Writer’s Socks


I have writer’s block.

There, I’ve said it.

Clearly, I still write, gobs and gobs each day–for my job, on forums, in letters to friends.

But this special kind of writing, the kind that used to feed my soul, the stuff I do for ME…blocked. Stopped up like a my bathroom sink when I’ve accidentally put too much fiber down the thing.

I’m knitting a sock, a really complicated sock (and no, I haven’t changed subjects, just hang in for a bit). It’s got lace and twisted stitches and it’s 72 stitches around and ohmygawsh, it’s all done on witsy bitsy size 0’s. That’s 2.0mm here in Canada, btw.

pretty, eh?

pretty, eh?

And by the way, those little darling 2.0mm needles and I are not friends. I usually knit socks on bamboo needles, so I started out with my trusty bamboo size 0’s…and ended up with a lot of toothpick shards and cuss words. I break the darn things so fast that I swear there is an entire staffer at Brittany whose salary I pay in full just by breaking 2.0s (and 2.25s, incidentally; above 2.25, I’m fine, thank goodness).

I do have ONE set of metal 2.0s, which is what I am using now for these socks. But they’re longer than I like my sock needles to be, so I feel like they are always getting in each others’s way, not to mention in MY way. I feel like I’m knitting with a bunch of swords, always poking something or someone (usually myself). And they’re very slippery. This is bad when you’re doing twisted cabled and you’re trying to get a bunch of witsy stitches to Obey You and cross themselves at the same time.

But they do not break. This is a plus. I remind myself of this every time I poke my hand or drop a stitch. Poking is not breaking. Poking does not mean a trip to the local yarn shop and another eight bucks out of my pocket. (Poking may mean several bad words but the cats have already given up on my character in this respect.)

These socks are a challenge, ’tis true. But it’s not as though these are the Hardest Socks on the Planet, and it’s not as though I haven’t knit more challenging projects than this one.

I actually like the socks. And the pattern. And the yarn.

But…I’m blocked. I knit a round or two, then set them aside for days. I feel enormous guilt each and every day that I don’t work on them, for they are a gift for someone, someone who knows I’m knitting them and is waiting in great anticipation for these beautiful socks.

Guilt, guiltguiltguilt.

And then I knit a few more rounds and I feel better…but of course I did not knit ENOUGH rounds. (They’re not done yet, are they?)

And goddess forbid I should work on another knitting project…then the dwarves bearing the Guilt Hammers come and start hammering away at me even more. “You disloyal knitting slave,” they say. “You should be spending every spare moment on Those Socks!!! Someone is expecting them!!”

It’s like that with my writing…see? I want to write. I think about writing all the time, and phrases and stories are in my mind constantly. I write a little, but it’s Not Enough. I write other things, and I feel guilty (even if it is for work and I have no choice).

But the difference between the socks and my own writing is…no one is waiting for my writing except myself.

The only one disappointed when I don’t write in my blog is…me.

Hm. Something to ponder.

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About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. Quilter. UFO Wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. Almost 2-yr-old kittens, 1 permakitten, 2 grownup cats, 1 beloved dog angel, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life. I suppose that the 5 cats make me 1 crazy cat lady; OTOH, apparently, yes, I do need that much feline supervision.
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2 Responses to Writer’s Socks

  1. thetserf says:

    The more people I know read my blog, the less I want to say. Perverse, I know. Because what I want to write there is a diary, hence the name of the blog. But I can’t whine about the husband or the boss because they *read* it, and I can’t riff on conversations in my head, because then they’ll think it is real and not fiction and be all offended. So I end up not knowing what to write, and then I post my fiber or my pets, and my fan base seems to grow on just that. It’s very weird. I may go back to paper journalling again, because then I can keep writing. I feel like I’m missing a limb when I don’t write anything at all.

  2. Tamara says:

    Since I’m leaving this comment 2 years later, I’m assuming you’ve gotten over your writers block and I can say what first came into my head which is, “But I’d be disappointed (and have been) if you don’t write in your blog!” Which lead me to believe that many people blog as if they’re journaling, which is fine, but as Thetserf says above, the blog is a public place which complicates the writing. So perhaps paper journaling is the way to go for the writing that is just for you. Though I wouldn’t want your blog to change, either. I love the way you work things out in your head while you’re writing. I think most writers do that–they don’t really know what they’re thinking until they’ve written a while and can look back and see the threads have made sense. Like complicated socks, you brilliant thing.

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