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September 2023



If I Were Amish…

I’ve heard that the Amish have a tradition in the amazing quilts they make, that there’s always at least one small mistake in those intricate pieced compositions, because only God can be perfect or make perfect things.  Now, given that they’re introducing these flaws on purpose, that always seemed a bit egotistical to me (kind of a “well, I could be perfect if I wanted to, but I think I’ll let God have the glory this time”), but at the same time, I kind of thought it was a neat tradition.

Then I found this:

If you can’t see it (the picture isn’t as clear as I’d like) that’s a lone purl stitch in what is supposed to be a column of knit stitches in 2×1 ribbing.  I generally do 2×2 or 1×1, so the 2×1 was giving me a bit of trouble, but I didn’t realize I’d messed it up until I was a few inches past that point.  And the pattern doesn’t really lend itself to surgery, given the “p3 tog” all over the place.

If that were the only problem with this sock, I think I would have embraced the Amish tradition and just went with it, all the while smirking about how I could fix it if I really wanted to, but…

…well, that’s not how it went down.

It all started when I got it in my head that I wanted to knit my next pair of socks with Tofutsies.

I picked a stitch pattern, and swatched to determine how many stitches to cast on.

This was the first place I thought “er, maybe this won’t work out”.  See how the picture is really pretty and elegant, and the swatch just…isnt?  That’s largely due to the fact that the knitting in the picture is severely blocked, and since my socks will, er, likely never be blocked in their lifetimes, that should have given me a clue.

Still, I thought maybe being stretched around my foot would kind of act like a pseudo blocking, so I figured out how many stitches I needed to get around my foot and stretch to get over my ankle, and I did some math to come up with cuff ribbing that would flow into the pattern, and I was off.

At this point, I probably should have noticed that things weren’t coming out like I wanted, that instead of being elegant and graceful this was just…bumpy.  And angular.  And not what I wanted at all.

I should have noticed…but I’m stubborn, so I kept going.  I thought to myself, “Well, that’s just the first few rows in pattern – after a few more, it’ll even out and look okay.”

It wasn’t until I was two and half times through the pattern (42 rows + 12 rows of cuff), that I tried it on again.  And, well, it wasn’t really getting more elegant.

Plus, around the same time, I discovered that purl stitch.  And in light of everything else about this sock, it seems like it’s just foolish to keep going.  It’s off to the frog pond for this one.

Because, you know, I’m not Amish.