Vivid Imagination

This post really isn’t the way I wanted it to be.  I think it’s the byproduct of a vivid imagination, but it really bugs me.  I imagine the way something will be, or the way a conversation will go – sometimes I even mentally write the script for other people. (Note: This never works. They never say what I have imagined they will.  This may be because I am more or less hoping their part will be "I’m so sorry and I am invested enough in your happiness that I will never do that again"  or "Oh wow, Mum.  I had no idea that you felt that way about my room being dirty, but now that you have explained it to me so eloquently I am going up there to tidy and organize it directly"  or  "Honey,  you’re right.  I don’t do my fair share of the housework and the global work division between the genders is really discriminatory. The only way to correct that is for me to go scrub the snot out of the bathroom without being asked and then keep it up for the rest of my life." …but I digress.) 

The point is, I imagine the way something will happen, look or be… and then I imagine it so completely that when it doesn’t go that way I’m totally shocked and can’t believe it.  (This curse is a related subgroup of the curse that lives off optimists and most sane people, where a completely mad arsehole shafts you over and over and over again and every single time they do, you say "I can’t believe it. Why is this happening? Why are they being so mean?" and all of your friends look at you like you’ve just grown a crop of tiny ears all over your chin and shake their heads sadly because this person is a completely mad arsehole who has shafted you over and over.   Sorry. Another digression.) 

This time, what I imagined while I was knitting Joe’s tremendously large pair of Christmas socks, was how good they would look photographed sort of casual-like in the living room.  My chesterfield is brown, the walls are red, the carpet and wood floors are neutrals.  I thought about his feet, resting elegantly (or as elegantly as feet that big do things) swathed in thousands of stitches that are so nice that you can practically see the love in them, and the sun would shine in and show you the cables and it would just be the coziest sock picture ever. It would look like hot chocolate after sledding tastes.  I had the whole thing planned, and when I finished Joe’s socks three days ago – I couldn’t wait to make it beautiful. So excited.  It was going to look like the freakin’ cover of a Martha Stewart magazine.  I was so ramped up that I actually forgot that I have several barriers to this plan. 

1. Joe is not as interested in sock pictures as I am.  (This is something we’re working on in our marriage, but we’re not there yet.)

2. Joe is really only available for sock pictures about three minutes a day. Combined with the low priority he feels for sock pictures (see #1) this further reduces the window for artistic sock expression.

3. It is late January in Canada.  I have no idea where I was getting the idea of sun streaming in a window.  Whatever science says that the darkest days are in December is cracked.  It has to be now. The sun is starting to be something that we talk about in the past tense.

I have been three days trying to take this picture that I imagine, and nothing is working.  Can’t pin Joe down, or I do pin Joe down but it’s too dark for a proper sock picture, or Joe won’t put his feet the way that he does on the Martha Stewart magazine cover in my head… (That – by the way? That makes me want to scream "you did it once you can do it again" which is – I know, completely insane.  I don’t scream it.  I say nice things like "Maybe you could put your feet closer together honey.  Thanks!")  We’ve given the sock photo shoot (shut up. You know you have them at your house) tons of energy and it’s just not working- and it’s making me nuts.  Yesterday the sun almost came out for about three minutes and I tried to get Joe out of the bath fast enough for a sock picture and we missed it.  (I don’t think he tried very hard.  See #1)

In the interest of my sanity (and possibly Joe’s, because I really did try to haul a big naked wet guy out of a bath yesterday and ram socks on him in the living room) I’m giving up. It’s only making me hate Martha Stewart for setting the bar too high anyway.  Screw it. Hey everybody, look!  I finished a pair of socks for Joe.  I used a vintage sock book that I have, but the pattern has been republished in a Patons book – "Classics in Kroy"#922, if you can find it.

and STR lightweight in Joe’s colour "Meet Brown, Joe".

1.5 skeins, very big.  Long time to knit. Nice cables.

Better pictures forthcoming in June, when my husband won’t be any more co-operative, but at least there’s a chance that that big burning ball of fire in the sky will be around.  

292 thoughts on “Vivid Imagination

  1. After November, and until abou8t April, when the sun comes out here (Michigan), I announce it. “hey look, quick, the sun is out!” I’ll stop in the middle of class and announce it to my students (they know that I am weird).
    The socks are great, even without the feet!

  2. Those are some LONG socks! I think they look beautiful without the feet. Well styled. In the words of Tim Gunn, way to “make it work!”

  3. Perhaps he shouldn’t get to wear the socks until their gloriousness has been documented properly. Just a thought.

  4. The socks turned out beautifully! No matter that there are not feet included. 🙂 The cables show well anyway and the colourway is perfect for a guy. I am having difficulty with the image in my mind of little you trying to haul big naked fellow outta the tub….. trying not to think about it…….

  5. The SOCKS are lovely. You need a gold medal.
    And by the way, I am a dedicated fan of your blog…I am crushed when I check for a daily posting, and alas, there is none.
    Then it would be a dark and gloomy day. From south of the (your) border.

  6. “…I imagined it so vividly that I believe it really happened.”
    There are TWO of us in this house that do that – and we both have our own versions. Colossal collisions of our own realities. Makes for exciting times around here – but we can say without a doubt that life is never dull.

  7. wow. they are BEAUTIFUL. and I am sure that Joe’s feet are beautiful, too! Can’t wait until June and the feeted pictures.

  8. OMG!! And I too have imaginary perfectly logical conversations that never turn out like I dictated, such as who “volunteered” to make dinner last night, (7 pm and pasta to cook)! Loved the sock pattern and will seek it out for my Bill. I wish I could send you some Wyoming sunshine!
    Steph ;-}

  9. I think Martha has an arrangment with the sun, it comes out whenever she demands it. Then there is the whold team of set designers and models that ask “how high?” when she says jump.
    Socks look great, now I need to go find that pattern.

  10. I think all of us as knitters should understand, and every single one of us who is on Ravelry, or blogs, or whatever, should take a photo holiday when it’s winter where we are.
    They are beautiful socks, Joe’s lucky to have you and them, and I’ll love seeing them again when there’s enough sunshine to adequately show off their loveliness.
    You’re a rockstar.

  11. I didn’t have any better luck getting a Glorious Cover-Ready Photo of the hat I knit my husband. And in December/January, he wears it a lot.
    I blame the sun for this.

  12. You just put a smile on my face and made me giggle. That is one of the reasons why I love your blog. The socks are beautiful, the sun still shines (come visit Southern California, the rain ran away and now it’s sunny) all will be well.

  13. Hahaha, we totally have sock photo shoots at our house too. Many, many sock photo shoots, with multiple takes. Fortunately my husband understands the desire to get a good photo, even if he doesn’t understand why the subject of the photo must be his socks. 😉

  14. I guess its not surprising that those socks in the booklet are photographed of foot mannequins. Maybe you could find some ?

  15. Sun? What’s that? Haven’t seen it here in Iowa for over 10 days now. The socks look great! Good to know that I’m not the only one who has conversations all planned out in my head, only to find the other person didn’t have the same script.

  16. Alas, my conversations are mostly with myself. That they don’t turn out the way I’d scripted them… well… let’s just not go there, ok?
    Lovely socks. I’m sure that Joe will wear them and love them, and some day when you least expect it he will prop his sock-clad feet up in an elegantly casual way, and the sun will shine through the windows and illuminate the cables, and it will be the prefect Martha Stewart moment.
    If it were at my house, there would be no camera available. Anywhere.

  17. I agree with Trish, a stunt double! Of course, finding a double for those feet will be a feat (couldn’t resist)

  18. Curious about the name of the color — are these socks really Joe’s first encounter with brown? Is he a blue/gray/green guy like the man in this house?

  19. Have you considered drugging him during the day (a day when the sun is out)? You’ll have to be fairly crafty though and possibly have Ken over to help.
    You need to drug Joe so he falls asleep in the living room. Then you can pop the socks on, use some wires or something to place his feet just so, let the sun shine in and grab your picture. Like I said, it’s complicated and I think you’ll need someone to move his feet while you get the pictures just right.

