That's what I'm dealing with here. Sock thwartage. I look at that sock, and it looks back and me, and what it's saying in its little woolly brain amounts to, "Thwart, thwart, thwart." Plus an evil chuckle or two.
Seriously, though, I'm on iteration number (if I'm keeping count correctly) four. Heel flap version two. I can't tell you how many times I've cast on for this thing. I took it in the car on Saturday, since we had all the long drive up to Indian Wells for me to knit. But I really didn't want to knit it. In fact, I so didn't want to knit it that I also took along Sprossling which, by contrast, is proceeding swimmingly. (Of course, now that I've said that, Sprossling will turn out to be three sizes too large or too small, and I won't figure that out until it's all put together.)
So I sat there in the front seat, looking at my two knitting bags, one full of lightness and joy in sweater form, the other full of a dark and brooding ball of yarn plus four needles. And I told Rick that maybe this wasn't my year. That this year just might have to be the one that goes by without any knitted presents. Because honestly, if I'm knitting stockinette socks (which I love), with yarn that I thought I'd love, for a person whom I really really love, how could that be going so very wrong? And since it is going so very wrong, it's probably A Sign from the Universe, telling me to move right along and do something else. And Rick said, "Come on, it's socks! I mean, you can knit a pair of socks in a day, if you really want to, right?"
And people, it was like a red flag to a bull.
Even as I wanted to poke him in the eye with my dpns (but since he was driving, I refrained)(also, they were my Signature dpns, and I didn't want eye goop on them), I also knew that he was right. It's socks. Stockinette socks. This is not (as the lovely sign that Fuzzarelly sent me a picture of said) rocket surgery. So I cast on again, right there in the car. And then swore, because this yarn hasn't liked all the ripping out to which I have subjected it, took out the cast on, wound off the first bunch of yards of yarn (the bunch of yards that have been an incipient sock three times already), tore that off, and then cast on again for what I sincerely hope is the last time, because if I don't bust a serious move, there will be no niecelet socks for Christmas this year.
They are not going to be long socks, because I have to be realistic. And they are not going to have an eye-of-partridge heel, ditto. Slip stitch heel, yes, but I just know that trying to keep track of alternating slip stitches is asking for trouble. So, I'm halfway done with this heel flap, and yes, that is still sock number one. But I'm stubborn, even if I have the self-discipline and attention span of a hopped-up newt, and I'll finish these socks if it kills me. Hmph.
In better knitting news:
That is the back of Sprossling. I have completed the waist shaping (which entertained me no end: look! disappearing lace motifs, and look! they're reappearing; I am apparently easily entertained), and am less than an inch from the armhole shaping. Oh frabjous day!
I actually got a lot less knitting done on Saturday than I'd thought I would. That day was devoted to taking Younger Daughter to her very first feis (pronounced: fesh, which I didn't know until we got into this whole Irish dancing thing), which is an Irish dance competition; this one is hosted annually by her dance school, so it seemed like a good first one to go to. We headed out early on Saturday so that we could get to Indian Wells (near Palm Springs, about 130 miles away) in plenty of time to suss out the whole situation before it was time for her dances. I felt (and I'm sure I looked) just like all of the muggles who got dragged to Sock Summit. Shellshocked. A little freaked. A little in awe. I had no idea that this whole world of people existed, or, quite frankly, that there were so many very curly wigs on all the planet. I felt a little bit like I do when I first go to a field site, like my job is to watch and absorb and watch some more. But can I tell you how surprised I was to find myself gluing my daughter's dance socks to her legs with body glue? I had no idea I had it in me (and I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but dang, her socks stayed up!).
I think even Younger Daughter was feeling a little overwhelmed sometimes.
It was a lot for her to take in, too.
But she was bound and determined to do this thing, and to be as cheerful about it as nerves would let her.
She told me she was really nervous for her first dance,
but that once she got through that, it was really fun.
She danced in five dances: reel, slip jig, single jig, and then two first feis specials. And she even won second place in one of her first feis specials (the slip jig one), and got to stand on a podium and receive a sash. Most importantly, she had fun, and she wants to do it again. I call that a success. Even if it does mean that I'm going to have to buy her one of those curly wigs.