Friday, April 11, 2008

A Light Bulb Finally Turns On

I was working full-tilt on my May Day Sock Swap socks until I got slightly waylaid with a few other knitting projects. They are special socks to me - both because I really really am adoring my sock swap partner, and because I came up with the idea myself and they are the first pair of socks that I designed that actually WORK, if you know what I mean.

However, I was toying with the idea of trying to get the design published in Knitty - but as soon as I decided to try and submit them for publication, I started to feel weighed down by the socks instead of lifted up. And so I put them aside and let them be while I worked on other things - my Dad's Grey (Boring) Engineer Socks, the shell design that I'm working on for Gryphon - things that didn't require me to chart and record every stitch for possible-pattern-posterity. (I should say here that while I am designing something for Gryphon that needs to be patterned and recorded, the main part of the design is nicely simple and lets me simply work away at it happily without having to be totally anal about every stitch, while the socks, due to the specific way in which I have knit them, requires me to be about as Type A about it as Type A can get - if I want to reproduce them exactly as they currently are, that is.)

But yesterday I rooted through my knitting basket and - as always - the skein of Sundara yarn ('Grape over Grey Violet') caught my eye and this time instead of feeling guilty and pushing right on past the guilt - and the almost-finished second sock - I instead pulled it out and really looked at it........

('tis purple)

....and I thought about my sock swap partner, and that if I am going to try and get this pattern published in Knitty that one of their rules is that the pattern can't be seen anywhere - before it is submitted/accepted/finally published - that is. Which wouldn't be for ages. And how that just didn't set right with me - it didn't feel like much fun for my swap partner to receive a pair of socks and have to keep quiet about them if she didn't wish to do so. And she's a fun person, who deserves fun socks - not socks with a ton of strings attached, if you'll avoid the pun. And how the socks that I was so thrilled about when I first dreamed them up had lost their thrill for me as soon as I tried to make deadlines, meet deadlines and in general turn the socks into something that they - and I - ultimately didn't seem to want them to be.

And with that I realized that I don't really need to get this pattern published somewhere - I just want my swap pal to like them. Because I like them. And if anyone else likes 'em and correspondingly wants the pattern, then maybe I finish writing it up and put it up for grabs here. Or maybe I won't. Or maybe I'll figure out something totally different all together. And then suddenly, I got all excited about the design and the socks and the swap all over again.

Which is really what the whole exercise was about in the first place - having fun.


Why is it that life frequently requires us to be so extremely stupid before we can become just ever-so-slightly smart?


Anita said...

Too funny! I've had cycles like that too. I'm glad you found the fun again. :-)

Emily said...

I know I want to see the pattern! But I know what you mean about having all the fun sucked out of a thing.

Lola and Ava said...

So write up the pattern and put it on your sidebar, silly. Your sock pals are always happy with your socks - I should know! Oh, and the swatch that you sent with the pins? I think of you every time I seam something since it holds my chibi needles on it. Extra nice!

mel said...

I'm so impressed with all that you've got going on design-wise Susan, very very cool!! In the end it totally doesn't matter if you submit or not as long as you're happy & having fun (you're totally right, sometimes that takes the fun right out of it!)

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

Oh, I so feel you on this post. This is always my dilemna - enjoyment vs. publication. I think it's a very delicate balance, especially if you are otherwise occupied with kids, job, etc., because then it really comes down to choosing between the two, and who wants that? I think you made a great decision. And I love those purple shoes.

BTW, thanks so much for your sweet comment on the blog. Just so you know, at 33 I weighed over 25 pounds more than I did right before this pregnancy - it's actually possible that I will gain less from bearing a child than from eating chocolate and sitting on my ass! 33 may just be a hard year for you with other obligations - like kids! But if you keep up the hard work you will soon look as fit as you truly are already.

xox, J