  20. Ah, yes, the sock photo shoot. We have the knitting photo shoots here too. Mostly my husband puts up with it, but I have found that if I really want nice pictures, I have to get my 7-year-old to model things. He is willing to pose in whatever way I ask him to, wearing whatever I put on him (lacy scarves, pink hats, whatever), for 30 minutes at a time if need be so that I can get exactly the right picture. Guess that wouldn’t work for man-size socks though, huh?

  21. Love love love this post! I too have perfectly eloquent discussions play out in my head that go nothing like I planned in real life. Usually, they are much shorter and with not nearly as many issues actually resolved. Does Joe read the blog comments? If so, Katharine’s idea to drug him for better pics might just backfire into Joe preparing more of the meals to avoid drugging. It’s a win-win!

  22. Don’t hate on Martha. Remember, she has a staff of thousands to make her things look good.

  23. They are lovely. I too have a husband (with size 13 feet) who appreciates receiving hand knit socks, but doesn’t like to pose in them for the blog. He says that if everybody sees them on the blog, they will start to appreciate hand knit socks and thus cut into my time for knitting them for him by demanding their own. This may be true, but I think it’s a cop-out. He has requested kilt hose now, and I told him that if I’m going to invest in the time to make them, I’m blogging them and he sure as hell will pose for pictures. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

  24. You don’t need the sun! Those socks shine all by themselves! They are beautiful!

  25. Can’t wait to see how many posters ask what a chesterfield is.
    Lovely socks sun or no sun. 🙂

  26. Just as you construct scripts in your head (hey! I do that, too…), I also construct visions. Right now, I’m picturing a big naked guy in those lovely socks, and sun is pouring in my window instead of the gloomy, grey rain that’s really there. Thanks, Joe! (…nice tush…)

  27. Looks just exactly like the magazine cover I have in my mind. And if I tried to haul my husband out of the bath? – we wouldn’t have sock pictures either!

  28. i do this all the time – i imagined this beautiful scrapbook i was going to make for my friend and she would oooh and aaaah over it. what came out was so horrid she laughed when i gave it to her. she still liked the pictures just not what i did with them =)
    hope the sun comes out soon and your hubby develops a passion for sock photography!

  29. Socks, gawjiss
    Mental picture of our curly headed little harlot hauling big wet hubs in to living room, jamming socks on his feet, priceless!!!!
    I’ll let you know when I’m done giggling.

  30. Gotta say, the image of a big wet naked guy being dragged through the house to model socks in the sunshine is one that will stick with me! Lovely socks, by the way.

  31. No plan survives contact with the enemy. Well, that’s my experience anyway!
    Great socks – I can imagine feet in them.

  32. I’m am completely with yu on this one. I also tend to write scripts for the fantasy family I wish I had. Me: “Look, darling, I just finished this absolutely fabulous pair of socks for you. There have been knitted with every bit of love I possess in my being and are an outward sign of my undying devotion. Please try them on so that I can see how much you love them.” Him or child: “I’m pretty busy right now. Throw them over there and I’ll try them on later. Right after this football game and the one after it are over. Maybe. Can you grab me another beer while you are up?”
    I blame Martha. I blame Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep. I blame Julia Child. I blame Donna Reed and Harriet Nelson. All of them – for falsely raising my expectations.

  33. In my imagination my latest picture included my family wearing the matching socks I made them for Christmas. Problem is I didn’t get my husbands finished and the thought of ‘making’ them do this when I had already asked them to help clean up the house for the unplanned Christmas dinner we were hosting the next day was just too much. (longest sentence ever!) In my mind it was lovely.
    I did finish the socks only after kids went back to school!

  34. You could get Joe to go to sunny Manitoba with you, where the sky is the most amazing colour of blue, and the sun shines with beautiful invigorating light, and you daren’t inhale in January because you’ll freeze your nostrils (and maybe even your lungs). Then take your pictures. He might decide to cooperate in Toronto rather than going to all that trouble. Hey, winter is 1/3 over!
    Marlyce in Windsor.

  35. I imagine things that way too. Sometimes I only figure out a long time later that the conversation was only in my head and never actually took place. Or sometimes I’m surprised that I don’t actually own that big house in town, despite the fact that have a highly detailed plan for converting it to a bed & breakfast, complete with menus. 8P

  36. You can’t aspire to be an artist and then blame yourself for having artistic vision. You can, however, blame everybody else on the planet (coughJoecough)for not falling in line with that vision. By the way, I can see the photo you imagined and it’s gorgeous. As are the socks. (And if you’re going to say things like “big naked wet guy” you can’t blame us for having a few visions of our own. Does Joe know you said that? Serves him right.)

  37. I have always been tempted to take a cue from all the d-i-y ducttape dummies out there, and try it with socks. You’d wind up with poseable models that are always available (your problem) and you wouldn’t have to hunt people down for fittings (my main problem).

  38. oh dear…just one thing, by the time the sun is out in June we don’t wear socks. We wear sandals.

  39. First, even Martha Stewart doesn’t get things to look that way. She has an army of minions who do things like that for her, and each minion is in charge of one tiny detail. Therefore, you, as one single talented person, have no chance to emulate what doesn’t exist anyway.
    Second, even without a model and a seraphic beam of sunlight, those are damn fine socks. Be proud!

  40. Beautiful cabled socks (Even with no model). I know how it is. My family groans and disperses quickly when I get the camera out for snapshots, nevermind posed photos. Love the vintage pattern cover in the photo with the beautiful sock.

  41. P.S. I think it goes without saying, my opinion is that trying to make other people appreciate these things is too tricky. But that’s why we’re artists, right? Because no one (but other artists) really gets it. 😉

  42. Steph, I laughed hysterically at the image of “a big, wet, naked guy” in cabled socks, posing in the red-and-neutral living room. You don’t have to take the picture; it’s vivid enough in my imagination.
    I hear you, in your digressions. Either we’re living the same life (which we’re clearly not) or you’ve put your finger on the essence of the human condition, again.

  43. Yes, we have sock photo shoots at my house, and hats, and gloves, it goes on and on. I can never predict what my husband will get on board with though. Hanging a sheet over the wall in the kitchen and re-orienting all the track lighting to properly photograph a shawl with formal dress, make up and hair was totally ok. Driving 45 minutes to take pictures of a pair of gloves next to a local castle was not ok. Seriously, which of those was really more time and labor intensive?

  44. I had a color called “My Husband’s Socks” with brown, cream and black, once. Every knitter who bought it told me how much their husband loved it… except the husband of my friend, who loved it… and his wife wouldn’t knit him socks (long story and big feet). So he bought it and learned to knit socks 🙂

  45. I suspect the naked, wet Joe-in-socks photo shoot wouldn’t have been quite what you were planning either…….
    My partner just wound 15 skeisn of yarn into balls for me. He knows I want to take glove pictures with him as the model and is determined to get out of it.

  46. If I would not miss her so much I would offer to send my cat Miss Kharma up to wish you some sun. She is convinced that if she stares out the window and wishes hard enough the sun will come out. The sun comes up and over the hills a little late in the morning here (after 8:00) so it has happened for her a couple of times. Sometimes it seems to happen through only the force of her will on cloudy days when the sun breaks through the clouds for a short time late in the morning. It is so funny to see her sitting on the edge of the bed staring out the window very intently. She will turn and look at us with the most puzzled look on her face when the sun fails to materialize. The weather is not cooperating for her this week, but hope springs eternal. Great looking socks, even without the cooperation of the sun.

  47. Wow. Look at those feet, swathed in stitches made of Pure Love. So cozy! So warm!
    By the way, the line at our house is, “If I can take the trouble to knit it, you can take the trouble to model it!” Really, if it took me three weeks to knit the suckers, he can give me three hours to model them. Can you feel the warm love? 🙂

  48. I’m sorry that the sun wouldn’t cooperate so you could get the exact photo you want — but they sure are lovely socks anyway!! I just finished knitting a pair for my boyfriend who wears a US size 15 shoe … UGH. That sure is a lot of knitting!

  49. Your blog post never fail to make me think that my house is almost “normal”. I put my kids to work taking the sock photos. A few days ago my daughter said she feels like a photographer for the wicked witch of the west. I think she was referring to my socks and not my personality 🙂

  50. Pretty socks. Good luck getting Joe to pose, I don’t even try to get mine to pose for anything!
    And, the snow here in Minneota is being all glisteny, and I see shadows, and I have to squint. There might be a Sun-Like-Thing showing in the sky briefly right now.

