May 13, 2007

The cleverness of other knitters

In high school, we took a battery of standardized tests at the beginning of our freshman year. These included the usual math and logic and reading comprehension and vocabulary, which were just fine. But this round of tests also included a horrible spatial relations section, which showed a series of unfolded three-dimensional shapes, with various options for how those shapes would look when you folded them up. You know, IN YOUR HEAD. In the hour allotted for finishing the section, I answered one question, incorrectly at that.

The guidance counselor that reviewed everyone's results with their parents cheerily informed us that my score in the spatial relations section landed squarely in the 'retarded' range.

So clearly, spatial relations are not my strong point. This means a lot of knitting needs to be taken on faith. Incidentally, this also makes me a terrible driver. I take public transportation for a reason.

Anyway, faith. When I'm knitting a pattern for the first time, I can't easily envision how the mess on my needles will magically transform itself into the pictured finished object.

My first socks were very much knit on faith. I knit and knit and knit the leg. I made the heel flap, turned the heel and kept thinking 'this will never turn into a sock.' I picked up the stitches along the sides of the heel flap, still thinking 'this will never turn into a sock.' But I figured the Yarn Harlot wouldn't lie, and she obviously knows a lot about socks.

Then I knit my first round after picking up the stitches. And there it was - a tube again, with a bulge where the heel was supposed to be! It would be a sock after all! Hurrah for the cleverness of knitters!

The same thing happened with my first pair of baby booties. When I finished knitting, it looked like this:


To me, this is not a bootie. This looks horribly like a pair of knitted men's briefs. But I kept my faith. And with a quick fold, it looked like this:


Dude, it really is a bootie! And with some seaming and an i-cord, I ended up with this:


Sometimes faith is rewarded. Finished Be-Ribboned Booties from One-Skein Wonders (love that book). Alas, Kristy, I am not joining the Single Sock Liberation Movement.

The "ribbons" in this case are leafy knitted i-cords. I thought they made a nice match with the zucchini-ish hat. The Daft Crafter asked about the cords, so I've included instructions at the end of the post.

Meanwhile, the new issue of Interweave Knits is out. And that means I've got something new to learn:


This spatial relations thing also makes diagrams hard to follow, but I always end up with a huge amount of leftover sock yarn, and toe-up socks completely obviate that problem. So I'll figure this toe-up sh*t out if it kills me.

Leafy Bootie Ties

Cast on three stitches. Knit two rows garter stitch. On the next row, knit into the front and back of the first and last stitches in the row (5 stitches total on the needles). Knit one row. On the next row, knit into the front and back of the first and last stitches in the row (7 stitches total). Knit two rows. On the next row, knit two together at the beginning and end of each row (5 stitches total). Knit one row. On the next row, knit two together at the beginning and end of each row (3 stitches total). Knit 3-stitch i-cord of desired length. Repeat leaf at end of i-cord.

The leaf wouldn't fit through the eyelets on the bootie, so I knit the first leaf, then the i-cord, put the live stitches on a safety pin, wove the tie through the bootie, then knit the second leaf. This has the added advantage of making it almost impossible for the tie to work its way out of the bootie.


Deb said...

Those booties are so cute....and quite the transformation. My first pair of toe-up socks went horribly wrong. They were at least three sizes too big. They were also my first pair ever, and I still have no idea what happened. May you have better luck or better instructions...whichever will help the most.

Kristen said...

whoa, now see? the fact that i hadn't scrolled ahead when I saw the knitted men's briefs just added to the magical transformation when it really did turn into a bootie!

Kristy said...

And now if I ever need a knitted pair of mens briefs, I know how to get started :)

I'm interested to see Cat Bohrdi's new book for this very reason-- it's so cool to see what other people come up with!

Macoco said...

They really do look like tighty-whiteys. But green. The booties look amazing.