Two things happened while knitting those socks. First and foremost, I almost had a nervous breakdown and had to put them away. I felt so inadequate and frustrated (no matter how many of my fellow knitters said they traveled the same sock path) the act of knitting them became untenable. However, they’re still by my bed, and when that moment of knitting lucidity returns, I will quickly pick them up and see if I can make some progress. The second thing is a “good thing,” and it is the realization that knitting, while certainly having the potential to make you crazy, also has a calming effect that is both soothing and distracting. There’s that rhythm that comes into play on the third row of a stitch change. Scarves certainly are the easiest of knitting projects, and I decided that my stitch tension, and thus the uniformity of my stitches, had improved to the point I wanted to try the schizophrenic psycho scarf again.
I used a medium grade pure wool, a wool that would be good for felting once the scarf had been worn enough to be categorized as vintage. To this end, I made it extra long, and will wear it doubled and drawn through a loop. But even more than having FINISHED a knitting project, I learned so much about certain stitches; like not expecting the stockinette and the garter stitches to lay at the same width. I finally picked up on the fact that to start each row, you have to carefully determine the “right” and “wrong” side so that the new row does not have a threaded row of the opposing color. I learned to let the new yarn dangle free and not tie it, but wait patiently to thread it into place after a few rows. This kept the scarf neat and pretty while I knitted, encouraging me to continue. Once the scarf got to the two foot mark, I gently tied it into itself so that each time I turned it would not become stretched and twisted. This also kept it cleaner and there was less abrasion to the wool while I knitted.
And last but not least, I found out the hard way NOT to leave my knitted projects where Bowtie the Cat might get to them. I caught her in the nick of time, eating her way through about 10 inches of yarn, swallowing gulp after gulp. I cringe when I think I might not have been home because this surely would have killed her.
I may be hasty in this judgment, but I also believe knitting is a bit easier than crocheting, a complete change of heart for me. I have two reasons: while crocheting the first psycho scarf, and because I was changing the stitches often, I could never quite get the same number of stitches in each row because of mistakes on the edges….not enough crochet stitches or too many before each turn. You don’t have that problem in knitting, at least not the knitting I’m doing…yet. Also, I find that my hands are on the yarn more when I crochet, and with this knitting project, it looks fresher, cleaner, and newer than my psycho scarf. I attribute this to the needles doing the holding and not my hands.
So all in all, this was a very successful project, and I look forward to moving somewhere I can actually wear this. Now I am eyeing those socks for another attempt now that my confidence is way up. But first I need to get some Valium.