  51. I often practice conversations in my head, especially when its going to be a tough one. I used to get upset when people didn’t actually say the things I had imagined they would say but then I just decided I was just better at writing dialogue than they were at speaking.
    The socks look great- I just love Joe’s Brown

  52. Oh, Thank you. I needed the laugh.
    Taking control of a conversation by imagining what they are going to say has never worked for me either.
    The sun is shining here in Richmond, BC. The weather man predicted a week of solid rain, I suspect in the futile hope that it would snow on the mountains that the Olympians need to sport on. We will breathe in and out and pray for snow.
    Beautiful socks. Congradulations on finishing one hundred thousand million stitches.

  53. Technical (copyright) question. I have the Patons 922 “Classics in Kroy” booklet those socks are in; I think I scored the last copy in existence, the last time you mentioned making a sock from it (at least a year ago).
    Since it is now out of print, not available, would it be acceptable to make a copy for people who want it? Or should I direct that question to the Patons people?

  54. Nice socks. Congrats on the DWB/MSF total!
    Wasn’t there supposed to be cake? I heard something about cake….

  55. Regarding knit photo shoots–so true! I knit various mittens/gloves for family for Christmas. After opening, made everyone pose w/mittens over sheet of decorative paper for my Ravelry site. They think I’m cracked.

  56. I don’t think the sun shines for Martha either, I think she sends one of her many minions outside to hold a big lamp… Here in the Pacific Northwest we’re supposed to see the sun sometime this week, I’m not holding my breath.

  57. If it’s any comfort, getting pictures of baby afghans WITH THE BABY is no easier. You ask somebody to take a picture of the baby and afghan together, and what you get is a picture of the baby with a tiny bit of the afghan showing in a lower corner!!! You invest all those hours crafting a beautiful afghan, and the parents think, for some reason, the baby is more important. Sigh.
    My imaginary conversations never work out, either. Perhaps that’s just as well, as many of them are frantic confessions/explanations of mistakes to mollify someone outraged by them, while in reality the person I’m trying to placate says something like, “Oh, it’s no big deal.”

  58. I’ll have you know that I feel your pain on the imagination – I do it ALL the time. And I would totally be shrieking, “Just put your feet like you’re supposed to! Like you did that one time!” totally unaware that “that one time” really only happened inside my head.

  59. I completely empathize! I tried to do a sock photo shoot with my dad taking the pictures, and turned into an utter nervous wreck trying to get him to capture my vision. (Stupid automatic camera! Can’t do an easy forced perspective shot…) I finally reminded myself that indeed, everyone was trying their best to help and make me happy, and perhaps if I took a breath and tried something else, everything would be OK. We got some great pictures. Not what I’d envisioned, but instead something different and unexpected.

  60. I understand. Although in my case, I have the opposite problem. Every time I try to take a decent picture of my knitting (albeit, with sun actually streaming through window. That part goes right), I usually end up with either a cat or a child in the photo.
    On one notable occasion, cat decided to model the knitwear. Fortunately, she showed off the shawlette to it’s best as she is black and the garment was hot pink.

  61. Dude – I photographed my stash today for Ravelry. We have had some nice post-storm sunny days here. But today, the day Mr. Happy is home to look after the Mogrunt, today, the day I decide to finally document my stash for posterity (and to help curb my spending), TODAY WE HAVE A FREAKING RAINSTORM AND FOG COMING OFF THE SNOW AND GRAY SKIES AND DAMMIT, I JUST PUT ON THE FLASH AND SAID, “EFF THIS!”

  62. Nice socks! Poor Joe! I can relate to relaxing in a hot tub of water and being hurried out.

  63. I’m impressed. My son-in-law would really appreciate hand knit socks for his US size 13 feet but I’m a slow knitter and can only imagine knitting them would be like forcing myself to slog through reading “The Old Man and the Sea” in high school.

  64. This made me laugh, as something similar happened at my house this week. I’m knitting a sweater for my sister, and using my daughter as a model. I had her try it on – agian – and she told me, “Hey Mom – you should get one of those dummy things!” I looked at her and said, “Yes, that would be cool, but for now, I just have YOU.”

  65. I had the same problem trying to photograph my 2 year old modeling the sweater I knit for him. He’ll say “cheese” and smile/sit still for .5 seconds at a time. Then he’s back to playing. Oh, and while he’s saying “cheese” he moves his face as close to the camera as possible, negating the effectiveness of trying to focus before asking him to smile. You can see what I finally settled on for at my blog.

  66. Ok so I know a guy who makes commercials and does documentary type interviews and he has a light that he puts up that has masking tape in a grid pattern and when he shines it on his subject it look like lght streaming from a window. Sorry that was a big run on. Anywho they are exceptional socks! I love the color name!

  67. I have a fork and spoon that my Nonna in Sardinia, Italy gave to me when I was engaged. At the time, I was lukewarm about them… thought they were cool, there was a story with the war that she told me when she gave them to me…
    If she only knew that now when I use them, I have this whole scene in my head… a chapter in a novel maybe…
    I think that when we give things to people we *do * have this whole scene in our head… but actually it is the receiver that has the scene in *their* head once they realize the love that is in that item…
    Joe’s socks look great!! 😀

  68. T’would probably be easier to get one of your girls to date a guy with size 13 feet and then bribe him to have his feet photo’d in the socks. Lovely manly socks, by the way…

  69. So I am not the only one with that disorder (and also the sub disorder)? Huh. On the bright side, the vivid imagination could be a possible advantage of the this disorder, as I was able to completely picture the wonder of the socks with the brown and the red and the sledding….. So, no worries, I got it all anyway.
    But sure, I’ll be here to listen about the trials of putting wool socks on Joe’s feet in the blazing heat of summer. It’ll be fun.

  70. My husband and kids are always entertained by sock photo shoots and my 12 year-old daughter (mostly) happily cooperates. She’s less cooperative if she finds out that the socks are not for her. (shh, don’t tell her yet!) I’d love to make you a pair of my sock blockers, they won’t make it look like Martha does but, they are always cooperative models. And you can pick a pretty color, colour, what have you.
    kinda like a crack dealer… “here, have a free sample…”

  71. I invent those conversations all the time. In fact, I had one in my head when I gave my granddaughter the American Girl doll she yearned for at Christmas. To my utter delight, she followed the script in my head like she was using cue-cards. It was the highlight of my Christmas! She is very insightful, or I have been reduced to thinking like a seven-year-old. Either way, I loved it.
    And the socks are great too!

  72. I just emailed this post to my husband. I love it! He will always take a few pictures of me with my FO, but hates being the subject of the pictures. (He also starts to think I’m a little loony when I want him to take more than a few shots that are “the same.”)

  73. Well, *I* am laughing madly at the picture of poor Joe being dragged out of his bath. My husband, however, is sending his sympathies, based on his own personal experiences in the sock-modelling realm.

  74. I just went and had a hot chocolate, after pretending I’d been sledding. It tasted like those brown socks look – warm, sweet, cozy. Those are lovely socks,(love the color!) and handily rendered. And if you can’t set Joe’s priorities straight after making him wear them while he’s all naked and wet, nothing will work. Doesn’t change how wonderful the socks are, nor how wonderful you are for making them for him!

  75. I took finished sock photos once by myself. The socks were on my feet; I was lying flat on my back with my feet in the air. My feet were posed just so in the only shaft of natural light in my home. It took about 40 shots to get a decent pic. Complete pain in the hoo haw. Next time, I went to the yarn store, borrowed her mannequin ‘foot’ and did much better in much less time. It’d be worth the investment to get a fake foot. Seriously.

  76. I think the Martha Stewart photographers make the ideas in their heads work with a lot of expensive equipment… Including lighting. Because if Martha wants a big blazing ball of light in the sky, the photographer sure isn’t one to deny her.
    For the record, now my mental image is of a big guy in the bath, getting wool socks rammed on his feet sticking out of the water in a light filled room, clearly relaxed and natural. I’m sure Martha could pull that scene off in print.

