sleeves. I guess I completely misread my notes, because upon counting how many stitches were on my original sleeve and comparing them to my new one (smart idea…why didn’t I do this in the first place??), I had TWICE as many stitches on my new one. This thing looked like a bad dream out of the eighties, people. So, I started again with the correct stitch count.

Yes, friends, gauge has come back once again to haunt me. I measured my gauges from two years prior and today, and I am knitting more than a whole stitch tighter! (must be the boyfriend socks…) So I ripped out almost 3 hours of work and started A THIRD TIME. This time, I think, it has got to come out right.

And so it is, although out of paranoia I am measuring my gauge every inch that I finish just to be safe. Slowwwwwww progress…just the motivator I need. (That was sarcasm.)

So much has been going on this week between work stuff and a friend being in town, plus trying to keep my social life together and being at my parents’ last weekend for my baby brother’s graduation (gulp!), means that barely any progress has been made on the boyfriend socks. What does this mean for my confidence in this endeavor? Nothing good.

Already I have fantasized about 3 different yarn purchases, casting on for 2 new projects that I am dying to begin, and thought up at least a handful of design ideas for some yarns that I am about to do unquestionable things to myself over…and the most frustrating part is that now when I have actually put this out here in the internet void, and people are seeming to enjoy reading about my pain, I have to deal with it! It sucks, guys!

Sigh, I suppose I will have to deal – and at least knitting for my job relieves some of the intense desire to begin new things for myself. Why is it, then, so difficult for me to stay motivated only a week into this insane project? Yarncrafters, help me! I know I’m not the only one out there who is terrible at project motivation and management…where are the rest of you??

By the way, a commenter has sweetly requested an explanation of gauge swatching. Well, friend, the quick and dirty explanation is that it is an annoying task we yarncrafters must complete (I see the eye rolls of you non-swatchers out there, but you KNOW it is a must even if you don’t do it!!!!) to ensure perfect and satisfactory fit of garments upon finishing them. Something I learned a long time ago when all my sweaters were coming out so big they could fit around a cow.

Find out some amusing reasons why swatching can be less than my favorite thing in the world.

I had daydreams yesterday at work about gauge swatching for this top I am really wanting to make from the recent “Verena” mag…I got some Malabrigo Lace yarn from a yarn swap about two months ago and have been drooling over it ever since. The second I saw this top, I knew that I wanted to make it.

It is honestly taking all of my willpower not to take my interchangeable needle set out of its pristine plastic case and play around with needle sizes and this yarn. Even now I am eying it on my yarn wall. That’s right, I have a yarn wall (well, an attempted arty-looking stack of milk crates turned outward stuffed with my stash, really).

I wonder if this is just a further development of my general non-committal attitude, or if I am just freaking out about BF sock #2. Hmmmm…

Ok, so I have picked up the boyfriend socks again. Many other yarn-crafters have shared their wisdom with me about the complexities of adding knitwear to their relationships, so with that knowledge, I began tackling socks for my guy back in January.

Now, folks, the knitting of the socks is by far not the challenging bit, no ma’am. It is the psychotic obsessing over how the socks will look on his feet that drives a girl insane. After the first attempt at a style I thought I liked (these are toe-up, by the way, which does take some of the stress away as you can fit as you go…god forbid you finish one and it doesn’t get around his larger-than-you-thought calf…), I decided the one was the most heinous thing I’ve made in my life, even though he said it was “fine,” and threw the whole sock away.

I am now almost done the first sock of the retry style-change, after ripping back to the toe a grand total of five times, and am now waiting to try it on his foot. As you can see, I’ve decided a stockinette foot gave me the most ease of mind. I quickly realized that no matter how many cables or ribs I threw in there, only I would really appreciate them – I know that in the end, simple wins. Especially for a boyfriend. I don’t want these socks to make me hate him, so I’m trying not to care so much.

It’s quite difficult-i’ve already snapped at him more in the past two days than in two years. Oh lord…

Ok. When you start checking out other options the second you swear to yourself that you’ll stand by what you already have, you know you have major commitment issues.
And so begins this possibly stupid, possibly great, possibly impossible endeavor to stand my ground against the temptations of beautiful fibers everywhere until my project bin is empty. Already I have illicitly groped some tempting yarns, not to mention working in a major yarn store with employee discounts adds one more factor to my “Impossible?” list.

The first project is done (!), a top down summer camisole, which only took me one week on and off between work, friends, and eating (yeah, I basically knit around the clock unless my stomach grumbles, am getting paid to do something else, or have to fondle my boyfriend instead of my knitting needles). This, my friends, is me proving to myself that if I stick to it, I (think!) I can do it…