36, 288 stitches

Earlier on, and because I have nothing better do with my Sunday afternoons, I worked out (as accurately as I could) how many stitches would be knit by the time I finish my latest pair of socks:

Except I will have actually knit over and above that number as yesterday I experienced something I have previously been able to avoid since I started knitting – the sad feeling of pulling out rows and rows of perfectly formed little stitches. Somehow, when knitting the second sock, I knitted about three inches past the point where I wanted to insert some waste yarn stitches where I later wanted to put the heel. The thing is, I had been carefully checking my progress every few rows to make sure I didn’t make the very mistake that I did. I pouted so much as I pulled about 40 rows of stitches out that my bottom lip aches. Still, now I have only a few more stripes before I reach the bit I most enjoy – the short row heels and toes. Saving this until the last thing is the equivalent, for me, of eating all of your vegetables first to savour the main part of the dish at the very end. It is the way I eat my meals, and the way I knit my socks – saving the most enjoyable bits for the end, so savouring the moment these two completely formless tubes take on the shape of socks… as long as I don’t screw up again.

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