2012-02-29 07:14 am (UTC)
Such beautiful progress!
My name is Karen, but, while livejournal forces me to be officially "Anonymous," I must report that I greatly admire your tenacity and progress (I also think the idea of knitting both socks simultaneously was a brilliant one because the only sock I ever knit still languishes, twenty years on as a "lonely only")!
I must also disclaim the fact that red is one of my favorite colors (it depends on the day, but today, that particular shade is brightening to my mood).
May I suggest, though, that you consider the growth you put your heroes through in your novels when you judge your sock-knitting prowess? Paks was certainly not ready to become a Paladin when she first left the farm, and yet you think your first attempt at mastering double pointed needles should match the work your mother did (when she probably had a few pair that looked like this but the m*ths ate them before you were born)?!?
I say, if they keep your feet warm and comfy, then they are perfect for you -- and that is the job of a pair of socks.
And I just realized, having named Paks first warhorse "Socks" -- with his injured pasterns, maybe having a pair of cushy, warm, imperfect socks you created yourself once again sets the perfect example for those of us who have only ever knit "lonely onlies"?
Happy turning of the heel! (It really wasn't so hard that it was the thing that discouraged me from making the second sock -- it was the fact that I chose sock-gauge yarn that was Superwash, and I knit it from the toes up, so I had no way of knowing that it would be too big until it was finally done -- and no way to shrink it later).
2012-02-29 03:49 pm (UTC)
Re: Such beautiful progress!
I think that's why I decided to go cuff-down, as it would give me a way to adjust the sock-in-progress to my own feet. And advice from one of the books I read suggested doing two at once so you'd end up with two and not have "Single Sock Syndrome"...but was also told "If it's too big, call it a Christmas Stocking." So far, the socks fit comfortably around my leg...but with cuffs, that's fairly simple. The foot is a very complex shape.
I'll be posting more pictures when I get the heel done, and then down the foot.
Not about socks. About the song in the last few pages of Against the Odds.
i grew up Lutheran, so had to hunt for the tune online [LOTS of Youtube versions!] and a friend even turned-up a PDF of sheet music.
This is the attribution block at the top of the lyrics/chords sheet i've worked-up:
SONG FOR ABSENT FRIENDS
Lyric ©2000 Elizabeth Moon, based on “Jerusalem” by William Blake.
Featured in the last few pages of her book Against the Odds
Tune: “Jerusalem” © 1916 by C. Hubert H. Parry; renewed 1944 in U.S.A.
I don’t know whether the renewed copyright has expired.
Arranged 2012 by Margaret Middleton
IS this the intended title?
I'm going to be among Dorsai Irregulars in a couple of weeks and want to do the song for them.
They have their own Absent Friends ritual, which is why I think they'll particularly appreciate this song.
If you have a contact address you care to share, I'd like to send you copies of the arrangement-sheets. I can email PDF's or just run the sheets through a copier and send them snailmail. You can reach me at this same username on gmail.
Edited at 2012-02-29 11:21 am (UTC)
Hi, Margaret. I hope the Dorsai Irregulars like it. I'm in a terrible rush today but will contact you later (if my mental sieve holds the memory that I need to....)
Thanks; I'll add your 'hope they enjoy' line to the lyric sheet.
Knitting socks: I'm pleased with myself every time I decide NOT to rip something out, because it's taken me a long time to begin to ease up on my perfectionist tendencies. When I was an apprentice, my mentor and I had a running joke that she was teaching me to be fast, sloppy and selfish. I think I made *some* progress ;)
About your mother's perfect socks: yes, fifty years or so of knitting will do that to you!
Edited at 2012-02-29 03:16 pm (UTC)
I don't have fifty years left, so I'd better relax and be happy with sloppy and error-ridden.
You can also take solace in the magnificent Redness of your socks. They look wonderful--personal idiosyncrasies included. :~)
Red--a good bright red--is my favorite color. Cheers me up, gives me energy. Discovered last summer that if I don't like the color of the yarn a LOT, I should give it away, because even if I knit it with some competency, I get more and more unhappy and tense.
From reading your books and your blog, I'm not in the least surprised that a bright red is your favorite. Courage and Life. Sounds like you and what's important to you.
One of the things I learned from the late great Elizabeth Zimmerman (who I highly recommend as a knitting guru) was that over time a knitted item will even itself up.
If the yarn is stressed differently between two stitches (i.e. one is looser than the other) the stresses will slowly (or not, depending on how much its worn) even out so that both stitches are the same.
You might find yourself looking back at these socks in a couple of years and saying "wow, these weren't as bad as I thought".
That is not mistakes in the knitting, its code. Just home you are not channeling Madam DeFarge (cue in spooky tumbril music with guillotine thuds for the percussion)
You're doing fine - socks are quite forgiving things, and like you I go cuff-down to better gauge the footlength for fit later on.
You will be astonished how the pattern results in a thing - pair of things - that really will enclose and hold your complicated feet in woolly goodness. And the heel-turning is just a bit of engineering genius that feels like magic the first time - I hope you have as much fun with that as I have had!
I've just taken on a knit club at the local school, and am delighted at how the youngsters have taken to it - it's a real joy to see them 'get it'. I hope you take your knitting with you when you do 'famous author' stunts at cons and wherever - people love to see knitting done, and it breaks the ice for the shyest of souls to be able to say 'my Nan knits a lot, she uses two needles, what are you making?' or whatever.
Knitting creeps into my songwriting a lot. You'd think one knitting song was all a body needed, right? Not so much... Eleanor Roosevelt, Scottish island fisherwives knitting 'safe home' spells for their menfolk, that first pair of socks, the Queen of Spindles, and now a mens' knitting shanty - I've decided I have so many songs that reference knitting and yarncrafts that I ought to do a tour of knitting shops next year. Folk clubs don't have enough yarn going on in them. :-)
Happy knitting, Elizabeth, I'm glad something I love is bringing you pleasure. Your work has done as much, many times over, for me.