Sunday, April 24, 2011

Something significant happened today: I decided to make a slipper-sock. I chose two yarns-a skinny, self-striping sock yarn (Felicity by KnitPicks) and a light worsted merino (Luxury Merino by After one false start I got the number of stitches right to do a ribbed low ankle cuff. I added a cable on each side just for good measure. When I pulled into heel territory, I decided without much deliberation that I wanted a short-row heel and that I would make one tiny, center short row and then run my short-rows from cable to cable.

The perfect thing was that knowing the construction allowed me to pull this off without big calculations or consultations or any kind of pattern. I knit four pairs of socks two years ago, but I could hardly call myself a sock knitter, so this was a revelation. I could see the three-dimensional shape I wanted to achieve in my head, and I knew how to use the short-rows to make that cupping. This signals my arrival at a level of expertise that I have only reached before in medicine. I have lived with this knitting thing long enough that my understanding has a depth beyond the ability to follow a pattern. It's been integrated with my other knowledge of geometry and engineering, the fiber finding its place and making use of what's already in my head.

As usual, I haven't photographed the thing I'm talking about, but I do have photos of the lace scarf I mentioned last post. It now hangs with the rest of my summer scarves, ready for the Chattanooga Market to open next Sunday. I also have things that I never offered before-linen/cotton hand towels with tiny ruffled borders, organic cotton face cloths, mug cozies. I'm experimenting. We'll see how it is received.


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