  77. Hmmm, I’m going to have to keep that color in mind next time I do a BMFA order. Hubster wears a US 11.5 wide and will only approve “solid, dark” colors. Best friend is no better with his size 12 ski feet. Someday, Hubster will get a new pair of socks. Someday. (and I think your improvised photo shoot is just fine!)

  78. I recognized that picture! It’s the same as the one in my hand knit Socks by Beehive. Series no. 37, (okay I just noticed there’s no cents sign on my keyboard, though there is a dollar sign) 30 cents

  79. My husband is still and forever waiting for a pair for his size 13 feet. I once made him an Aran with an 86″ wingspan and it fits him beautifully. If I had to make socks that type of big I can just picture snatching them off his feet and going, I DIDN’T give you permission to WALK on those!
    So, no socks. Joe is a lucky guy.

  80. There is something to be said for sock photos where the socks are modelled by sock blockers.
    Sock blockers don’t argue or need convincing.
    Sock blockers are around when you need them.
    Sock blockers will wait until the sun makes a brief appearance.
    Sock blockers make your stitches look all nice and uniform and your socks perfectly formed.
    Sock blockers show off side-of-the-leg cables beautifully.
    Sock blockers don’t require an apology if you get a little too demanding of their posing ability.

  81. I’m not sure which is funnier – the post itself or all the comments about the big wet naked guy! 🙂
    Regardless, the socks are beautiful! Maybe that should be “handsome” and “manly”.
    I’m not sure I could get my guy to wear them, though. He’d object to the non-solid, non-plain-ness of them. Makes him sound Amish, doesn’t it? He’s not, but he’d definitely prefer solid black stockinette. On the plus side, he doesn’t appear to *want* me to knit him socks, and if he changes his mine, he only wears a size 9.

  82. I remember being in Sweden in mid April, just as the ice was beginning to break up in the water, when suddenly there was a day of sunshine. Every man, woman, child and grannie was stretched out in the park with their skirts hiked up to their heinies (or trousers removed – it was Sweden, after all) basking in the first day of sunshine. Joe would fit right in and you could click away! Love the vintage sock pattern-fab cable. They look great.

  83. Reading about your attempts to take proper sock photos made me laugh out loud (I’m at work). I can just imagine what would happen if I ever tried something similar.

  84. I so script write conversations and confrontations in my head. And you’re right. They NEVER go exactly as planned. At all. It’s so unfair. It’s like the other person has their own thoughts and opinions or something. Harruph!
    But… gorgeous socks! I love the colorway!

  85. Ok, so you take your writing seriously, and you take your blog seriously, and it is one of the most engaging and interesting and funny ones I’ve read – you need to get some photography equipment, like the lights some people have mentioned. Because the pictures – and you take great ones – are a big part of the blog! Have you ever met any photographer who does any serious work who doesn’t have a bunch of extra equipment? You need one of those screens to reflect light (maybe even a big sheet?) and a lamp on a stand. You would buy the proper tools if you were KNITTING your photos!!! 😀

  86. Is this going to be one of those times when the comments surprise you? Like, the post is all about conversations in your head, unrealistic expectations, marital sock photo shoot wars; but we’re all saying, “Nice socks!” Well, we are knitters, after all.

  87. The socks are awesome! You have articulated beautifully my problem in life. I actually had someone tell me once that in order for me to find satisfaction in life, I should just lower my expectations. Hmm… I’m not there yet.

  88. I was going to commiserate about the daylight thing right up to the point when I went and researched it. Today your day (the bit with daylight in it, even if there was no sun) was a whole hour and four minutes longer than mine. I now feel really badly done to and will probably whinge about it all week.
    My next blog post (as usual) will contain flash photography and/or blurry photos. At least in the winter I have an excuse.

  89. Ummm!! When that “big ball of fire” is in the sky, will Joe be wearing wool socks? Your photo opportunity may be more limited in June than it is now. On the other hand(or foot), he might be a socks and sandals person. I don’t know. You’ve never said. I have one of the “old” Patons books, but mine is #148-Gifts and Accessories. I KNOW that if I knit the golf club covers from the front cover, my golfing sons would call the men in the little white coats to come and take mummy(yes, I’m British) away. Cheers and red wine, Hazel.

  90. What you need are fake feet. Like shoe stores used in boots to help keep their shape. That way Joe could finish his bath in peace and maybe not be inclined to lock the door, and you could pose the feet any way you wanted to, AND if you need to yell at the feet for posing badly, nobody gets hurt.

  91. Those cables are EXTRA nice. Almost a shame to hide them underneath pant legs. Do you think you could get Joe to wear them with….
    No, I gues not.

  92. Sock blockers are way more cooperative and they don’t argue with you. And they’re not wet in the bath tub when your 3-minute window of sunshine happens. Now the question is finding a pair of sock blockers large enough to accommodate your husband’s feet…

  93. And they are such nice socks, too. Didn’t he knit you a sock once? He ought to know how much work goes into one of these on a small scale, and you did two on a huge scale. Remind him of that.
    That and borrow a worklight from his tool area and pretend it’s the sun. You can even place it in front of a window so the light is coming from the right direction.

  94. ROFL!!!! The socks are gorgeous; the commentary is, as always, a joy to read. I’m the knitter, and I’m the one who neglected to take traveling sock pictures when I was in South Africa! Great place, lots and lots of sun and gorgeous ocean! Now I’m back home in Canton, NY, and I’m trying to get into the spirit of winter. I love winter and home, but it’s hard to be in the spirit when you’ve just left Eden (aka Port Elizabeth).

  95. I do the EXACT same thing. I always make up conversations for various events and interactions that are in my future and then NOTHING goes as I’ve planned. Sometimes I also feel like it’s already happened, which I know isn’t true, but then creates mass confusion later…

  96. Hmmm, now I have an unfortunate image of a big naked wet guy only wearing socks in my head. Thankfully, I don’t know Joe.
    I like the socks regardless of their perceived photographic shortcomings. Keep those sunny pictures in your head for winter warmth.

  97. And this is why I normally knit things for myself. I can usually convince my husband to take a photo of me or at least use the gorillapod or the bathroom mirror (which sucks, but at least has tradition behind it) to get pictures.

  98. You need one of those duct-tape replications (or a pair of them) of Joe’s feet. Then you can pose them wherever and whenever you like. If you can get him to sit still long enough for it, that is. The socks are supremely awesome anyway.

  99. Thanks for making me smile on a day that doesn’t have many smiles. Beautiful socks and I love that colorway! Martha has nothing on you.

  100. I feel your pain. My son wouldn’t hold his feet still for a sock photo shoot either. Dammit, he’s nearly 2 – he should know better by now!

  101. Well – the problem in June will be that it will be too warm to put those socks on! I washed all my handknit socks a few weeks ago thinking I could finally take pictures of all of them with my daughter serving as model. No such luck – she’s back to school and I have nothing but a pile of clean socks. Really. You’ll just have to believe that I have 13 pair of socks since I have no photograhpic evidence…

  102. Beautiful Socks! Love the color and love the cables. I’ve given up on my family (except, to be fair, my husband will now make the bed and scrub toilets without being asked). As for mad arseholes, I had one in my life who really made me laugh — a lot. That’s why I put up with the shafting. Now that I’ve moved on, I find myself thinking about her and missing the laughs. . .

  103. So glad to know I’m not the only one writing the script for what I want others to say. The socks are handsome and I totally understand the whole under appreciation husbands have for our desire for a perfect Martha Stewart picture.

  104. You just need some of those mannequin feet and you won’t have to worry about uncooperative recipients.

  105. Oh dear. As I wiped the tears out of my eyes (it was funny enough reading about poor, wet Joe, but tears came when I imagined myself and hubby in bath, struggling to get socks on wet feet), it occured to me that if you let him wear those beauties until the sun shines again, and then take a photo, you know the shot is bound to show wear spots over the big toe or something. Life never gives us the perfection we are so adept at imagining.

  106. I’m still laughing at the thought of photographing anything (least of all BROWN socks) in natural light, in Ontario, in January! You ARE some freaky, delusional optimist (snort) ((sorry))
    He probably doesn’t even appreciate that the colourway was named for him, does he?
    Crap, I don’t know why I’m laughing, I’ve almost finished a pair of socks that I’ll have to photograph. Sigh, at least there’s snow. That usually works for light in a pinch.

