Monday, February 11, 2008

Haunted With Guilt and/or Bad Knitting Decisions

(I love these slippers. These sad, sad slippers.)

Or rather, I loved these slippers. Warm and cheap. Made from leftover yarn. 100% wool, so they were free of any yucky manufactured-fiber sweatiness, very important when working near a cold-shedding window all day and it's an unbelievable February-like 2F outside.

I never follow patterns. I might loosely reference a pattern, but to read it through and follow stitch by stitch, no. Written patterns are so needlessly complicated, and wrong about 98% of the time anyway. Crazy with all that BS Victoriana shorthand secret-language crapola. (True fact!- written knitting patterns were "invented" to sell magazines and keep delicate Victorian upper-class flowers busy. Before that, knitting was done from samples and charts, handed down through generations. Another true fact!- The English and the Americans considered continental knitting uncouth because it was so speedy. Natch, I knit continental.) Elizabeth Zimmermann is my golden standard for knitting, knitting instructions, and knitting style. She wasn't much for patterns, either.

So, back to these particular slippers. I saw a pic on-line of some slippers I liked. Roughly followed the pattern for the sole- very simple. I changed a lot of technical details. And yet!

The pattern on-line called for a garter stitch sole. I succumbed. You and I both know better, but I did it anyway. Don't DO IT, people. A garter stitch WILL NOT hold up. Do a heel stitch if it kills you, at least on heels and balls of feet. I blew these sweet puppies out in five weeks flat. I'd darn them (I actually know how to darn with an egg sock. I heart obscure knowledge. Grandma taught me to darn. Full disclosure- I've never done it). But I'd soo rather re-knit another pair, proper-like.

Here's the thing, though. I've knit 4 pairs as gifts, and live in dread that I'll get one of those phone calls: "Um, yeah, hai, don't get me wrong, the slippers are cute and all, but the soles are, like, really bad. You know, totally busted out". And the subtext is, you suck. Mad skills, my patootie. Faker. Poser. Fix my slippers. Better, reknit me another pair.

It's not that I don't want to. I do. But I'm so swamped with work and worms.

So, my question: Just how long does one take responsibility for a knitted gift gone wrong? Is there a proper span of time where a wrongly knitted gift is no longer the knitter's responsibility? At which point can I can comfortably cut the cord, guilt-free? I need to know. It haunts me every night, just before I fall asleep. It floats betwixt and between the 100 dozen other things that haunt me in that netherworld of not-exactly-sleep.


Rabbits' Guy said...

Slacker! How can a person who spends hours raking frozen turf cut corners on a gift? Still, a gift is a gift, and once given, it can't come back with complaints. (You did not charge did you?) Yes - my family ives in Traverse City and they are cold too!

ilex said...

You make me giggle, Rabbit-Saint.

DK & The Fluffies said...

The song was from the Against The Streams CD. Advise for the giftees... learn to crochet!