Sunday, February 7, 2016

Thomas Edison and the $100.00 socks

Popular wisdom tells us that trying, failing, and trying again eventually lead to success. 

I've tried and failed plenty, but each failure sent me looking for something easier to master. Therefore I've had more failure than success.

Take knitting, for instance. Mother introduced me to knitting when I was 8. Like most beginners, my first dishrag square was so tight you couldn't get the needle in to make a new stitch. It was more like a hot pad. Good thing my little sister took the needles out and I had to start over. 

My first sweater had arms that hung to my knees.  I redid them and took a twenty year break.

When I took up the needles and yarn again I decided to go small--socks. I reasoned they would be a portable project through graduate school and faculty meetings, easy to carry on an airplane.

I signed up for "Fun Footwear, Part I."  It cost $40.00 plus about $20.00 in yarn. I bought a lot of colors because I imagined them as Christmas gifts. 

I didn't quite get the hang of it.  In fact, I flunked. My sizing, what knitters call gauge, was off. The first sock was way too big. And turning tube to create the heel was tricky. Mine was full of holes that weren't supposed to be there.

Still it was a nice change of pace from lesson planning and grading assignments.

I repeated "Fun" Part I for another $40.00. My sock progressed all the way to the ribbing at the top this time, but gaped where they were supposed to be snug. They were lumpy inside and out.

I laughed about my $100.00 socks and always thought someday I'd get it right. But unlike Edison, I gave up and sock-making gave way to something less challenging. Maybe that was when I tried to teach myself French.

Today I found the *overpriced , oversized, socks. After snapping this photo I tossed them in the trash.

I'm glad Edison didn't give up and figured out how to deliver electricity to factories and homes. Otherwise I would be wearing those handmade socks.

Do you have a failure to success story to share? 

*$151.32 in today's currency

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