I spent last evening working on my very first Après-Anything Sock from Field Guide No. 2, marveling at the cleverness of Ann Budd’s engineering skills and the elegant economy of her instructions, and laughing at myself so hard.
Ann. News flash: knitting socks is fun. I think it could catch on.
I was captivated from the very first rounds. (Well, I was not captivated about having to run to the yarn store to get a set of dpns. Dpns do me a frightening. But size 8 dpns, bamboo, are so friendly looking, so easy in the hand. I persevered.)
The early rounds call for a stitch called the Right Twist (RT). It is performed by knitting 2 together, but leaving those stitches on the left needle, then knitting the first stitch again and slipping both stitches over to the right needle. A column of these RTs has the visual effect of a mini cable.
Of course, I knew that the pattern called for this stitch–I had read the pattern before, quite a few times. But it was only when I had the needles in my hand and started making RTs that I remembered learning this stitch, maybe 15 years ago. I learned it to –cue dramatic music– make the Deco pullover, a now-vintage Rowan pattern. The pattern that you and I both happened to be knitting at the same time, and started posting about on the Rowan forum. Without Deco, we would never have made a country music video about knitting. Think about that, Ann. Deco has a lot to answer for.
I remember going to a now-defunct yarn store, the Yarn Connection on Madison Avenue and 36th Street, and asking them to show me how to do a Right Twist. The instructions absolutely befuddled me—knit 2 together and then knit the first stitch AGAIN—what? When I learned the stitch, standing at the cash register in that tiny shop, I thought it was magical. Later, we used Right Twists and Left Twists to form diagonal lines for the Sk8r sweater in our first book. Good times! This is a stitch for which I have great and tender Feelings.
If stitches were songs, Right Twist would be Our Song.
I got started on my sock kind of late last night. I was just going to knit a few rounds, maybe do the colorwork section, and call it a night.
I was having so much fun that it turned into a One More Row debacle. First the colorwork (which does require a half hour of Carefully Following Instructions), then the leg, which went so quickly at this gauge, then the back of the heel with more adorable Right Twists. (I didn’t know a sock could have a fancy texture on the back of the heel.) And then the puzzle of the gusset. Who could stop before getting the gusset done and the three needles all organized, poised for The Foot? I do not have that kind of self-discipline, obviously.
Behold: A 3-dimensional thing.
This is where I made myself stop, and take a photo in the bleary midnight of my living room.
I wholly admire the way this pattern is written. No word wasted. Everything clear, with meaningful landmarks called out just at the moment they are needed. All hail Ann Budd! When you arrive on Thursday, I am going to want your full and frank assessment of whether I am picking up my stitches for the gusset the right way. They look kind of lumpy. Maybe there is some super-secret sock-knitter’s way of doing that. For now, I’m calling it a feature, and putting my faith in the blocking these socks will get before their beauty shot.
On to The Foot!