I recently discovered the addictive joys of knitting socks! After many false starts, I found a method that works for me (toe-up on two circs) and am part-way through the second sock of the pair. And although I knit every night before I go to bed, that poor half-done sock has been untouched for a week now.
Why? Because it’s time to turn the heel.
If you look at the bottom of a sock (go ahead, I’ll wait), you’ll see that the material on the sole of your foot is a pretty straight line. But to accommodate the curve of the heel, adjustments must be made so that the sock gets narrower, swoops around the back of your heel, and then widens and resumes its relatively straight course up your leg.
It’s a lot harder to knit a smooth curve than it is to just mindlessly go back and forth making rows in a straight line.
When I turned the heel on my first sock, it took me about two hours of fierce concentration to work my way through it. But I did produce a vaguely heel-like shape. And the finished sock looks more or less like a sock.
Now it’s time to turn the heel on the second sock, and I’m putting it off.
Recently, I was talking with a client about the difficult transition she was going through. She’d been laid off from a job which, although it wasn’t very exciting, didn’t require much of her. Kind of the equivalent of just knitting in a straight line.
Now, she was feeling pushed to change. Even as she balked at that, she realized that the old pattern of being wasn’t relevant … it didn’t serve her anymore.
Going through a major life change is a lot like turning the heel. We are required to slow down, concentrate, and be willing to make changes that can sometimes be uncomfortable. The end result may not be perfect, but it doesn’t have to be. What matters is our ability to turn the heel … to expand or contract as needed, and then to go where we’re needed as elegantly as possible.