I am a creature of habit. Certain activities simply must happen at specific times, some things must always be paired, and the method with which I do many things is often repetitive. It isn’t always a bad thing: I found the prettiest route to walk to work, so I consistently take it; I always pair my veggie burrito at lunch with steaming hot tea; I always put on my right shoe first, mascara my right lashes first. It isn’t compulsive or anything (at least, not yet)—it’s just how I do things. And there’s a certain comfort to it, of something to always depend on.
Then there are the bad habits. Thankfully most of mine are fairly benign in the grand scheme of things, but they’re bad, nonetheless, like picking my cuticles (which mucks up knitting, ugh) and leaving tea bags in the sink until they pile up and are a horrid mess to squeeze out before trashing.
But the worst offender? Knitting second socks.
I know that knitters can empathize. There’s always that excitement when casting on for a new sock, and sometimes we get so enveloped in the process that we’ll even knit a whole cuff in one sitting, and then we breeze past the heel, and before we know it, we’re kitchener stitching our toes closed. And we’re so impressed with ourselves, looking at the little gem on our foot, thinking, “OK, I’ll take a quick break and cast on for that other sock tomorrow. It’s just that, you know, the cast on is too tedious for right now. And I don’t want to read charts, right now. I kind of just want to sip on some tea and fondle some other yarn for a change and get on with life, for now.” Then I cast on for something else, while my lonely sock cozies its way into my knitting basket.
A couple of days ago, I found one of the stragglers buried beneath a pile of shiny new yarn. And just inches away from it, I found its mate, with needles still in it, knit to just before the heel. I must have really had stamina to get that far. I admired the yarn and pattern, and decided that I had to combat my bad habits at that moment and just finish them. And let me tell you, it was a test of will.
It isn’t that I didn’t like these. The pattern was straightforward and easy, with clear charts, and the yarn (J. Knits superwash sock) was lovely. But the toe came out wonky and pointy on the first sock, so I guess I had lost hope on them turning into the perfect little bundles of wool that I hoped they would become. I persisted, went back and fixed the first toe, and came out on the other end with a new pair of really cozy, pretty fall socks. I’m really glad that I did, and upset that it took me so long to just finish them.
Here’s hoping that for the rest of Socktober, I can knit in pairs, and end my bad habits for good!