And boy-o-boy did I get spanked. Holy crap. I felt like Luke Skywalker after Yoda tells him "Do or do not, there is no try." Man. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Okay, so what the hell happened? Well since I've been on a sock craze for the past couple of weeks, all I can think about is buying more sock yarn. Saturday Brad and I had a gazillion things to do--including going to the dentist (yet again--I don't think I'll ever be finished. I'm tempted to tell him to just rip everything out and give me implants, but I know I'd regret that) and running out to the island to go to Trader Joe's to get good cat food (since this whole pet food recall, I'm even more grateful that Brad and I only feed our kitties the Trader Joe's Holistic Cat Food). So since I know we have a ton of errands to run (including ending up at Mommy-in-Law's house), I figured that since we'd be out there anyway, it was a good day to stop by Knitwits in Bayside. I'd heard good things about it on a couple of people's blogs I've been lurking on, and specifically remember it being mentioned as as stop on one of the yarn crawls coming from Long Island and Queens for the Harlot's Represent event a couple weeks ago (I can't believe it's been that long) so I figured it was worth a stop.
So I get to Knitwits' with Hubby, we ooohh and aaaahh over the yarn, I gleefully discover that they have steel DPN's (I think I like those better--I feel like the points of my bamboo ones aren't consistently pointy if that makes any sense), and hand over my purchases to Joan, the Knitting Yoda. I ask her if the yarn I'm purchasing two skeins of will be enough to make a pair of socks. She says, "It depends on your pattern." So of course I whip out my sock of which I am so proud which was near completion and tell her that I'm either going to do this pattern again or change it slightly because this is my first pair of socks.
And then she tells me I'm twisting all my stitches. Holy f*$!ing F*$!-nuts. All this time, I've been knitting incorrectly--or as she told me, not wrong, just making my life much more complicated. She asked how I learned and I told her out of a book (which she then pooh-poohed because she said she "didn't think much of it" and the author) and she then showed me how to not knit into the back of the stitches. I sat there on my knees knitting at her feet like a good little padawan-learner while she ruled over three other knitters telling one, "This is wrong; rip it out"; another "Undo the stupid stitches--why did you do that?"; another "I don't know what you did, but you're going to have to do it again." It was tough love. The knitters submitted to her critiques determined to please her--I was equally determined. While all this was going on, Brad stood in the corner trying not to laugh at me too much--he knows how I hate not being perfect at things, and the other knitters heckled him: "It's a good thing she already has a ring or we'd tell her to keep the socks for herself!" "Don't you laugh, or you'll never get anything hand-knit again!"
After I had successfully knitted and purled several rows correctly, she allowed me to purchase my needles, but wouldn't sell me more yarn because--get this--she wants me to come back and show her my progress to make sure that I'm not totally screwing up my socks. She let me leave with these final words--"You're a good knitter, but you've got to perfect your technique. There's no point in knitting if you're going to knit incorrectly." How do you argue with that? You don't. I'm a perfectionist, so I totally agree.
So what the hell am I going to do about the socks? Well, after Hubby patiently let me have a minor nervous breakdown in the car, (because of course I had to find this out just as I'm getting to the damned toe of the sock) I've decided to finish the sock in question--using the correct stitches of course--and go back to School Products, get another skein, and then really make the damned socks. That settled, he lead me to DSW for some shoe therapy.
In spite of being extremely humbled from this whole experience, I'm actually glad that it happened. It totally sucks that I'm going to have to make two more socks instead of just one more sock, but overall, it's much better that I know how to do things the correct way because it'll make me a better knitter. And I have to be honest--the fact that she told me I was a good knitter has carried me through all of this--not to mention Brad giving me knitting pep talks all along the way (he's such a good hubby--I don't know who else would put up with my knitting nervous breakdowns).
The knitting Yoda cut me down to size, and in the long run, I needed it.
May the force be with you (and your needles).