  107. Beautiful socks! Nice photos. Martha Stewart went to jail for making people pose in socks until they got the picture right, so I think you should thank your lucky stars that things didn’t go as planned.
    Thanks again for the funny and insightful post. At this point I’m more shocked when I do agree with another person on anything…whatever that says about me is probably not too great.

  108. The problem with painting fabulous pictures with your words is that we all begin to imagine the things you are writing about as if we were seeing the picture — not so great when Joe showed up with nothing on but a pair of socks!

  109. I hate to confess, but your post made me happy, in a twisted, selfish, winter in Vermont way. I have been working on a sweater and hating all of you cute/petite types, I’m making the Twist Collective pattern Wisteria. It’s gorgeous. It’s a lot of knitting to cover 6ft and broad shoulders.
    So ha! You can knit 2 sweaters for every one of mine but you just had to knit some gigantic socks and can’t get a model. My long arms, broad chest (mostly bone), and big feet say, “Go karma!”
    Waiting for the sun in Vermont….

  110. While I haven’t considered myself an optimist since Pollyanna was a child, I do prefer the term “realist” in describing myself. My husband on the other hand calls me a cynic.
    That being said, that first paragraph describes my thought process almost exactly, especially in terms of people I know. I guess maybe I do still have some Pollyanna in me after all.
    You have heard of the definition of insanity, right? It’s doing the same thing (or rather in my case, saying the same thing) over and over again and expecting a different result (like perhaps someone actually listening to what I’ve said and then actually following said requests. At the time I’ve said them). I know, gasp.

  111. It’s that same, silly, in-my-head optimisim that screws up a perfectly good sweater pattern. Or maybe it’s the pattern is so screwed that it doesn’t match what’s going on in my brain. Either way, in the end I have no sweater and a head full of hurt.
    Btw-I think it’s safe to say the Blog loves your Joe regardless of his distaste for sock photo’ing.

  112. My boys (7 and 10) have learned that if I am doing a child-size project to run, very quickly, and hide as I complete it, unless they want to be unwilling models. I don’t think I’ve pulled them out of a bath, though, we encourage that kind of thing around here with two dirty little boys. 😉

  113. I wanna talk about cake!
    er, I mean, great socks, and I certainly know what you mean about things not going the way they do in your head.

  114. Those are beautiful socks, and you made two of them. Wow. I’ve been making one worsted sock at a time in any handy superwash (for wearing in boots) lately. I get more socks sooner; I’ll make the mates later. And thanks for the mental picture of dragging Joe out of the bath. He looks nice wet (in my imagination), also confused.
    I’m glad I’m not the only one who imagines how things will go and then is incensed when no one else knows their lines or movements. Am I not the one in charge here?

  115. Fun blog. Sorry I can’t read all the comments, but I have a related question. My DH wears the hat I knitted him 30 years ago, out of leftover yarn from a long dead sweater. My knitting is so much better now, I wish he would wear a newer hat that also looks better–but nope. There must be something comfy about the poufy brim and ripply crown??? If I disappear it, would it make me a bad person? Any advice? Please?! It is too old to ravel and reknit.

  116. Because I am weird, at this time of year every couple of days I go to this site:
    and I get a local sunrise/sunset table, and I observe how much more daylight there is now than there was a month ago, and how much more there will be a month from now. Needless to say, the numbers don’t change from year to year, much less from day to day, and after years of this weird behavior I practically have the whole table memorized — but for some reason it comforts me to go and look at it.
    I was once able to get my dad to model socks in his living room.
    We even had sunshine coming through the windows, in Maine in February.
    Joe’s socks are splendid. I hope that now and then while he’s soaking in hot water he contemplates his amazing good fortune.

  117. I totally do that conversation rehearsal in my head too. And it NEVER goes like I hope. In fact, the more rehearsal, the worse it goes. I always thought I was crazy, so glad I’m not the only one who does that.
    I just took one of my best knitting photos ever, in my office with crappy light, with the hat laid on top of scrap paper for a background, with my iPhone camera. Go figure, I guess it was about the contrast, not the light. Who needs the sun, well for photography anyway.

  118. Today the sun is shinning in this part of Wisconsin, About time ! I am so sick of cold weather I could just puke.Hubby is a white sock person, short sleeved even in winter. Kids are the only ones that appreciate knit things in this house, well maybe the cats. As to holding conversations in your head, happens all the time here.Hey, I’ve got to talk to someone who doesn’t talk back.Beautiful socks, lucky guy. oh yes a no.2 needle will open most bathroom door locks.

  119. Perspective, Steph, perspective. Martha Stewart has a freakin’ multi-million (or is that billion?) dollar corporation going there. She doesn’t do 1% of the stuff she says all us normal folks can do: she has a TEAM of people that she PAYS to do it. That’s right: a team of paid flunkies to do all of that work.
    Bar is only as high as it is because there are eighteen-thousand-four-hundred-ninety-three people raising it.

  120. Gorgeous socks…. How about pics next to a nice fire… the flames would give beautiful lighting and maybe Joe would be a little more compliant if you gave him beer or whisky 😉

  121. I, too, have had visions of the perfect sock photo op – only to have them foiled by my son’s amazing lack of cooperation.
    He and his friends all flee the scene when they see me coming with a sock or whatever else I made. It’s common knowledge that they only have to stay away until the sun goes down, then they all come crawling back for snacks and MTV.
    Well, it’ll be summer soon and the sun will stay up longer, so all I have to do is be patient, and maybe hide in the bushes until they show up. If I scare them into a faint, I think it’ll be easier to get the sock shot.

  122. I wonder if it would work if we printed out those scripts and handed them out to our family members ahead of time? I especially like the “dirty room” script, and the “scrub the snot out of the bathroom” script. My older son’s bedroom is on permanent lockdown because it can be seen from the stairs and the sight gives me hives. And I can’t be sure, but I think the shower walls are moving.

  123. You know those duct tape dressmakers forms that people make? How about you make one (or two) of Joe’s feet. Then you needn’t haul him out of baths, etc, but have models handy when the sun is ready.

  124. I really don’t know why I’m commenting, since I feel a bit of an obligation to make it real witty and snappy for you to keep reading after the above 145 comments. (Aren’t you tired of us yet?)
    But anyway, I finally crawled out from under my rock and saw Julie & Julia the other day, and I had a revelation. Julia, while nearly perfect, was the anti-Martha. She spilled things, cut herself, burned herself, made substitutions, and said, “Serve it anyway, head held high, never apologize!” (paraphrasing). Well, by golly, where Martha set the bar high, Julia said “To hell with the bar!”. And so, I offer Julia’s philosophy to you. Were Julia desiring to photograph Paul’s socks, she’d have done her best, taken the picture and then “laid” him down for his post-prandial nap. Happy Paul. Happy Julia. Good-enough sock pictures. Try it.

  125. Well, I think Joe missed out. Lets see……. on the couch, in the living room, with only socks on, and an excited wife (with or without the camera). As a husband, I can say that I could motivated by this very easily!

  126. We have sunshine in Texas and this weekend we’ll even make it cold enough to make you feel at home.
    So ya’ll come on down ;o)

  127. 5 skeins!!!!!!! OMG! That is a LOT of yarn for socks. WHOA!
    I’m the same way. I have whole conversations in my head….they rarely go that way in real life.

  128. Yep, in our house he doesn’t get the socks (or sweater or sometimes dinner) until the photoshoot is done. It’s a bit like taking them hostage, but it works around here. Mostly.

  129. My husband is (usually) equally uncooperative in my imaginings. Two nights ago I dreamed I was in a bike race and my husband resolutely refused to attend, because I am too slow and it wouldn’t be interesting to him. Yes, I woke up mad at him, and no he didn’t get it.

  130. This morning I would have gladly sent you some sunshine from FL as it woke me up far earlier than I wanted. Trade ya, sunshine, for snow (some) on Christmas (and only that day, for a few hours, in the morning, before I have to be active outside of my home). I’ll gladly ship you sunshine whenever you need it though. Too late for my snow, but I’ll still send sun if you’d like, we seem to have plenty to spare.

  131. REeality bites!!!
    Then there is the sock knitter (me)who lives in southern California — my friends and relatives SAY they lve my socks!
    Reality –Martha is not married anymore!

