Pleasure and pain
For years and years I refused to knit socks. I'd go on and on about how silly it was to spend all that time making something that could be purchased with so much less effort and for a whole lot less money. I think the real reason I didn't make socks was because I was intimidated by the multiple needles and the apparent intricacy of doing the stitches.
A couple of years ago I had to begin to understand how socks were made. I had way too many people asking for help for me to just say "I don't knit socks." So, with the help of Nancy Bush's Folk Socks and some on-line tutorials I began. Now I love knitting socks. I probably have ten or twelve books devoted to sock knitting.
Most of the socks I've knit have been just plain knit but using self patterning yarn. I have done some with stitch patterns though. A couple of lace things and the Broadripple socks. I prefer using five needles instead of four. I don't get ladders when I use five needles and the knitting itself seems easier.
Enter the Girly Girl socks.
This sock is from Socks by Rita Buchanan and Deborah Robson. Because of the stitch pattern I'm working on four needles. I've just finished the gusset decreases and my hands are killing me. The pattern itself is simple enough, easy to memorize and read. But the actual knitting in bone crushing. There's a single purl stitch at the beginning and end of the lace pattern on needle number two. Making the transition from purl to knit or knit to purl at that point requires that I really tug on the yarn to prevent ladders. After a couple of hours of that last night I just had to stop.
I don't think this would have bothered me a couple of years ago. But things change. I'm not about to give up. I still have to finish this first sock and make another one. And Lisa likes these so I'll make another pair. Maybe I'll figure some way to shift the pattern so I don't have to switch needles at this particular juncture. We'll see.