I used up all the yarn.
Sounds weird that this should be such a thing doesn't it, but honestly, it was kind of cool. It also turns out that my yarn usage was just about spot on, because each colour only needed a slight variation in the number of rows to finish.
I ran out of black on the last stripe about 8 stitches short of 7 rows. That one felt like running out, rather than using it up. I debated finding a bit more black but decided not to. It really didn't matter if I was short that bit. No one would ever notice it at all and the sock was plenty long.
Letting go of the idea that I had to start and finish at the same place at the end of the sock changed how I looked at what would happen in this last section. I decided to just knit and let it happen. That was pretty freeing in and of itself.
In the last large section of red, two yarns were used up entirely. Each of those finished with just more than 6 rows. Not quite my usual 5 or 7 but you just couldn't plan yarn usage better than that. Finishing those first two yarns was life changing. Finishing, not running out. There is a difference.
Up until then, I had no real plan at all other than doing the ribbing with the blue, red, and white yarn that I had the most of. Once I finished those two bits, it felt right to keep going and knit till it was all gone. That small difference between running out and using up felt so good.
So I knit up the yellow, but there was enough left that I knew I would be fine for at least one more three strip section and possibly two. At this point, I had only that mostly brown ball, a bit of yellow, a tiny scrap of a red and the larger blue white and red yarn. I debated putting the red in with the brown to make that section fit more cohesively with all the other red sections but that just wasn't really important anymore. The point was no longer about making a cohesive monster. The point was just to let go and let it happen. So I used it all up. I knit three more yellow rows and then used up the last itty bitty bit of all the reds. And lastly, I knit up the remaining yellow. I think there are 5 rows of yellow at the very end. I finished off with the yarn I had the most of, reserving just enough red, white and blue yarn for the heel. It's a longer sock than I usually knit, but it was kind of fun approaching it so differently and yet the same.
And yesterday evening I started the toe of sock two. I am so looking forward to repeating finishing up the yarn again. It will look quite different, I am sure but then I am not married to perfectly matching socks and never was.
No one in the real world will understand this at all. Not the socks in the first place. Not my everlasting fascination with them. Not my pleasure wearing them. Not the endless variety that can be found in this one small category of knitted goods. All they see is just a sock. Not worthy of a thought at all. But this sock and all the things that happened along the way were so much fun.
Just a silly little quirky detail that will make me smile every time I see this pair of socks. I will smile when I see it in my sock drawer. I will grin when I put it in the laundry. I will pet it as I fold it up. I will sometimes stifle a bit of a giggle as I put them on, at the sheer lunacy of it all.
Knitting is full of these quirky little details, things that months and years later, just make me smile. I can remember laughing at the little pops of colour the first time I knit the red with those pops of green, blue and yellow that you see in the sock above. I can remember the amazement I felt when I wear the first lace scarf that I knit. I can remember the thrill of putting on a completed sweater that first time. I remember the delight of seeing that first shawl knit out of Einband blocked out, pinned on the back of my sofa. those little bits of pleasure are what keep me coming back to knitting. It is like nothing else I have ever done in life. Over and over again, tiny pops of satisfaction that just makes life shine.
Knitting is good. Socks are best of all.