Shoemaker Syndrome

About 2 weeks ago, I hauled out the contents of my handknit sock drawer, which had been lying fallow for the summer,  gave everything a bubble bath and lay it out to dry.  That’s when I noticed.  The contents of my sock drawer are, considering that I am a sock knitter of a reasonably prolific nature, sort of meagre and shoddy.  They all have holes, or darned spots or holes and darned spots, and dudes… it’s not how a knitters sock drawer should look.  You’d think that I’d have a pretty formidable selection from which to choose, but there’s nearly squat in there.  I think what happened is that a couple of years ago I noticed the same thing and went on a big self-sock knitting jag, filled the drawer with socks my size, and then continued on my merry way, meeting the demands of familial and friendly sock drawers – and didn’t think about what would happen next.

What happened next is that since all of the socks are about the same age,  they all had a similar lifespan, and they all got worn about the same amount and therefore, all got their first holes about the same time, were darned about the same time, got their second holes in another communal wave of woolly disintegration, and have now all died entirely in what feels like a plague set upon my sock drawer.  I’ve decided to fix that right up by whipping myself up a few pairs, and then to henceforth remedy this by adding to it now and then, just so they can’t all expire at once.  I thought that this pair would be the first to replenish the drawer…

STR Lightweight, colourway "Petroglyphs" – no pattern, just a little seed stitch and ribbing slammed into my my standard sock recipe .  2.25mm needles.

They fit, they’re charming and cozy, and they’re colours I love and sort of wear. (Except the red – well, and the yellow.  Ok. I really only wear that brown and that grey, but everyone needs the zip in thir wardrobe to come from somewhere) and they worked up fast.  Only problem is, the other night when I was over at my mum’s, she admired them.  And they fit her. And she asked if they were for her. And – well.  I love my mum and like it when she loves socks and… you can guess what decision I made next. 

Christmas is coming after all, and there does need to be socks for the people who love to get them – and I love giving socks to people who value them and love to get them.  I really love it. Making socks for other people is a real pleasure.  It’s the only reason, really, that a sock knitter who churns out this many socks wouldn’t have any.  I’m not a martyr though, and I’m trying to remember that I’m a person who really values hand knit socks and loves to get them too, so I’ve wasted invested some time this afternoon hunting up a pattern for a really beautiful skein of yarn I wrestled Rachel H for in a sick knitters cage match at Lettuce Knit purchased, and with my wool as my witness, they will be mine.

Dream in Color Starry – Chinatown Apple colourway. Pattern as yet undecided. Maybe Nutkin.

Ever have trouble keeping your knitting for yourself? Own many socks?

Random Tuesday

1. I think the time change thing sucks and I don’t care who knows it.  Making dinner in the pitch dark makes me feel like I’m running behind and I squandered a day.  No amount of looking at the clock seems to convince me otherwise.

2. One thing about going to SOAR and then coming back (no matter when) is that there was buckets of knitting time embedded in the travel. I churned out a pair of big mens socks:

Austerman Step yarn, lost ball band, don’t know the colourway.  My standard sock pattern, 2.25mm needles.

3. Damn.  The 2 on my keyboard is funky.

4. They don’t fit Joe.  That really bummed him out, but pleased me to no end because I wasn’t making them for him.  He tried them on anyway.

5. That yarn is 75%wool, 25% nylon and is treated with Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil that the manufacturer says stays in for 40 washes.

6. I can’t tell it’s in there at all, so I don’t know what to say about that.

7. I forgot how much I really like knitting up the machine printed yarns like this that do repeatable stripes or patterns. It indulges my complete love of hand knit socks that are identical, rather than fraternal twins. 

9. Not that I don’t love fraternal twin socks. 

Yarn, STR lightweight, colourway called "I don’t know because I stole it off Tina’s desk because I didn’t bring enough yarn to SOAR and I was worried I would run out of knitting on the way there" (Maybe petroglyphs?  Not my job to know.  Just the yarn thief.)

10.  I think she likes it when I steal her yarn, or she wouldn’t leave it right there. She knows how I am.

11.  Is that blaming the victim?

12. The knitting that I finished so that I was forced into a life of crime was another Pretty Thing, this time in the stunningly beautiful laceweight Louet Mooi.  It’s a  bamboo/bison/cashmere blend, soft as anything…

and the only thing it doesn’t have going for it is the price – which is to say that it is priced exactly like high quality exotic yarn should be… which is so say that it’s expensive.  Fair.. but fair still doesn’t put it in the budget a lot of the time.

13. My favourite thing about the Mooi is that the the bamboo makes it shiny, the cashmere makes it soft and the bison gives it a pretty halo, but the halo isn’t light, like the fuzz is with mohair, it’s dark.  It’s like a reverse halo. (Wait, would a reverse halo go in instead of out? Maybe I don’t mean reverse. I mean… well.  I mean dark.  The halo is dark.  Holy cow.  Pass the coffee.)

I don’t know if you can see it in that picture, but it’s really neat.

14.  I still have to weigh the leftovers and the cowl to make sure, but I am pretty darned convinced that it took quite a bit less than half a skein.

15. I think Megan at Lettuce Knit is going to kit this up, Pretty Thing pattern and half skein of Mooi, which would be really cool, because it would mean that you wouldn’t have to buy a full skein of an expensive yarn to make it, which would mean that you could stop tossing around that plan you have to sell a toddler for yarn money.  That’s just wrong. An understandably natural response to this yarn,  but wrong anyway.

16. I can’t be sure she’s going to do that.

17. I can’t find my scale, which would help a lot.

18. I actually can’t find anything around this house right now.  It’s pretty trashed.

19. I have developed a theory that I interrupted a system that Joe and the girls are running.  That I leave the house for a trip and they immediately begin to live like pig royalty.  They don’t clean anything, they eat all sorts of things that are bad for them (there is substantial evidence to support the conclusion that they have largely pancake based diet while I’m away.)  They do insane and wild things like put the spoons in the fork slot of the cutlery tray and they are reckless to the point of using THREE towels per bath.  (That’s just obscene.) There is illicit ice cream eating – people leave their garbage around,  nobody recharges the phone.. they pull out all the stops.  Then, when there is 24 hours left before I return, they wig out, pull together and restore the house to its regular level of filth and disorder before I come home.

20.  I think that by coming home early, they did not have time to disguise their ways, and I caught them in the midst of their defiling.

21. They deny it.