After hitting the wall last week with Sock #2, Operation: Socks 4 All 4 Christmas was at Code Yellow. Completing Sock #1 before the final class at close knit (2140 NE Alberta St., 503-288-4568, would give me two hours of class to finish Sock #2, and potentially get a start on my Christmas Sockstravaganza.

I finished Sock #1 easy peasy. Compared to turning the heel, shaping the gusset (the triangle section between the heel, anklebone, and instep) and the toe seemed like child's play.

With one beautiful, complete sock and one frozen in a state of disaster, I was second in line for triage on Tuesday night. When my number came up, Teacher Ann suggested going balls-out and ripping the heel down to where I began to "turn" it. This scared the hell out of me. But under Ann's wing, and to the coo of her whispery mantra (you're in control, you're in control), I pulled the stitches out gently. With the correct number of stitches back on their respective needles, I started over.

The final class was like Study Hall— quiet and focused. What astounds me is how easy it is to forget a skill until it's been practiced about a hundred times. When "picking up stitches" to join the heel and the instep together (which I had done easily last week), I completely blanked out and couldn't remember the next step. Ann let me stare stupidly for about 45 seconds, giving me time to figure it out on my own. She then came to my rescue.

I didn't make it out of Class 3 with a complete pair of socks as I had hoped, but almost. I finished shaping the gusset and toe of Sock #2 at home a few days later and couldn't believe I'd actually made a pair of socks.

There is no way I could have navigated the intricacies of sock making without Ann's guidance. I am so grateful P-Town has so many damn good teachers to turn us beginners on. And I'm sure my family will be as well— Operation: Socks 4 All 4 Christmas is on! HOO-RAY for Stumptown Santa!

Next Week: Captain America Pinwheel Ornaments

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