This past weekend, I traveled to Atlanta for a conference. The trip was uneventful, really; but the knitting was not. As I’ll explain in a later post (once things have blocked and dried), I finished my Waiting for Rain shawl at midnight the night before I left. It was too awesome to leave at home, so I wore it all weekend as it was, and it was awesome.
The trouble, as you might imagine, was that I had no real travel knitting on the needles . . . So, I caked up a skein intended for a pair of knee-length socks, jotted down a rough and dirty version of a vanilla knee sock, grabbed some sock needles (tiny little 2.25mm ones), and off I went. No tools, no pattern, and certainly no gauge swatch or stitch markers. What was I thinking?
I will forever remember this trip (thanks to these socks) as uncharted territory and I learned a lot about myself as a knitter:
- I can read my knitting pretty well; well enough to keep an improvised pattern going on DPNs while moving about airports, listening to conference talks, and watching hotel TV with my kid (who traveled with me this time round)
- Stitch markers are nice . . . but they are also a crutch. This improvisation kept me on my toes and I enjoyed thinking of the sock in a more organic way: what stitch comes next? Well, allow me to read my knitting and figure it out!
- I have a pretty good eye for gauge, even when working with new needles and new yarn. The sock fits my leg well–really well!–and things are looking good as I near the heel flap!
So, here they are, uncharted, improvised, raw, and, well, to my eye quite beautiful–after all, they brought me one step closer to really trusting my knitterly-self.