Knowing When To Unravel
When July worked her way around I was waiting, needles poised, to cast on the latest project from A Year Of Techniques. I’d brought Talmadge to a sprint finish (though to this date it is still awaiting a pair of buttons) and was ready for a new challenge. The pattern was released: Rachel Coopey’s Antirrhinum socks with the accompanying skill of the heel turn (a handy set of knitting steps in a knitter’s repertoire if they hope to enhance the warmth of comfort of their feet). I cast on with the intention to change only the ribbing from a 1×2 rib to a 2×1 to flow into the main stitch pattern. No big change, no great need for concentration.
I worked the prescribed length of rib before settling into the main stitch pattern, which is absolutely ideal for socks. It’s a rib with interspersed occasional lace elements. The effect is delicate without losing it’s robustness. The fit of the ribbed sock would hug the foot without being restrictive, and is perfect for first time sock-knitters so that they may concentrate on the magic of the sock heel without sacrificing comfort. But boy do I hate knitting rib.
Ribbing is one of the most important elements of many knitting patterns. Where you need elasticity for comfort, form and fit, ribbing is your best friend. The knits and purls concertina in their stacked vertical columns to give a snug and soft stretch that cannot be matched by any other form of stitch. But, unfortunately, my fingers find it monotonous. Usually I see the ribbing as a necessity and look forwards to breaking away into the song and dance of lace or cables, or even the meditative repeat movements of stockinette, which lets some parts of my brain shut down for a bit of quiet whilst my hands go into autopilot. But this perfect stitch pattern that I was knitting away at is, at heart, ribbing.
When my hands did not move to something else, my mind did, and I started mentally planning other projects. I kept putting my knitting down to search for the perfect pattern because my little boy is growing out of his knitwear and needs some new things. Soon I found myself looking forwards to casting on new things once I could get past these socks. Then, without too much thought, I just unravelled.
I don’t know what made me do it. I didn’t even ‘decide’ so much as just went with the compulsion. This is such a perfect sock pattern, it’s just not my knitting. Not my knitting right now, anyway. In a few weeks, who knows? What I do know is that I have a Coopknits sock pattern that I really, really want to knit soon. I think I should have perhaps cast these Pennycress socks on instead of the Antirrhinums, as they have been on my ‘must knit soon’ list for a while. So, maybe this frizzle of Socks Yeah! yarn will become those Pennycress socks instead when I am ready to carry on with my socks. I say carry on as I didn’t unravel all of my knitting. Disliking knitting rib as I do, that would be sheer horror.