Thursday, February 5, 2009

Minor Bumps and Bruises

Aside from the neckline of my tall-elegant-mom's Christmas I.O.U. sweater, now happily re-banded and resting tidily, I've had the occasional little mishap lately. Nothing too terrible, just mildly alarming.

This was one.

Over the holidays, I finally wore my Feather and Fan socks of the much-lauded Socks That Rock yarn. We went to a party. I showed them off proudly to anyone who would hold still long enough and collected good-natured acclaim.

When I got home, I took off my shoes with a contented sigh. Aaah. But something didn't seem quite right. What on earth was it? I did a double-take. It looked a little fuzzy in the back....

Here, have a closer look.


Yes, that's right. A great big hole in the heel. The first time I'd worn them. I'd only admired and patted them until then.

Well, that was certainly an unpleasant little surprise. I still don't know what caused it. It clearly wasn't just ordinary wear and tear. After one wearing? No. But I don't remember snagging it on anything or even noticing any rough spots in my shoes. Maybe there was a weak join in the yarn, I don't know.

I'll get it patched up. The good news is that I have leftover yarn. I have a darning egg. And I know how to use them.

But did I say mishap? Mishap? I should have said mishaps. Plural.

This was the other one.

Although metal needles are my favorite, I sometimes use bamboo for socks, especially if there's any travel on the horizon. I figure wooden needles are less likely to excite X-ray machines, airport security staff, and fellow passengers than shiny little metal spikes.

Honestly, I also figure that if they got confiscated, I'd be less upset about losing them. But, shhhh, don't let them hear me say that! They serve me well when called upon, and I don't mean to be unkind.

So I wasn't very pleased with myself one day recently. I got distracted from my knitting, carried off one little needle that happened to be in my hand, sat down to rummage for something, and got up only to find I'd sat on the poor thing. Snap.

I remember clearly having thought beforehand, "you know, you really should put that back with the other needles before you walk away; you're liable to put it down somewhere and lose it if you carry it off on its own." Of course, in the end I broke it instead of losing it. But, nevertheless, I smelled trouble coming and ignored my own good advice. That happens more often than I'd care to admit.

Now I was in a minor fix. I had a busy evening, a sock to finish, and stores closed next day. What's a stubborn person to do? I took the longer piece of broken needle from the wreckage, sanded down the jagged end with a nail file, and rubbed it with a piece of wax paper. So it would glide, you see. :)

I ended up with a perfectly good four-inch one-ended double-point needle and knit the rest of the sock with it. That is, I used the undamaged pointy end to knit the stitches onto, and the blunt misshapen end to knit them off of. This wasn't particularly comfortable, and maneuvers like decreases were tricky to do with that blunt end serving as the left-hand needle tip, but I managed.

It somehow felt like proving a point. I know, stubborn. But then, why not keep on using that stubby little excuse for a needle? It got the job done, didn't it?

Nope. Nobody's that stubborn.


Amy said...

It just proves that you're the knitting Macgyver!


Anonymous said...

The way I bend my addis when I'm doing socks, I'd likely snap the bamboo in the knitting- I have done that to the Bryspun flexibles...

Knitting Macgyver- I love it!

Anonymous said...


cathy said...

Ha, Macgyver! Now, there's something to aspire to. :)

Torhild Reidardatter said...

Ah.. so not ok when there`s a hole first time you are wearing the sock. But it happens , I`m afraid.Lucky you can fix it, Macgyver:-)
good fixing the needle.. we have a saying here in the north: A naked woman learns how to spin- meaning given situation can make you be very creative and make things work.
Have a nice week-end