More specifically, it’s about "Sock Wars", where the idea is that everyone playing the game is an "assassin" and has an assigned "target". You are supposed to "assassinate" that person by knitting them a pair of socks, and then you send them to your target before your assassin sends a pair of finished socks to you.
When you receive your finished socks and thus are assassinated, you send your unfinished socks back to your assassin, who then has the job of finishing up knitting the socks for her new target (your original target). The last assassin alive "wins".
At first, I thought this sounded really cool and hip. I thought, wow, I never heard of this — I must be an old knitting fogey — am I totally out of the online knitting community loop, or what?
But hang on – this means that a knitter who assassinates her target in a timely, responsible fashion gets a two-fold "reward": (1) another pair of unfinished socks to knit, and (2) no finished socks for herself. Surely, I have this wrong, I thought. That makes no sense at all. So, being the former engineer that I am, of course I modeled it on a small scale.
Imagine myself, The Pats and Rock Star in a mini-version of the game. I have The Pats as a target; she has Rock Star; Rock Star has me.
- The Pats knits fast, but I knit faster. Plus I don’t have a kid. So, I will likely assassinate The Pats. She will then ship me one finished sock, and one unfinished sock.
- I will finish the second sock of the pair, and assassinate Rock Star, who will then send me two balls of yarn and some needles, because she hasn’t even cast on yet.
- So then, if I actually wanted a pair of socks out of the deal, I’d have to knit them myself. Hooray! Two socks for the work of five!
This goes totally and utterly against my naive, Midwestern sense of how the world is supposed to go: work hard, be considerate of others, and you will be rewarded. In this case, the knitter who NEVER ACTUALLY STARTS THE SOCKS will triumph, in that she will receive a pair of handknit socks, and all she has to do then is ship off some yarn and needles as a bizarre sort of "thank-you".
Feel free to consider me jaded and selfish, but no thanks.
I shudder to think of finishing pair after pair of socks, sending them off time and again, only to receive yet ANOTHER unfinished pair in the mail. (Oh, and BTW, everyone is supposed to use the same pattern, so there’s not even any variety or surprise to break things up – except in yarn choice, I suppose.)
I’d go bananas. I’m pretty sure I’d quit after 2 or 3 pairs, at the very least. When yet another unfinished pair arrived, I’d passive-aggressively hide them under something in my studio. But then I’d feel totally guilty while knitting on anything else, until I would finally dig out the damned socks and finish them. It would be a curse. I’d pray for "death".
The part I can’t believe is that this year is apparently the second year the game has been played. I guess I just don’t get it. I guess maybe I am an un-hip, old-knitting-fogey.
However, that’s not to say the idea is not without its possibilities. If I can get together a group of knitters who will fall for it, I could get all my UFOs done without lifting a finger…
Maybe Sock Wars is fabulous fun for knitters who are bored, and have no idea what to do next. This is definitely not one of my knitting issues. Take a look at these:
Exhibit A) the Hall of Shame: my pile of UFO’s. Each and every one of those bags is a knitting project that was started with high hopes and big plans. Some of them are class or pattern samples, and can be considered "work" knitting, while others are purely for my own knitting pleasure. (The Nutcracker sweater is in the silvery bag in the back left corner.) Somewhere under there where you can’t even see it is a duct-tape reinforced box, complete with duct-tape handles, which is full of Manos that was going to be a modular vest. (And yes, there are at least
3 pairs 4 pairs of socks in there that I can think of right off the bat. None of them are for Sock Wars, though.)
About a month and a half ago, I started a concerted effort to clear out the failures from this pile by the end of the year. My motto was "fish or cut bait": I would rip out what I was never going to finish, and resolve issues on things that were stalled. Believe it or not, I actually did a fair amount of that, but the pile is still pretty humungous. The table is 30" x 40" and it’s heaped about an average of a foot deep. That’s 14,400 cubic inches of UFO’s.
Exhibit B) the Stash: my hutch full of yarn, topped off with more yarn, that for the most part hasn’t even been THOUGHT about, let alone knitted. (The pink MOHAIR at the top right corner was from the gang for last year’s birthday. Thanks, guys!)
Exhibit C) the Fixers: the pile of stuff that needs some kind of repair or alteration –
– and that’s not even thinking about the Hotlist, which is my pile of photocopies & printouts of projects for which I have ideas and/or yarn, but haven’t started.
Excuse me, but my sense of guilt tells me that I probably ought to go knit on something. But not a pair of socks for someone I don’t know. Besides, my DH would assassinate me first.