I was recently on a trip to Montana. I and a friend of mine, Fran, took Amtrak from Milwaukee, WI to Whitefish, Montana where we met up with our friend Tricia. My goal had been to knit one pair of socks on the trip here and one pair on the trip home. I thought I could get through the heel of one sock, and that I may feasibly have the foot of sock two completed by the time we got to Whitefish on Monday. After a rough start doing my toe-up cast-on using the ‘It Just Doesn’t Matter’ cast on (aka Judy’s Magic Cast On), I had my toe on. (I usually need to review the video before I begin a pair of socks, just to refresh my memory and get the wraps going correctly.) But once I got the toe cast on and the increases added, I was flying on the foot of my sock, enjoying the scenery out my train window.
I am one of those lucky ones who is able to knit on an easy stockinette pattern (such as socks) without really paying attention to what I’m doing. I feel the stitch on the needle and knit it – without looking at what I am doing. This way I am able to just keep knitting around in a circle, only occasionally looking down at my knitting. This affords me ample time to keep my eyes peeled on the scenery. I like to knit my socks sort of at the same time. With two sets of double-pointed needles, I will start one sock and work through the heel. I then pick up the second sock and do the same. Then I go back to sock one and do the leg, the same on sock two, then the cuff of sock one, and the cuff of sock two. EASY PEASY! I now have a perfectly matching pair of socks, with just a few ends to weave in. No seams to sew. And no second sock syndrome. This worked really well for me on this trip. While I didn’t finish the socks, I got more knitting done than I have previously been able to on socks. Of course, I had a gob of time while sitting on the train. But do you know what I found the key was? I always had the socks with me. ALWAYS! When we went on sightseeing trips in the car, I took them with me. And still got fantastic shots like these below:
When we sat around in the evening chatting, I chatted and knit on my socks. I wasn’t obsessive; just prepared. I didn’t feel like I missed out on anything. In fact, at times I saw more than my traveling companions, including a coyote dragging his kill along the highway. Of course, this was met with disbelief on the part of my traveling companions. Even though I only had a tiny sip of wine at the wine tasting shop, and my counterparts had a little more than me, they were skeptical of what I had seen. Their skepticism later led to this:
Oh well, I suppose that’s to be expected when you are traveling with children’s librarians. Masters at storytelling and puppet shows, I suppose they couldn’t resist. They certainly entertained the rangers at Lolo Pass!
All-in-all, I am pleased with the results of my progress on the train. As you can see, I have made it through the heel on the first sock and am working up to the heel on the second sock. I am confident I will have these finished before Thanksgiving at which time I will devote myself to the second pair of socks I have to make. Deep down inside of me I know that the Yarn Harlot would have not only finished these socks, I suspect she might also have gotten a good start on the second pair of socks. That’s okay. I’m okay with that. I have discovered the secret to finding time.