Casting Off

I’ve been thinking about starting a knitting blog almost since I returned to knitting. But it’s taken me at least five years to get around to it. The only way I can explain the delay is this:

Last month, I made a pair of black socks for a priest whose birthday is the day after mine. They were a Christmas gift, and a friend and I made a special trip to Jo-Ann’s to buy the yarn.

I didn’t finish the socks in time, but that didn’t matter because my family and I wouldn’t be visiting him at his current parish until mid January, so I worked on more urgent projects first (some hats and a pair of slippers that needed to be delivered sooner), and I got back to the socks eventually, working on them two or three rounds at a time, leaving them forgotten on nightstands and coffee tables, distracting myself with UFO’s that had sat in the basket for months.

The day before we went to visit, I worked on them in earnest, a pair of garter strips flanking two wavy cables that leaned into each other, then away, without ever touching—like people or good intentions—and I had more than half a sock to go: 80 stitches per round, eleven rounds per vertical inch, eternity on a yarny scale.

By morning, I was two inches short, so I left them at home. When we returned, I completed them.

Except for the cast off.

My excuse was that I wanted to make sure the band of ribbing at the top of the ankle was the same number of rounds on both socks, but the reality was that binding off meant giving them away, and giving them away meant believing them worthy of being shared.

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