Tonight is the birthday swap for our knitting group and boy will I be glad when it's over! Here's why...
The person whose name I received to 'spoil' is Amy who, coincidentally, taught the sock knitting class I took several years ago. This was actually the turning point for me as far as knitting goes. Before then it was all scarves and ponchos and afterwards, endless possibilities!!! So I decided that I would knit a pair of socks for her regardless of the fact that I'd only knitted two more pairs since the class and one pair was so big I had to give them away. Oh, if I could only go back and rethink that decision!
In the meantime one of our fellow group members, Andi Smith, published a sock book called 'Big Foot Knits.' Perfect timing! So I selected a pattern from the book and attended a foot measuring party hosted by the author (unfortunately Amy wasn't there), bought some luscious cashmerino yarn from Three Irish Girls and cast on. It took a few tries before I got the pattern down but before long I was on my way. I had never tried an afterthought heel but that's what the pattern called for so, 'What the heck' I thought, 'I'll give it a try!' I was at the point of starting my toe decreases when we met for our next knitting group. Of course I had to take another project with me but the subject of socks coincidentally came up so I joined in and mentioned afterthought heels. Amy immediately responded that she didn't like the way those felt on her foot. Oh No!!! She then proceeded to talk about how she only like plain socks because anything with a pattern is uncomfortable and once even gave her blisters on the top of her foot!!! :0(
The next day I was observed ripping out the whole foot of the sock and Googling sock heels. I settled on a reinforced heel which was fairly easy but I'm apparently a terrible guesser when it comes to determining the depth of a heel, turns out that 2 1/2 inches is too long for a heel flap. So I knitted the foot in straight stockinette and tried to compensate the humongous heel by doing some decreases on the instep, which helped but not much. By this time I had less than a week to go so I had no choice but to knit another one exactly like it... which I did. Until I ran out of yarn with only 6 rows left to knit the toe!
In a panic I emailed the distributor I purchased the yarn from and she said that she had another skein in stock and could ship it next day so I would get it by Tuesday (the day before the party) but I couldn't justify the cost and resigned myself to giving Amy a single sock for her birthday with the promise of a matching one at some later date. But it turns out that Audrey at Smitten Yarns is an angel in disguise and she took it upon herself to ship the yarn next day anyway because she couldn't stand the thought of my being so close and not being able to complete my gift on time. I'm forever indebted to her!
So I will give the socks to Amy tonight and, although I have a great story to tell, the bottom line is that they are still waaayyy big. My only possible saving grace would be for Amy to get pregnant (they're trying) and they can be reserved for keeping her swollen pregnancy feet warm.
And to prove what a glutton for punishment I am, I just purchased some bison/wool yarn to knit a pair of socks for my husband for Christmas. And yes, I have lost my ever-lovin' mind!