  132. Oh, and the socks are fantastic. You must really love Joe to make those gigantic works of art for him. Lucky man, mine isn’t getting socks again until he can prove that he really wants them, and swears that he will actually wear them should I decide to grace him with another pair.

  133. I hear you on the dark-in-January-in-Ontario thing. I’m having one hell of a time getting decent pictures of anything these days. Does this Janruary seem darker this year, or is it just me?

  134. Lovely socks; too funny mental image of you trying to haul Joe out of the bath. Gotta ask-just how big are his feet? I have a son in law who wears size 16 1/2 EEE shoes, so I understand the whole large foot problem.

  135. They look like chocolate cake!!! *grins manically at not very funny joke, particularly manic as I’m alone with my computer screen*
    I understand. I took 50+ shots of a shawl trying to get the perfect images. I especially liked my attempts to take pictures that would show it ‘waving gently in the breeze.’ I have approximately ten shots of a kind of pastel-y blury, thing getting whipped around on the branch of an avocado tree. I finally held the branch and waited for a lull and took the shot. *sigh*

  136. The socks are gorgeous. They look even better without feet in them than they looked on your arm. And that was already pretty good!
    Maybe Kinnear him wearing them sometime?

  137. Made me laugh as I can picture my DH being just as uncooperative. BTW, the socks are great.

  138. The socks are indeed visions of cabled loveliness but I am now crushingly disappointed at the absence of a big naked wet man in that photo.

  139. I can so commiserate with you! Especially that part about constantly being surprised when things don’t go as imagined………over and over again!Beautiful socks!

  140. Oh, man. I have practice conversations too. The *worst* are the practice fights. I once took a month getting hopped up to fight with my husband about how I hate living in the suburbs, and his response was “Yeah, me too.”
    Didn’t even get to have my fight, the jerk.

  141. It’s a guy thing.
    Your socks are wonderful.
    The sun will shine.
    But, its a guy thing.

  142. Part 2: I have these visions of this big naked Canadian running down the January streets with his darling wife chasing him: a camera in one hand and waving the lovely brown cabled socks above her head–like a lariat.
    Does this qualify as a new Olympic Sport?
    Part 1: When my four girls left home??? I found it was ME all along who made the messes!

  143. Ah, I feel your pain. I have made the DH a couple pairs of simply lovely, snuggly, felted wool slippers that he always adores and wears them so much he wears through them in the cold NH winter (What is this “sun” you speak of?) and asks for a new pair every year. You would think he would be happy to show them off in a photo shoot! But I have resorted to pretty much hiding behind the couch with my camera and jumping out to take a picture when he settles in on the couch. Why can’t men just understand that knits need to be photographed!!!??

  144. First and foremost, a belated thanks for the many hours of smiles these past years. I don’t twitter, but actually prefer the Blog. But that’s just me..
    Second, LOVE the socks. For someone trying to finish her first “acceptable” pair, kudos to you! And, just a thought, but perhaps Joe might be persuaded to pose for a photo shot with the gansey (she says with a smile..)
    Presbytera? Rams?

  145. Haven’t seen the sun in St. Louis since Thanksgiving. I have never loved my knitted things more! So cold too. Yep. Gray and cold. My man has the same lovely trait as yours I’m afraid. As excited as he sees me get when I finish a fresh pair of socks for him, it’s never enough for him to stop what he’s doing, take off what he’s wearing, try them on, admire, and tell me what an amazing thing they truly are. All 17,000 stitches. So we blog and turn to our knit sibs for support.
    Your socks are just beautiful and I can’t stop looking at them, admiring them and marvelling at what a truly amazing thing they are. Does this count? Hope so.

  146. I totally get the imagined conversation. glad I’m not the only one. The socks still look like hot coco to me. lovely. Thanks.

  147. Hmmm…I’m thinking if you’d managed to get a photo of a big naked wet guy in socks, it wouldn’t have mattered what the lighting was like. Martha would still have been impressed.

  148. I read this to my husband and mentioned the first comment was “the socks are pretty.”
    His reply was “But that poor guy, being dragged dragged out of a warm tub, being told he has to put socks on nude, being propped around the living room nude, in January nude, in Canada….NUDE!!”
    Don’t worry he was properly punished for his inconsiderate think of your knitterly feelings.
    I also told him I am making a pair of socks for him… he stopped talking after that and went up stairs to his office and shut the door.

  149. “The only way to correct that is for me to go scrub the snot out of the bathroom without being asked and then keep it up for the rest of my life.”
    I’d settle for scrubbing the arse hairs off the toilet that seem to get deposited there every day.

  150. Um. Yes. That sounds rather exactly like my house. I, however, have a secret weapon. I have him convinced that he can’t actually have the socks to WEAR until I’ve gotten the pics I want for the blog/rav acct/pattern. It’s a fairly effective technique.
    Of course these days I’m just as likely to be wanting him to take pictures of my feet, which can have it’s own complications!

  151. Hmmm..Kristin Nicholas pays/bribes her daughter for knitting photo shoots, according to her blog. I don’t think the $10 will work for Joe, but perhaps beer? wine? bourbon?
    On the other hand, your photos of the socks make me want to purchase some yarn in that colorwa, and I rarely wear or knit browns.

  152. Giggle….
    Only my 7-year-old will model for me, and I never have daylight when needed. As for the carefully rehearsed conversations – the other party never gets the same script – bummer.

  153. I had the same lofty ambitions for my ravelry photos but… I got kindof lazy. weheartyarn has some very nice sock shots, maybe if you show them to Joe, he’ll be inspired. I’m inspired to go sledding and drink hot cocoa after. 🙂

  154. Beauty sox!! But dude, watch out what you wish for. Martha just may get wind of this blog entry and fly a photo crew up to toronto to camp in the living room and catch Joe in the act…of wearing his socks stark neked, wet, etc,etc….

  155. The socks look great but I’m wondering what you’re calling big. My 14 year old son wears a mens size 16 US ( that’s a size 52 for any europeans). No idea what the canadian translation to that is but Joes socks don’t seem even close to approaching that. I did make him Kai a pair of socks when he only wore a size 11 but he really could only wear them for about a day before they were too small! I figure a skein and a half would just get me over his ankle bone.

  156. You describe the picture from your imagination so vividly that I can see it in my mind, even without the actual photographic evidence. Great picture, great socks!

  157. The important thing is do they fit? And does he like them? If the answer to both is yes, then that’s fine with me.

  158. Okay, I’m also stuck on the image of a big naked wet pissed-off uncooperative guy standing around the living room wearing only socks. Joe will be so excited to know that thousands of knitters are imagining him naked! The big stud!

  159. I’m thinking you’re probably better off in the long run to NOT have a picture of a naked wet guy on your blog…I’m just thinking of the tendency search engines have of TOTALLY misinterpreting knitting terms……you just never know what sorts of searches your blog might start popping up in…..

  160. Those are gorgeous socks. And your description of winter makes me extremely glad I live in Texas. Where the sun shone today until it went down. And it was in the 50s. Although we have to deal with freakish weather in the sense that it was 50 today and it will be 20 on Thursday accompanied by an ice storm. Gives new meaning to the phrase “make hay while the sun shines”

  161. Steph? If Martha wants sunlight, she tells the director who tells the lighting guys who uncomplainingly (because it’s their job and they’re being paid for it) bring in extra spots and more lightmeters and the special gels and over the next few hours they work it all out with several light sources and even more types of reflectors and shades and voila – sunlight streaming through the windows, even though it’s 10 p.m. and raining.
    Joe would not sit still for all of that. I am sure of it. Never mind, it was still a good idea, and thanks to your writing skills you described it well enough for me to see it, too, and in my book that’s pretty much the same thing as photographing it.

  162. I’ve always wondered this, but what size needles do you use for a sock? How many stitches do you normally cast on?Whats your gauge?

  163. Great socks! I recently completed a fabulous cabled hat for Warren and am experiencing the same issues. No sun! Cables don’t stand out! It’s black and everything looks all … black. Very nice though. He wears it a lot, but he won’t “pose”.

