How would a groundhog knit?
By Meg Dedolph
Groundhog Day had me thinking about my father’s battles with woodchucks in our garden every summer. He started with an electric fence. Then he would watch for the furry critters from our deck and shout and whistle to scare them away. He even threatened to start shooting them - an empty threat in 1980s suburbia.
Then one year, when my dad decided to plant muskmelons, easily his favorite summer garden treat, the woodchuck went too far. The animal tunneled under the fence and emerged in the middle of my father’s melon patch, which was growing like gangbusters.
Concealing his front door amid the leafy greenery, the woodchuck spent an afternoon taking one bite out of every melon ripening on the vines.
My dad was livid, but not because the woodchuck ate his melons. Groundhogs gotta groundhog, as the saying goes. It’s the way of nature: my father planted a garden and the groundhog dined on it all summer long.
Instead, my dad was furious because the woodchuck ruined all the melons rather than just eating one entire fruit.
I was knitting like a woodchuck during 2022, which is why, as I was looking through my knitting basket, I discovered that I had somehow started - but not finished - eight pairs of socks.
I had 16 socks going at once.
My friend Barb said she was amazed I had so many needles when I texted to share this discovery.
Not so, I said. What I seemed to have done was started a pair of socks, got … bored? Tired? Distracted? … and then slid the stitches onto a set of DPNs, where I either continued to knit them (using my least favorite technique for knitting in the round, which is some kind of dedication), or stuffed them in a project bag and forgot about them.
In a new year, this will not do.
So unlike that woodchuck and its melons, I have spent two weeks going back into project bags and finishing socks. I even made a little chart in a notebook where I can mark off my milestones as I finish knitting 16 socks.
(Pro tip: Divide big projects into smaller chunks. Crossing off a little step gives your brain a little feel-good kick and keeps you motivated. Works for stuff that isn’t knitting, too.)
I’m down to eight socks. Wish me luck.