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Funny How…

December 16, 2013

Things seem to get accomplished when you actually do them? Case in point: I cast on (finally) for a second sock for my husband. Now I know the dangers of falling victim to the insidious Second Sock Syndrome, and for the most part I manage to thwart it by biting the bullet and casting on for the second sock immediately after the first. This is done for a few reasons, 1) I capitalize on that rush you get when you finish the first sock, that pride in taking sticks and string and creating a 3D object is powerful mojo. 2) I rather enjoy knitting socks, which means if they are around they tend to get worked on fairly often. 3) Aside from the enjoyment, they make great travel knitting, I can stuff one in my bag and knock out a few rounds here and there. And 4) While I do enjoy knitting socks, I don’t enjoy the casting on/first round, it’s so fiddly at the beginning that I find myself avoiding it in favor of better activities, like attempting to herd cats or nailing jello to a tree.

I find if I can force myself to cast on and knit at least that first round within a few minutes/hours of finishing the first sock I am pretty much golden in avoiding second sock syndrome*. Well knowing all of this I still sometimes fail to follow my own advice (there may or may not be a lone sock kicking around the WIP pile from last Christmas) and it happened again recently. Now to be fair part of the issue is that I don’t seem to have enough sock needles floating around (okay that’s not true, it just seems when I decide to cast on socks, I fall prey to the whole “MUST CAST ON ALL THE SOCKS” and so I end up having all my needles occupied, which sometimes gets me into bigger trouble because I undoubtedly forget that I need a pair of needles for some other project and so I finagle them around until I can satisfy my needs in the moment, which of course leaves me with socks that only have one or two needles in them.)

If I do not manage to follow my own advice, I often delay (and delay) casting on for the second sock simply because I overestimate in my mind how much work/time it will take to make the sock. ( I think my brain starts thinking the second sock will take the entire time it takes to knit socks, not just the half it will really take. Or something like that.) So I end up in the same sort of pickle I found myself on Saturday morning. I have only one sock on the needles and frankly it’s at the point where I need to decide to frog or keep moving on. Now I did get some fancy new sock yarn in the mail a few weeks ago and I have been itching to cast on a pair, but I also knew that I had a few lone socks floating around. In the end I decided to be responsible and attempt to find one sock it’s mate for before the holidays and so I cast on as we headed up to visit my parents for a small Christmas gathering. Once again I am astounded by how much quicker the project goes when I am actually working on it. (Because try as I might I can’t seem to manage the whole telepathic knitting thing, yet.)

As I said I cast on, as we headed up there, worked a few rounds at each parents place and by the time Sunday rolled around I was about an inch away from the heel flap. I kept working on and off (studying gets in the way of a lot of things) and by the time I woke up this morning I managed to be picking up stitches for the gusset. The photo below shows the progress as of now, which is to say a fair bit considering it was just cast on this past Saturday.



Does anyone else ever get surprised by how much knitting gets done, when you actually, you know, knit on something? What are your tips or tricks for avoiding second sock syndrome?



From → Knitting

  1. Pat permalink

    I knit two socks at a time, sort of. I knit one sock to the heel and then the other sock to the heel. Then I do one heel flap and turn and then the other. Then I knit the gussets, then to the toes, and finally the toes. That way I know they are both the same length and finish them close together. This works well for me. I have a really hard time if I knit them one at a time.

    I need to have two sets of dpns, but that really isn’t too much of a problem.

  2. I do as you do – usually I cast on for the second sock as soon as possible (although I can wait overnight) 😉 and then it isn’t such a problem. Right now, however, I am working on a secret sock project for my guy (don’t tell him!), so the second sock of the pair I’m ACTUALLY working has been cast on, but isn’t worked at … 😉

  3. slippedstitches permalink

    Cast on immediately for the second sock and work until the short-row toe is done before I take a break. Never let it get to far away from me. I need it eyeing me and nagging me at all times. Wear the first sock when I sit down to knit and keep stealing glances at it to maintain knitting mojo.

  4. I have no tricks whatsoever. I’ve only done 50% of my current sweater, planning on doing 2, but I’m already thinking I’ve got 2nd sweater syndrome in advance. First 30% went in a couple of days, now I’m down to 5 rounds a day…

  5. shellssells permalink

    I can’t think of the first sock as a finished object in and of itself. I love finished objects. And one sock is not a finished object. That generally keeps me going.

    I, too, am often surprised that when I hibernate a project there are no knitting elves that secretly come help with it. I mean, why not? I’d like to be one of those elves, the concept makes sense to me.

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