  164. What if you just asked Joe to rest his feet on the edge of the tub during his bath? Then you could put the socks on his feet, cross his ankles, and shoot away (from a careful angle, of course!). You still won’t have light, but really – at this time of year, it feels like there will never be sunshine again, so that part doesn’t really matter!

  165. I don’t manage to take lovely pictures either. I think the best I manage usually is “functional” “You can see what it looks like” rather than beautiful shot. It doesn’t stop me dreaming though!

  166. That part about Joe not like sock photos makes me think you (or someone close to you) could use it some day in a Personal Ad.
    SWF, age is merely a number, seeks M amenable to modeling for sock photos. Smaller feet a plus.

  167. What a hilarious post. Thanks for the big smile today, which I spent photographing 6 yards of handwoven yardage to enter into the Convergence yardage exhibit. Since I was using strobe lights, the sun streaming in the window was actually a problem. Sorry!

  168. I had to LAUGH at the comment about sock photo shoots! My kids dread the moment when I bind off a pair of socks. They know they are about to get sucked into the world of photography. And why settle for one possibly bad picture when you can get 15 different shots from every possible angle! Why didn’t you just put the socks on Joe when he was sleeping, shine the light over his feet, and go for it? heehee

  169. Well, this is what I think (or maybe I’m just imagining it… it seems ever so long ago):
    I think Joe is holding out for a gansey. Could be my imagination… but these are just socks (and they are amazingly wonderful, the color is delicious, and I’m hoping to graph out the cable for future reference, for about a hundred things)… You do socks all the time. How often do you do or even finish ganseys? Can’t blame him.
    Anyway, that’s my script and you know how that works.
    In West Michigan there is less sun that the northwest US. Very bleak. Only knitting to lift one’s spirits. Again, the power of knitting…

  170. I see some sun in those pictures!! The socks look great, I love the color and cable. My hubby has huge feet also and I have only managed to make him one pair. Probably because the first words out of his mouth after my labor of love was “they are a bit itchy.” Gah.

  171. Steph,
    Thanks for the chuckle as I imagined you trying to get Joe out of the tub for the shoot! Thanks for six years of the blog; you brighten my day and make me chuckle to myself on a regular basis!

  172. Dude I laughted as I imagine a big guy soaking wet trying on a pair of socks..however i do know how you feel (ny huby is the SAME WAY! My hubby also complains about his socks after I did a labor of love for him. My response to this is :
    Fine then you can knit your own socks!!Anyway the socks look great and I love the pattern!

  173. Martha would be proud – I like the layout – makes we want to look at the entire pattern book and touch the cables on the socks. Good job!:)

  174. Can’t beat the vintage Kroy patterns. Elegant and serviceable. Joe should be very pleased with these.

  175. If you have to drag Joe out of a bath to model socks, he gets to wear one of them where Flea and the rest of the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been known to wear theirs.
    I guarantee you won’t be able to take the picture if he does!

  176. Those socks are beautiful. Never let a busy husband who doesn’t understand the wonder that is yarn stand in the way of your greatness. On a side note (since this is my very first post), I love your books and I truly believe that you are a yarn goddess. Reading your books helped me realize that I am not along in my obsession with all things woolly. Thank you.

  177. The socks look great. Maybe for your photo you could higher a stand in Joe. bribe them with cookies or something, because really, if the model isn’t willing, it wont look that great. But waiting till the sun is willing is a great idea.

  178. 1) Martha does not live in a house. She lives on a sound stage and thus, that’s not actually Sun. :p It’s probably a 50° Source-four (or other ellipsoidal fixture) with some generic “warm” gel on it, in front of a large, white drop that’s been lit with blue lights (out of focus, of course, we can’t be having out-of-place bright spots in our sky)
    2) I have that book. I think. It’s older than me, but it’s got some pretty awesome socks in it. Now I have to dig it out and check for sure. It’s going to involve tearing apart the house and the storage locker *again*. Thanks…
    3) At least Joe is marginally (marginally) willing to cooperate. My DP will only let me take photos of him incidentally. And he’s not a morning person, and I only have east-facing windows… My chances of getting rays of sun and him into the same picture are slim to none. Though when I move the hassock to the right place, and his feet end up on it, I can occasionally sneak pictures in when he falls asleep…
    4) Very nice socks.

  179. Brilliant writing, I’m laughing all by myself in my house (dog is looking up). The socks look sooo soft, the drape is like a sweater – they are really really big! And color is gorgeous.

  180. Nice socks! I’m in awe of your persistence and determination to finish knitting a pair of socks for Joe. My DH also has size 12s and I have not even thought about knitting him socks. Mainly because I’m afraid he might really, really like them and would want more.
    You might try a nice relaxing drink or two (for both of you); it makes taking pictures much easier, although they could get bleary, oops, blurry.

  181. I think my kids (16.5 and 21, so not really…but you know…) just participate in the sock photo shoots so that they can see what sort of ridiculous positions they can get mama into. Tougher if they are the model, but they have some skills!!!

  182. I feel your pain. My son is 19. He has size 12 feet and joints like a camel. I show my motherly devotion by knitting him socks and neglecting to kill him when I come home from work and find him walking round in the garden wearing his beautiful, hand dyed, hand knitted socks, but NO SHOES! While I live in South Africa and the sun visits us far more regularly than it visits you, he is still not that keen on pretty posing with socks.
    What IS IT with men?

  183. too bad two things: 1)The font used in the pattern was related to the Bewitched font of yore and 2) that things rarely become what one whishes.
    I do think you are doing a good thing here and I appreciate what you’re doing for the knitblogging community.

  184. Crud. The TV show NCIS just used a metal knitting needle as a weapon for murder on an airplane. Just when we thought the level of paranoia was diminishing….. lol

  185. I think its time for some fake feet and fake sun, don’t you? They Are much easier to manipulate, and may make our men want to clean bathrooms. Wishful thinking.

  186. Socks are great – sun does not make a difference. I am running a day behind, but I wanted to comment on your anniversary post to say that for me your blogs are rather like inviting you into my home and then enjoying your wit, wisdom, and knitting. I don’t think you can have any of those three qualities independent of one another and I am always thrilled that you have come for a “visit”. I have learned much from you in the past years and as odd as it may seem, feel a connection, albeit a distant and thoroughly electronic one, to your family, friends and local.
    I think you give more to others (all us knitters out there) than can ever be expressed.

  187. It’s all getting to sound a bit kinky. I had a , picture of you sitting and knitting or working during the day now my mental landscape has been invaded by a naked man sporting socks, Martha Stewart did not feature strongly in my imagination.
    PS you can borrow my brother in law he’s up for anything when it comes to sock modeling especially after the incident on the kitchen floor!

  188. I’m sorry to tell ya this but I think the sun is in Germany this morning. When I woke up, there was a stream of sunlight coming though my curtain….I myself was shocked and had to look out the window. Still couldn’t see the sun though. Hope you see it soon in Canada!! 🙂
    Oh and I know about stubborn husbands. Lol!

  189. Okay, I had to stop lurking and post a comment on this one. I am so happy to hear there are others having trouble with sock shots!! My socks on Ravelry are pathetic, and there is no one but me to model. My standard poodle models my scarves, but she draws the line at socks. Why is this important? Because the better the picture the more people will favorite your project on Ravelry! You, dear YH, get thousands no matter what, but the rest of us are just scraping by. I’ve now started soliciting hearts from my family, just to get the process going, which I am sure reveals a very petty personality defect.

  190. At least you’re not having dreams about getting your work done only to find that your inbox is just as full the next morning as when you went to bed but you’re tried from all that you accomplished. Trust me, not only is it not enjoyable but it’s very confusing when you “remember” sending that email.
    PS: I’m in California and I’ve only seen the sun a couple times in the last two weeks. It’s not you, it’s just stupid January.

  191. This is exactly why I love you and keep coming back to your blog. The combination of beautiful knitting and a funny story. You just make my day.

  192. I can usually get my Joe to model if I provide preliminary shoot beer, and the implied promise of post shoot food and/or “affection”. And he was already naked….what with the bath and all.

