My blog about knitting, teaching, and being a mother to two energetic young boys.

Friday, May 18, 2007

One Sock Wonder

Okay - more socks. Several weeks ago, a student asked if I would make her a pair of socks. Yeah - right. I said I would teach her if she was interested, as socks are not something that I can crank out lightening fast. (Especially a pair of socks). So - I thought that had taken care of the issue. Nope - my student is persistent. She asked my good friend Margaret, if she would craft a pair of socks for her. Soon - the plan evolved into Margaret and I would each knit one sock in return for homemade cookies & brownies. Sounds reasonable. The caveat was our student had to provide the yarn.
Fast forward to the week prior to graduation. Said student comes to class with a plate of brownies for me, and cookies for Margaret. She also drops yarn on my desk - not just any yarn mind you, but ACRYLIC, FUZZY, lime green (I think the band said "Sour Apple") yarn. Not exactly what we had in mind.
So - being the good sports that we are (and dedicated educators, mind you) we agreed on the needle size, # of stitches to cast on, and general pattern. Later that evening, Margaret calls to say our gauge w/said yarn & CO stitches would give us an 11" diameter for the sock. Now, I wouldn't call our student a waif, but she certainly isn't an ogre who needs a sock w/an 11" diameter. So - we re-calculate & decide on a better number & set out. I cast on, I tried to knit & soon found that I HATE THE YARN!! Cursing and tugging, I carried on. Then - it just became too much, so I ripped out what I'd done. Of course - this fuzzy, vomitous mass (Thank you Princess Bride) sorry excuse for yarn, broke when I tried to rip back. That's it - new yarn was called for, or the deal was off.
Off to the Yarn Branch for new yarn. I tried to get a color close to "Sour Apple", and settled on a Debbie Bliss, Cashmerino DK yarn in some shade of green. (Can't find yarn band). We were all set. Of course - are you familar with that "little voice" that speaks to you? (or am I the only one w/a "little voice"?) My little voice kept telling me - "there isn't enough yarn, there isn't enough yarn...." I call Margaret w/my concern. Being the great, calming friend that she is, she assured me that we'd have enough. So - I carried on. I knit, and knit, and knit. Socks go soooo fast when you just use a garter stitch!!
There wasn't enough yarn. Yup - I thought if I knit faster, I'd get to the toe quicker - before the yarn was gone. Nope - apparently there is a direct relationship between the rate of knitting, the anxiety of running out of yarn, and the quantity of yarn left to use. The faster I knit, the more my anxiety grew, and the faster the yarn ran out. Arghhh - so, back to the Yarn Branch I went.
Yeah - no more green yarn. (Go figure). So - I settled on 'corn'. Margaret always said this student reminded her of a burst of sunshine, hence our great excuse for the name of this sock. "Burst of Sunshine" sock. I do have to admit - the colors look great together & the yarn is soooo soft. I'm trying to decide what I might knit next with it. So - my sock was finished within 24 hours - a record for me!
No such luck for Margaret - she was finishing a hat for her sister for Mother's Day. I have to mention that Margaret is much better at finishing projects than I. I don't think she suffers from KADD. So - the week of graduation, she was still working on the sock. Then her beloved doggie, Winston, had to go to the vet, so that took away from knitting time.
The day of graduation had arrived - Margaret was still knitting. Graduation was set for 7pm. Margaret was still knitting. Students marched in, faculty marched in, the choir sang, roll call of the graduates commenced - yes, Margaret was still knitting.
Said student's last name begins with a "P". There was still time. When it was Margaret's turn to read names, she passed the sock to me - we were on the decrease of the toe. I knit a few rows. Margaret finished her list of seniors - I passed the sock back to her. I read my list of names. Our student was coming - I could see her in line. Then, with a final burst of knitting adrenaline, Margaret grafted the toe together. Just in time for us to run over, hug Sari, and hand her a pair of 'Burst of Sunshine' socks. Whew!

A gift from the hands is a true gift from the heart.

I have another student who really helped me a lot as a teacher aide over the last two years & who has a special place in my heart & memories. So - I've set out to knit her a pair of socks. This time - I've embarked on my first toe ups & am using the Beaded Rib pattern from the Sensational Knit Socks Book. While they weren't done in time for graduation, I've promised they'll be finished before I set off on our family road trip to California (more on that adventure, later).

**I don't know why the photo is sideways - it isn't in my iPhoto library. Will have to fix later. The sun is shining, so I need to get outside.
Ciao ~

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