Posted by: jinniver | September 1, 2008

Second sock syndrome

I have it…and I’m not even knitting socks. A little over a month ago, Jeffrey picked out a brightly colored skein of Opal yarn and asked me to knit him something with it. When he decided he wanted a pair of fingerless gloves after seeing the pair I knit for myself, I decided “his” yarn was perfect for it. I originally struggled with my design, but my second attempt, with 8 more stitches added, gave me just the fit I was looking for.

Jeffrey's wristers 005

Jeffrey loves them. I love them. I’m really excited about my first fingerless glove design (a very simple one, but mine all the same).

So why have I lost all motivation to knit the second one?

Clearly, I have fallen victim to Second Sock Syndrome (SSS). True, I’m not knitting socks, but this devasting condition can strike any time you need to knit two of something.

I actually do know why it happened.  Any knitting project is an adventure.  Sure, you’ve got (usually) a picture of the finished project on the pattern, but that only tells you what the designer got with her/his skill set, knitting style, and yarn choice.  You’re not going to know what you can make of the pattern until you’ve done it.  That means every row and every change is another discovery to make, long before you reach the end. For me, that excitement is doubled by the fact that I don’t even have that picture to work off of–other than the picture that’s in my mind.  Let me tell you, trying to match a picture that exists only in my imagination is a whole ‘nother level above trying to match a picture of an object someone else created.  Even the wrong turns are invigorating (as long as they don’t involve frogging a nearly completed item, but that’s another story) because I figured out a solution for my problem.

Then you’ve come to the point that is the bane of (almost) every knitter:  finishing.  Very few people enjoy seaming and weaving in ends (yes, I know you’re out there, but you have to admit you’re in the minority!), but once you slogged through that part, you have your reward.  It might not match the picture in the pattern exactly–in fact, it’s more fun when it doesn’t–or even the one in my imagination, but it’s a completed, serviceable, beautiful item that I made with my own two hands for someone I love (or me!).  I can give it to them or starting using it immediately…

…Unless it’s part of a pair.  Then I have to start all over from the beginning.  Only this time, I’m not trying to match the picture in my head, or discovering what my interpretation of another designer’s work will look like.  I’m trying to match an already completed item.  All the discoveries have been made, all the problems wrestled into submission.  Instead of feeling like Lewis and Clark, I’m that guy that followed the trail they blazed (and there’s a reason no one knows his name, people).  Now it’s not just the finishing that feels like work–the whole operation does, from cast on to last tail woven in.  And if finishing once is a pain, finishing twice sucks.

Jeffrey's wristers 004

But I will persevere and eventually emerge victorious–and Jeffrey will have two gloves to show off.  The best way to fight SSS, I’ve found, is to not fight.  I’ve let myself move on to other projects.  I finally got around to knitting up my third scarf for the Breast Cancer Awareness fair Knotty Girl Yarns will be co-hosting.

BC3 (1)

And I got a couple more rows knit in the shrug that I started in early July (July 5th, to be exact, since Ravelry gives me that ability to be exact).  I’m really enjoying how that yarn is knitting up, and I do want to finish the shrug as soon as I can to wear when I go to Knotty Girl for some serious stitching (I get colder a little faster than the rest do, and I don’t want anyone to feel they have to be uncomfortably warm when I can just slip on a shrug of my own making).  I think that’ll be enough to get me past SSS (even though I’m prone to WIP-induced cast-ons–I just always have to have a new project on the needles!)…so hopefully I’ll be able to put up that new pattern soon…



  1. Mine is not so much SSS as get bored in the middle of a project and find something else that calls to me! Good luck with the other glove. I know you’ll get it finished well in time for colder weather. 🙂


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