Wednesday, June 06, 2007

The Break-Up

Dear Widdershins,

It is not easy to write this letter, but after all we've been through, you deserve the truth. I think our love affair is over. It's almost summer, Widdie, and I think I need my freedom to knit other socks.

It's not you. It's me. No one likes to hear this, I know, but really this time it is true. You are a wonderful sock pattern, one of the best! Your magic cast-on is brilliant, so much better than those crochet-hook provisional thingies. And you know that your toe-up heel flap is clever, well-fitting, attractive and easy to execute. You are great for variegated yarns that don't want to settle prettily into a pattern, and there is nothing like Widdershins to help a knitter use up all of a skein of sock yarn.

You have meant so much to me this year as I endeavored to develop my perfect simple sock. You really were it. Oh, I tried others, and they were fine, but when I met you, it was an instant connection. You fit my small foot perfectly and I memorized you instantly. You were even simple to convert to smaller sizes for the kids.

But, summer has me looking at other socks longingly. There are so many pretty designs out there, and I think I have some perfect sock yarn for some of them. Have you seen the Sidewinder socks that Nona has designed? Don't you think my Opal yarn would be perfect for that?

Lately, a lot of my bigger, non-sock projects have involved a lot of simple stockinette, so I have been looking to socks to provide a little patterned-interest for me. And I said I owe you the truth, and the truth is, I have met someone else. Her name is Nancy, and well, she isn't just a pattern. She's a designer. An author. A sock guru. I didn't mean for this to happen, but well, there was wine, and I bought all these new KnitPicks needles, and the next thing I knew, Nancy Bush and I were having a full-blown sock affair.

(L to R, Madder Ribbed Socks in TOFUtsies, Gentleman's Fancy Sock in Brooks Farm Acero, Child's First Sock in Tess Supersock & Baby, from Knitting Vintage Socks)

Yes. Most of her socks are cuff-down. I know, I know, toe-up is superior for finishing up sock yarn, but let's be honest! We both know I have really short legs and I don't like really long cuffs anyway! I always end up with lots of yarn left over. And I know that her patterns usually work best with solid yarns, but you know what, I am thinking about branching out into solids and semi-solids.

Don't look at me disapprovingly for having so many socks on the needles. I know you counted on me to be a monogamous sock knitter, but lately, I am just too excited to stick to just one pattern. Nancy just does that to me. And lots of other knitters do it. Some even celebrate it! And I had lunch with a couple of them who really encouraged me to move in this direction, and you know what, Megan and Ashley are right. It is time for me to spread my sock wings and fly in all directions.

You taught me so much about how to knit socks to fit my feet, but I think Nancy can move me to the next level, to teach me to tweak existing patterns for fit. You should see all the different heel flaps and toes she has to teach me! You don't want me to stagnate as a sock knitter, do you?

Look, it isn't forever. You are the perfect pattern for self-patterning yarns, and I always have room in my stash for self-patterning yarns. And whenever I need a simple sock, you know I will always, always reach for you.

We had a great run, and I think we are going out with a bang with these Vesper socks we made for me and Rosebud. That juicy bright Sweetwater colorway is perfect for your simple lines, and the stripes settled perfectly into your heel flap.



Twin Widdershins for Rosebud and me
Vesper Superwash Merino & Nylon, Sweetwater colorway

I need my freedom, Widdershins, but I'll be back. I promise.

Love,
Liz

19 comments:

Ann said...

You're free! Hurray! Summer is for playing the field for sure ...

So Much Fun said...

Breaking up is so hard, but a summer fling is sure to get anyone's spirits up, and there are other fish in the sea for Widdie too!

pamela wynne said...

hooray for single socks! (and for Nancy Bush, of course.)

Bridget said...

I can't decide which is more amusing to me ... the fact that wine bottles are modeling the socks you are making, or the fact that you wrote a really great "Dear John" letter to a sock pattern!

I can't wait to see more of your new "friends."

Dave said...

Oh oh, looks to me like a slippery slope!

Ashley said...

Ping!

Congrats. You're a free woman now--enjoy the single life! (Hee--get it? the single life?) (Ok, so that was a lame joke. But seriously--the single sock--it is a thing of beauty!)

Madge said...

*sniff* What a beautiful Dear Sock letter. I hope Widdie understands a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Have fun with Nancy this summer!

Annie said...

What did Widdershins ever do to you, huh? *sniff* Just kidding. Nothing wrong with moving on to greener pastures, at least uh, when it comes to socks.

tiennie said...

Widdershins will understand. You can still be friends.

knitnzu said...

Oh you philandering sockknitter! But really, you have a good thing going on there!

Mintyfresh said...

It doesn't seem so much like a breakup as a "break"--you can always get back together again. Widdershins
will understand. Can't wait to see them all progress!

nova said...

You adulterous knitter, you. I think Widdie understands your need for a little bit (or a few bits, as it were) on the side. I was formulating a similar letter to my Pomatomus sock...

Mighty Momogus said...

I applaud your honesty. So many times I've been stuck in similar relationships and was not quite so sensitive and gentle to my works-in-progress, with whom I'd shared so many good times.

I'd ruthlessly and insenstively rip things off the needles and sometimes, yes, I'd even throw the yarn in the trash.

(Not to muddy the waters with your ex, but I really love those socks on you and your daughter!)

Elinor said...

HEY! I thought *I* was having an affair with Nancy!!!! Is she seeing you too????? Geez...

A Dear Sock letter! Fabulous! I have several Dear UFO letters to write myself...

knittingphilistine said...

Your elegant prose has me longing to console dear, ditched Widdershins. I *do* have some Vesper sock yarn burning a hole in my stash....

PS: So great to finally meet up with you!!
x o

iSeL said...

Poor Widdershins...sucked into the vortex of those anarchic sock knitters. Tsk, tsk.

Although, I can see the allure of Nancy and all her beautiful patterns. Still, unless you plan on getting rid of one of your feet...you'll have to make that other sock eventually. Just sayin'... :P

Mozilla said...

I think the letter was lovely and if the your relationship is truly meant to be the socks should let you go and when you come back the relationship may be even stronger.

Good luck with your new life...I mean socks :)

Theresa said...

I love it!

victoria said...

Do you use the magic loop technique? And if so, what Knitpics needles do you use? I thought they didn't make 40" 1's...
I love your socks! I, too, always have at least two pairs on the needles...