Monday, September 16, 2013

Suffering from Second Sock Syndrome

I started these socks in April of 2012 when I was on vacation. I finally finished the first one yesterday. It's not that this pattern is particularly time-consuming or difficult -- I just was so hesitant to finish it because I don't like this color yarn with the pattern. It really obscures the stitches and it's a bit too neon for my taste.

I asked my knitter friends on Facebook if I should just buckle down and finish or make a different sock with the same yarn - intentionally mis-matched socks. The results were mixed...but a couple friends pointed out that I am suffering from Second Sock Syndrome. (It's a real thing. Follow the link).

After doing a bit of research on the internet, there are several ways to cope with this situation.

1) Learn how to knit socks using the Magic Loop method. This is a method that allows you to knit both your socks at the same time! You use two circular needles and it looks very complicated but a lot of people swear by it. I'm going to have to have someone show me how to do this since the pitures on the internet confuse me.

2) Alternatively, use two sets of DPNs and knit them at the same time using the different sets. Appealing...mostly because I love the feel of using DPNs.

3) Turn it into a competition. Can you do it faster than the first (and still have them come out the same size)?

4) Put the sock away for awhile and come back to it later.

5) Cast on sock number two right after you finish sock number one. Channel your exuberance and enthusiasm for finishing the sock into starting the next one (discovered here).

6) From the Chicago Knitting Examiner: "For the truly desperate, there is always a final straw: knit one sock and tell people that the other one was lost in the dryer." -- Love this.

7) If you are making them as a gift for someone else, that helps reduce the likelihood that you'll quit after one sock.

8) Suck it up and do it.

I'm opting for the 3rd option with a healthy dose of options 7 and 8. Largely because my big problem is that I have 20 projects going at the same time (scattered across knitting and cross-stitch) and I love to start new things before finishing old things (socks, books, computer games - it doesn't matter. I'm an indiscriminate starter). Even though it's vacation and I should be able to do whatever the heck I like, I think I'll feel good when I finish them. They were going to be for me, but they really aren't my color - so I'll make them for someone else and I'll have one less Christmas gift to think about.

Today's project: see how far I can get with the next sock.

Rest and Relaxation

Every time I stop for more than a few days, I get the itch to write again. I remember a time several years ago when I was writing regularly - not just in a journal, but in a blog for public consumption. Those were times when life seemed simpler. Well, maybe not simpler - slower paced, perhaps. I was more vested in the intstitution, school, seminary, etc...and then I started working in the local parish. Most of my creative energies went into writing sermons (which, if you know me well, was always a struggle) and not being completely worn thin by the strain of balancing two very different faith communities, marriage, connecting meaningfully with my city, and having a life outside of those three things.

When I take the time to get away from the balancing act, and stop to rest, that urge to write comes back.

I've been working through The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron with a group of other women from The Vine these past several weeks. We've been taking it slow - since all of us have full plates. Part of the discipline you commit to is writing "Morning Pages" - three pages of handwritten "stream of consciousness" meant to get out all your inner junk so that you can focus on being more creative throughout the day. That, paired with "the artist date" (an uninterrupted period where you take your inner artist out on a date - done weekly!), is supposed to help your creative recovery.

Since moving last month, I have not gotten back into this rhythm of Morning Pages and Artist Dates. Life has just proved to be a little too chaotic - between getting the dogs used to the new house, wading through piles of boxes, and not knowing where I put any of my folders, pens, files, etc. All while trying to keep working and stay sane. Moving is stressful.

But between moving and this nice vacation, I feel ready to get back into the swing of things - at least in terms of writing here regularly. Fresh start and all that jazz. We'll see how long it lasts....