Wednesday, February 02, 2011

just how complicated is a slipper?

(this post is for J-L)

So I knit my b-i-l a slipper for Christmas.  That was lovely of me, except he has two feet.  I didn't want to cast the slipper off and move on to the next slipper because I wanted to be sure it would fit.  So at Christmas time, I knit all the way to the end of one slipper and sort of fake sewed it together to see if it would fit.  It did.

Then I didn't want to leave it sewed up because I wanted to be sure the second slipper was the same size as the first (although nobodys feet are exactly the same size as each other so why did I do that?) but since it was already off the needle I put it on a stitch holder and stowed the needles in my knitting bag.  On my way home I knit half a pair of baby socks and didn't even think about the slipper because I knew I was going to run out of yarn anyway.

So I got home and stowed the needles in my big ol' sack of circs, and life continued apace.  I kept forgetting to buy more yarn.  I was knitting baby socks, and then a hat, and then forty frillion dishcloths (in the interest of full disclosure - only 18.  So far.) And then when I finally got yarn, I couldn't remember what size needle I'd used.  The pattern suggested a needle size - had I used that?  Had I made up my own head?  I cast the slipper on and in a sort of Goldilocks way, started knitting swatches of second slippers until I had one that was just right.  This took several days because it wasn't a mindless take-along project and I started two new jobs and B had eleventy hundred hockey games.

The next part that took more days was I  used up the first ball of yarn and did about half the slipper, and needed to start the new ball of yarn.  This got into Tricky Territory again because the slippers are knitted using two strands of yarn, and I am at my most convoluted when I have something to overthink.  How best to do two strands at once?  Pull from the centre and the outside at the same time?  Wind off half the yarn into another ball and use two balls at once?  (I rejected this initially because if the two balls of yarn didn't have exactly the same amount of yarn in them, planets would collide, and I'm in enough trouble already)  I finally decided that the only thing to do was take from the inside and outside at the same time and wind a ball that had both strands already together ie the very thing I had done when I made the first slipper.

So I took an entire morning at work to do that.  As my work is looking after two small children, there were times when I wished I had waited for a more opportune moment, by which I mean any moment in which a 13 mo old would not try to help with the yarn.  I have several of those moments in my life, but I chose to utilize none of them.

And then when that was all done, I didn't like it.  The strands were all twisty and annoying.  Clearly the only thing to do was wind smaller balls from the big ball, which of course had to be done simultaneously.  I saw no reason to wait until nobody short and shrieky wanted to help me, that is, not until 12 seconds into the job, at which point I should have stopped, but I thought it wouldn't take that long, and plopped her in a playpen.  I forgot the part where time passes at different speeds for an adult engrossed in what they are doing, and a furious thirteen month old who wants to help.

My eye has finally stopped twitching, and the reverberating echoes have died down.

I've only got half a slipper left, and I'm visiting my Mom tonight, and a visit with my mom pretty much consists of sitting at her bedside prattling away and knitting.  Wish me luck!


Anonymous said...

Good luck. --G.

Addy Oberlin said...

Oh Susan, you have such a sense of humour. I'm sure that keeps you going when it gets tough. The Lord will use you to encourage others.