Spring Cleaning – the task that just keeps giving! Last week, after a mishap with a wine glass, I culled several projects from my “started but not- inished” basket. This week, after an irresistible request from an adorable 2-year-old, I moved on to my precious pile of unfinished socks. And as with my previous efforts, was well rewarded.
Fridays are my granddaughter days – 4-year-old Sophie and 2-year-old Claire spend the day playing with Gramma. While watching Bubble Guppies (don’t ask), Claire asked me what I was knitting. After explaining that it was a hat, she asked me, in her very spectacular toddler words to make her socks. How could I refuse. We clarified that they should be pink. No problem, as my yarn stash is teeming with that particular color. After considering "Haute Pink" with shiny sparkles, and several shades of rosy pink, we settled on "Princess Cosmo" – a lavender and pink speckled beauty from Black Trillium. Wound it up, wrote out a simple pattern, then reached for the sock needles and . . . OH SNAP! An over abundance of sock needle packages, all empty! My first thought was to just grab another. I own a yarn store, after all. Then Jiminy Cricket whispered in my ear, and I thought better of it, realizing there’s a problem here. If I have a dozen or so empty packages, there are at least half that many pairs of socks in various stages of completion. Hence, spring cleaning session 2.
I have a special bin specifically for my sock projects, so it was pretty simple getting started. Armed with stitch holders and waste yarn, I started assessing whether the project had any hope of being picked up again (in which case it moved from needles to waste yarn), or was better of frogged and recycled. In the end, I reclaimed 10 needles, and have 4 skeins of yarn for another day.
However, the greatest discovery at the end of my revisit to the UFO bin was 3 pairs of nearly complete socks. Shocking, really, that I’d abandon a project so close to the finish line. What was I thinking?! One was a pair of neon multi-colored socks I'd been knitting for my dad. He had a pair of fluorescent pink ones I’d made for him when the shop 1st opened, which he’d completely and utterly worn out. Those eye-popping pink socks caught many an unattached lady's eye, so he'd asked me for a new pair. He left this earth before I could get them done - sorry Dad. One sock socks has a completed leg, heel and partial foot, and the other is at the gusset decreases. Think I’ll finish them for my brother – he can wear them while remembering our dear ‘ole Dad.
The second pair is one started I don’t know how long ago – way back when The Sanguin Gryphon was still around. And one of the pairs from my ‘knit every sock in Wendy Johnson’s Toe Up book’ effort. That was a wacky undertaking, but nearly a success. I think my discovery of Romi and mystery-alongs derailed that knitting foray. Anyhow, the pair I discovered at the bottom of the bin are Wendy's "Dead Simple Lace Socks" (the name itself should shame me for not finishing), knit with Skinny Bugga “Other Mother” – a lovely dusty rose shade of pink. 2nd reason I'm a dingaling for not finishing - they're PINK! I have about an inch of ankle left, then the cuffs, and voila! Another pair of lovely socks to wear.
But the best, and perhaps dumbest pair of socks to not have finished were my Harry Potter "Dragon Egg Socks." I actually did finish one of them several years ago, and its been on display at the shop next to the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits magazine – a great collection of designs, by the way. On Saturday, I found the second sock, heel turned, ready for gusset decreases and the foot / toe. In really, really pretty golden yellow yarn – Black Trillium’s “Good Egg.” So close to yet another pair of fabulous socks. This guy won priority, and I started working the decreases with gusto. The stitch pattern – a combination of golden snitches and broomsticks – continued on the top of the foot, so I thought it a good idea to retrieve the 1st finished sock and match the two up. Wouldn’t you know it – the display had been taken down, and sock number one was nowhere to be found. Yikes! Might I have to knit a third sock? No way! I had Julia do a search. Then Kathryn. And then Lisa. But still no sock. Then I hit my office hard, tearing it apart top to bottom, every drawer inspected, every book pulled off the shelf. Feeling defeated as I made a second go round, I caught a glimmer of yellow peaking out from behind a stack of light bulbs. Moved in closer, and there it was, wedged between a book shelf and the wall. 3rd sock denied. I am now gleefully working the toe decreases, heading toward Kitchener stitch heaven.
So next time you’re overwhelmed by the idea of cleaning, organizing and downsizing your life, whether it’s the clothes in your closet or the yarn in your stash, take heart. There may be some hidden treasures hidden amongst the clutter. Dive in, have fun, and (fingers crossed) find yourself a tucked away, long forgotten precious treasure.