Monday, October 08, 2007

Too many WIPs

OK, I have a record number of WIPs on the go just now, more than I’ve experienced before. I wasn’t scared. I thought I could handle 20 WIPs. A hundred, even. I liked the variety. What could go wrong?

Well, this week I’m learning what goes wrong. What I’ve discovered is that when I have a WIP on the needles, no matter how many detailed notes I think I’ve made about needle sizes, decreasing patterns, etc, there is always a ton more information in my head that escapes notation and promptly evaporates if I don’t work on that project for a day or three.

For instance, take the Rainbow Socks. These couldn’t be simpler. I’m knitting the second sock of the pair, so I have a reference point. It’s an ultra-plain vanilla sock in stocking stitch with a garter stitch short-row heel and common wedge toe. So simple I can do it without looking. And there’s your problem right there. I was knitting on Sock 2 just the other day and the time came to work the heel. I’d taken the precaution of making a note that I worked the heel of Sock 1 over 36 sts of the total 60, and that I picked up a few stitches when starting the foot, so as to close the holes at the corners.

I thought my careful notes were fool-proof so I happily knit the heel and then the rest of Sock 2 (which seemed to take no time at all – strange, as Sock 1 took months). When I’d finished the blinking sock, I then realised that the one thing my notes didn’t tell me was that I didn’t need to switch to a smaller needle size to do the heel, even though that’s the convention with garter stitch short-row heels. Because I was feeling blasé and on top of the project, I hadn’t had the sense to have a good look at Sock 1 before starting to knit. So Sock 2 ended up with a heel that is much smaller than Sock 1. Dammit.

And that is why there has not been much knitting progress this weekend. Last night I sat down with Sock 2 and unpicked that heel. I now have a flat tube of knitting with a split in it, waiting for a correctly-sized heel to go in.

Don’t tell anyone, but the toes on these socks don’t seem to perfectly match either. It’s not noticeable though. That’s my story, anyway. You see what happens when you leave even something as simple as socks unattended? I need to get that WIP list right down to something manageable, asap.

It is going to be a festival of finishing this week. Clara’s Baby Surprise Jacket and Imken’s angora socks are absolute top of the list. More news and photos coming soon.

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