Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Knitting the Gusset
I see knitting the gusset of a sock as crossing a wooden bridge. You know the type I mean. A rickety rope bridge spanning a deep ravine, wood planks horribly rotted. I stand at the edge, hesitating, gingerly putting one foot on the first plank, slowly putting my whole weight on it; Clutching at my needles with sweaty hands, reading and re-reading the pattern instructions. To me, knitting the gusset is a form of black magic; A dark evil that stitches together the satanic void that separates the heal from the instep. I fear crossing the bridge because rationality tells me that it is dangerous, it would mean stepping into that deep void and falling. But more than feeling afraid of failure or death, I fear that alluring bewitching quality of the gusset. By knitting it, am I baring my soul to this black art of sock knitting? Will I become possessed by the gusset? Turn into one of those knitters who only knits socks, who knits a pair a week? That thought terrifies me. What motivates my horror of the gusset is not it's complicated execution, or it's brilliant design, not a irrational fear that I might somehow be less of a knitter if I don't master and embrace it, but a simple truth. I have never heard any stories of gusset knitting gone wrong, nor read any warnings about the dangers of the gusset. In fact, many visible knitters tackle the gusset regularly and enthusiastically without any apparent discomfort. And isn't that proof enough? Surely something so hard and daunting would leave at least a few hapless victims along the way, the mere fact that those victims remain anonymous speaks to something dire. Only some kind of sock- conspiracy could cover something this huge up. All I'm saying is, once you start knitting the gusset you are in real danger of becoming a slave to the hand-knit sock, and those knitters who refuse to bow down? The mere fact that you never hear about them strongly suggests a horrible and violent end.