It has happened to other knitbloggers, I know. The dreaded loss of the knitting mojo. Now I fear it has happened to me, too. Ever since I finished Julie's clogs, I have been off my game. It's not that I don't have things I want to make - my list is as long as ever. I've just lost a certain something - energy, focus, time, I don't know.
At the top of my priority list has been a pair of socks for my friend Cathy. Cathy is one of the coolest, wisest people I know. To wit, she is a knitter, a musician, a Canadian, a clergywoman, a contemplative. She is also having brain surgery tomorrow. There is a benign tumor growing in her head and it needs to come out. One definite result will be total loss of hearing in one ear. If you are a musician (Cathy plays the violin), then you understand what a devastating loss this will be. One possible result is facial drop. I'm sure Cathy's face will be just as beautiful if this happens, but I hope along with her that it doesn't happen.
Ever since Dave sent me this gorgeous eggplant-colored sock yarn, I've known it was going to become socks for Cathy. One of the first things I ever knew about Cathy was that she liked to wear purple socks. Also, since the yarn arrived from Dave in Ontario, I thought it would be kind of cool that it would go back to Ontario in the form of socks. And I wanted to send them to her in time for her surgery. Seeing that the surgery is tomorrow, this isn't going to happen.
I wanted these socks to be really, really nice. Partly because I want any gift I give to be nice. Partly because these are for another knitter. And partly because of the occasion I'm giving them for seems to call for something a little special. Deciding on a pattern proved to be unbelievably difficult. I wanted something that would look good in a solid color, but was not lace. I wanted it to be elegant without being frou-frou, and simple without being boring.
Turns out I have gauge issues. No matter what, I cannot get 9 stitches to an inch with this yarn, even on size 0 dpns. So that ruled out the socks I originally planned to make (Mim's Blessing socks, which would require 75 stitches to accomodate the colorwork design, which at my 7.5 sts/inch would've turned out ridiculously large). After much searching, I decided to go with the simple, elegant Charade socks. A lovely herringbone rib that looks equally good in variegated yarn or solid. So I cast on.
And then I lost my knitting mojo.
This is how far I got before I decided that the mistakes I have made in this pattern were just too many. You can't tell so much in this picture, but the socks just aren't what they should be. I'm not sure what's happening (it is NOT the pattern, which is perfect), but every now and then it's like I just don't know at all how to knit. The mistakes are ridiculous, stupid mistakes. I mean, seriously, the pattern is about as simple as could be without being stockinette, so why do I keep randomly throwing in a whole round of mess? I don't know what's going on, maybe it's the weight of the occasion for these socks, but whatever the reason, these socks are not happening. Also, they are a bit slouchy. And in a couple of places, the yarn seemed to split or fuzz oddly (you might be able tos ee evidence of it in the heel), something I probably could've attended to before knitting those places into the sock.
I wanted so much to send her a pair of lovely socks to let Cathy know of my love, and concern, and prayers as she faced this surgery. Those things are all still true, even though there will be no socks now till her recovery. Still, I'm disappointed.
I will make some socks for her, and soon (once I find the right pattern, and also get my mojo back). In the meantime, if you're a praying person, would you mind saying a little prayer for Cathy? And if you're not, would you mind just sending good healing vibes towards Hamilton, Ontario?
This is Cathy in Italy, on her 49th birthday last November, looking out at Subiaco, where St. Benedict lived in a cave for three years and began to formulate his Rule. It was a gorgeous, perfect day, and a sublime place. As Cathy goes through surgery tomorrow, this is the picture I will hold of her - standing on a high place, on the threshold of a new terrain, a whole new world laid out before her, but one that is beautiful, and good.