Thinking out loud…
I did not make those socks. They fit. And so far, none of my knitted socks have actually fit me. Originally, I just wanted to figure out how it was done–to follow directions of a somewhat inexplicable nature, and end up with a sock. It didn’t matter so much to me that they were too big and floppy .
It bugged me a bit that they didn’t come out the same size (I seem to have difficulty getting two of anything to come out the same size). But after a couple of pairs that could not be comfortably worn inside shoes, I decided I did not DO socks.
Lately, during one of those strange mid-night circular thinking episodes–you know, where you keep turning over a problem for which you never arrive at an answer–I distracted myself with thinking of socks. The sudden urge to make well fitting socks seemed vitally important.
In the light of day, I remembered the frustration of poor fit. I remembered my hands gripping the needles so tightly that my thumbs ached, and I remembered the pair that would not stretch onto my feet. But the urge to knit a sock that fit, to master the darn thing was strong. My answer to the unanswerable was to study up on socks.
Studying turns sock making into sock architecture. It involves diagrams, and math, and measurements, and the relationships of those maths and measurements to the moon and the stars. There is a thing called negative ease. I’d never thought of that. I overwhelmed myself with information and decisions and figuring, and what if I’m doing it wrong? and on and on. It was like squeezing my brain to understand it all.
I just want to make a sock–well, two socks, and hopefully of similar size. I know myself–I just have to jump in and DO it. I just have to start.
I can start at the toe and work up.
I can start at the top and work down.
I can work two at a time, step by step, to help me remember what I did when and where. I can knit a sock.
But, it turns out this isn’t really about socks. It is about tackling something I can actually do something about. It’s about taking my overwhelmed and chaotic thoughts and making sense out of them. It is about trying to understand and master a technique, a problem, a skill. It is about finding answers.
And then the urgency of this sock making impulse becomes clear to me. Coping, it is how I am coping with all that I cannot control. It is how I keep my balance in an unbalanced time.
First the pizza, then the socks….
One step at a time.