Saturday, April 7, 2012

S(econd) S(ock) S(yndrome)---NOT ME!

Okay, so this really exists: there are folks out there who knit the first sock but never get around to finishing the second. They think this is a problem! I say . . .  What's the big deal!?!? Just wear un-matching socks! . . . You won't get tired of them? . . . And there are worse afflictions? Consider mine! Here's it is, laid bare for the world to see.

As soon as I finish a sweater that I am happy with
I wear it constantly 
pretty much immediately knit a second version in a different color . . . which I wear whenever I'm not wearing the first
buy yarn and am thrilled to start a third version.

Then a couple of kinda sad things happen.
1. I find myself having difficulty finishing the third version.
2. I find myself not wearing the original two. (Remember, I wore them pretty much every day for some time.)

So what's the problem with this? Is it not better than not having a matching pair of socks to wear? Here are the issues I see with this behavior.
  • I've got another UFO (un-finished-object) in my closet.
  • I probably should be spending my time, money, and creative energy on a new project?
  • I've got two wonderful sweaters that I am no longer wearing because I simply wore them too often when I first made them.
How to solve these three issues . . . .

issue number one There will always be UFO's in every knitter's closet. Some "rainy day" when I need yarn, I'll rip it out and knit something else. Or some other rainy day when I need knitting, I'll finish it! (This is, seriously, what I tell myself. Isn't it wonderful how optimistic / delusional knitters are?)

issue number two If the original was so fabulous, why not make a second--in a different fabric and color? After all, how many blouses do I have in my closet? If I have 4 white blouses, one gray, and one blue, why do I think I can have only one of those gorgeous cardigans I just finished?

issue number three Like any addict, I simply have to learn to pace myself.

So, today and yet again, I'm off to the yarn shop to buy more yarn: browns + something else . . . to knit another version of the charcoal and red sweater I finished last week to go with my new boots.

(Yes, I knit a sweater to go with a pair of boots. Seems like the wrong way 'round? But you should see these boots: red plaid. I swear, you'd do the same. I've never worn these boots without people asking about them. And then I shamelessly--in lines in coffee shops, for heaven's sake!--open my coat to show "the sweater I made to go with the boots." Soon, after knitting the brown version, I'll have a second version to throw open my coat and show. This feels so very very sad.)

So, is there anyone else out there who does this--immediately knits a second or third version? And what do we call this affliction? Second sweater surplus?


  1. I don't very often knit a second version of a pattern. I'm too fickle - on to the next interesting thing. I have no problem with second sock syndrome, though, especially if it's a challenging pattern. The first sock can be a bit of a struggle but the second one is a breeze.
    Would love to see a photo of the sweater and boots combo!

  2. Over the past year or so, I've been learning to do my socks 2-at-a-time, and I really like it. I never had much trouble with SSS, but I did suffer from (A)symmetrical (S)ock (S)yndrome. Personally, I think that's worse.

    I see nothing wrong with making another of the same sweater in another color. For myself, I tend not to only because there *so many* designs out there, by myself and others, that I'll never get to all the ones I want to do if I frequently make duplicates. That said, there's a Lily Chin design that I have done in ivory, and really think I need in say, cognac.

    I love boots, not just for outdoor winter wear. When I find a comfortable pair, they become staples in my wardrobe. Makes perfect sense to me to make harmonizing sweaters.

  3. I have knit a second version of a sweater, but never a third. (I image that if I were to start a third, I also might not finish it:) I enjoyed this post! There is nothing wrong with knitting a sweater to go with boots, or anything else for that matter. Second Sweater Surplus is a good thing!

    1. Unfortunately, the original garment (to match the boots) is off being photographed for my next book, so I can't show it. But you'll know it when you see it!

      In the meantime, though, I am making a third version of something that has me as excited as the original EINSTEIN COAT. I will soon publish the pattern on RAVELRY. But I'll alert you to it here.

      Why three versions? One reason is that I want to offer it with 3 different necklines. But, truth me told, I think my addiction simply kicked in again!

  4. You are so funny! I love reading your posts!! I feel like... just being a normal person when i realize that we have all our differences!!

  5. Sigh. Too, too familiar. I really think I have another (though similar) syndrome...(H)ate to do the (L)ast bit of (F)inishing (S)yndrome. I've run out of doorknobs. I thought I was a nutcase because I keep ripping out old projects to start new ones. Glad to hear we're not alone! Can't wait to see the new Einstein!

    1. Thanks for commenting! I am so sorry for you affliction, but I fear you are not alone?
      The new garment is not a coat, but it is as simple and wonderful as that coat.
      I’m working as fast as I can to have it up and available on RAVELRY. But that means knitting 3 versions and having it test knit to ensure that the pattern is perfect.

  6. The bit about not worrying about the second sock is BRILLIANT! I don't mind ripping out something if it's sat for a long time and I recognize I have no desire at all to pick the project back up.

    The items that I am willing to let sit are often motif based. I use the same weight yarn, perhaps even the same brand across the board, but I use motifs, I can make one when I want something quick to knit or crochet, and eventually I have enough of them that I can put them together for a finished item. It's a very common practice in crochet though there are knitting designers that also do this. I'd be interested in seeing what you'd come up with, Sally.

    BTW, thanks for the pm on Rav directing me to your blog.