  193. The socks are great. And Joe probably really appreciates the time and love you put into them. But luck for him you are not Martha. Martha would have his bath scheduled, the time to shoot scheduled so that he will be there, and have just that right proper setting. Then Joe would say you are a crazed mad woman and the heck with you and leave and never come back.
    But then again Martha would not put so much love into her socks for her loved ones. She could not market them and sell them in K-Mart in her Martha Stewert line and make millions off of them. 🙂
    See Joe is so luck to have you to knit cool wonderful loving socks for him. 🙂

  194. So I was right when I was looking through my copy of “Classics in Kroy” on Monday. That cable pattern does make a nice man’s sock. I have some Classic Elite Alpaca Sox in Classic Pinstripe (I think) that would work very well.
    I was rather astonished to see that you used the very pattern I was just considering using.

  195. Just wanted to thank you for using the word “chesterfield”…such fantastic canadiana

  196. Hmm.. I found an easy solution to that with the first pair of socks I made my hubby. No pics, no future socks. Seems to work quite well for me. 😀

  197. First, I only once managed to get the husband to model socks. I didn’t notice till I downloaded the picture… he put it on the foot with the pin in the ankle, so there is a weird bump right there on that bone. He did it on purpose, I am positive.
    Second.. coming in late on the blogaverisery. I hear you on the weirdos. But the way I look at it, I meet weirdos on the street too, some of whom are pretty dang scarey. I’ve been reading your blog from day one. You’ve made me laugh out loud (a tough thing to do!) and when you’ve shared your grief at the loss of a friend, you’ve somehow made it easier for me to cope with the loss of mine. Hope that helps! Keep it up. Plus it’s lovely to hear the “Canadian” in your “voice”! (Though I must admit, after actually hearing you speak at Sock Summit, I was amazed at your real voice, it echoes the size of your spirit rather than the size of your body!)
    And I don’t think the blog is a done thing, over and out, since the arrival of Ravelry. It is a different focus entirely.

  198. None of my head conversations go the right way either, but my husband and I had a good laugh over this as we both were at least able to picture you trying to drag a man out of the tub for sock pictures! He said “I can see you doing that.” Ps: He has really big feet too.
    PSS: Lovely socks! Maybe you’ll catch him fast asleep in June with them on sitting in his chair by the window?

  199. Your voice on YouTube is so different from your voice in my head when I read your blog.
    They’re both good voices, but your YouTube voice is cooler.
    Thanks for the surprise. That was fun.

  200. Great socks! I have a vivid imagination just like yours and it always turns out the same. One time I had myself SO CONVINCED that my husband would know I wanted a such-and-such for my birthday and would DEFINITELY be buying it for me I didn’t think I even had to mention it. He had no clue. I got something different (yet still lovely). Yup. Next time I will verbalize.

  201. Maybe you were thinking of Manitoba in January? We have lots of sun here in winter! (it’s just a deep freeze… -30s)

  202. Okay, i didn’t read all the comments and I’m sure it’s been said, but I have an image of naked man wearing handknit socks, and who knows maybe there’s a market for the 2011 calendar of hot naked guys in handmade socks? Could be the next big thing and you’re ahead of the curve. Possibly posed discreetly, with spare skeins of wool or a large potted plant concealing the “zone,” like all those naked ladies knitting calendars or the cover of “No Sheep for You.”

  203. My husband also wears size 13s, and when I do finish a pair of socks for him, he knows it is an EVENT that must be documented. He whines, he groans. Even his feet are petulant. But then I remind him that a) I spent a lot of time on those mammoth clown-feet socks, and b) if he wants to keep them and continue getting more handknit socks that he so loves, he WILL cooperate. As for the sun, well, I’ve given up on that.

  204. If you got your husband to pose for sock pictures even once you’re doing far better than I would ever do. Now for a cry for help. I can’t locate a copy of Kroy #922 because everyone else apparently beat me to it. I would be willing to do a search for a copy of the vintage sock book if I knew the title (sometimes such things are available as used bookx -I got a new copy of Homespun Handknit that way). So could you tell us the title, pretty, pretty please.
    The socks look great even without the foot model. The sun will return, even if those of us in the northern regions of the U.S. and Canada have a hard time believing it in January.

  205. (Every time I come to comment, I have this enduring faith that the comment form will remember my information. It never does. I keep believing anyway.)
    We don’t have to have Joe pose for the picture because we are all knitters and therefore incurably optimistic and imaginative. We can SEE the picture you wanted. No need to stress. I can almost TOUCH those socks in the shaft of sunlight in your beautiful room. Your work is done here.

  206. I am so happy to hear that other people picture things perfect in their head and then can’t believe what actually happens. I have done this my whole life. I totally understand.

  207. OK, OK, the picture of you trying to haul a naked man out of his bath and trying to put some long socks on his wet feet, this one I can manage. After all, this you we are talking about, and this why we all love you… But “a crop of tiny ears growing all over your chin” ?!?!?!?! Yukkyy ! Where does that come from ? I had to read the sentence several times and I just don’t want to draw a picture of it ! Yes, “vivid imagination”, you said it ;0)

  208. You need a “stunt-feet double’ for joe. someone with equally big feet, and avaiable for a photo op whenever you are. The Blog would never notice they weren’t actually joe’s feet, and you would be so happy to finally get that photo that you have been dreaming about (and the blog is imagining… ) and forget sunlight, candle light would work. or firelight, even more cozy… lovely socks by the way.

  209. Anyone accomplishing an unfathomable amount of quality work has staff, as in Martha’s case, or going back not too far in history, slaves, as in Thomas Jefferson’s case.
    We are all more than happy and impressed to see what you accomplish with your own two hands.
    (OR, separate thought, choose the one you like:)
    The sun will come out tomorrow, bet your bottom dollar that tomorrow, there’ll be sun…

  210. We pretty much have the same weather here in Rochester, NY, which makes sense since we are on the other side of the lake from you. I love the socks you made..I can’t believe I actually have that sock book in my collection! So, I am going to cast on, look at the snow and eat a few Timbits (we have Tim’s too, here) and make my husband a pair of socks.

  211. Very little luck here in Dublin right now attempting sock shoots – or any other kind of knitting shoots. I got some light (I won’t go so far as to call it sunshine) briefly on Sunday morning and spent a mad half hour snapping every bit of half-finished knitting in the house.
    Martha doesn’t have these problems. But I like to think she has bigger ones, like having to be extra special careful now about her tax returns, that cancel out her amazing photo shoot advantage.
    And I had to laugh at the ‘perfect in my head’ images you had going as you knit. I do that ALL THE TIME. In my head I live in a little log cabin on the east coast of America (I realise these two parts of the dream don’t really go together, but it’s a dream, right?) with patchwork quilts and all the time in the world to make apricot gingerbread (or, like, whatever), and vast amounts of smooshy yarn either lined up in perfectly colour-coded piles on the handcrafted wooden shelves or … flying off my handcrafted wooden needles. You know how the dream goes …
    Reality? January in dark, gloomy, recession-filled Dublin, working two jobs while trying to move from one tiny, overstuffed cottage into another tiny, overstuffed and now also half-decorated cottage, knocking back gin and tonic just to get through the fact that at 10pm on a Wednesday night I’m correcting proofs rather than doing the gin and tonic thing at my knit night with some good buddies.
    There’s no patchwork here.
    (But there is a boy who’s relatively willing to go in for sock shoots, so it’s not all bad.)

  212. Were those ears of corn on the chin, because what she said was so corny?
    I think the GuysInSocks calendar would be a winner.

  213. I love how we’re all stuck on joe being naked in the imagined sock photo-op….. cuz we all know that he could be standing in all his resplendant glory and we’d never know- we’d just be staring in wonder and amazement at the socks. and if you ever find a way to get your husband to clean the bathroom with your powers of imagination, please email me and tell me how you did it…

  214. Just what is the purpose of trying to emulate a woman, with a staff of one gazillion, and who speaks of running out to the smoke house in the back yard to fetch the Easter ham as casually as if we muggles were to say we cleaned the crapper today?
    My advice. Get Joe a ‘stand in’.
    Best from Texas,

  215. Wow. I hate Martha for that exact same reason!! And yes, we do have knitwear photo shoots at my house . . . along with raw fleece photo shoots, clean fleece photo shoots, WIP photo shoots. . .

  216. Here in my place in OZ the temperature is currently 30 degrees Celsius and the sun is shining from a bright blue sky. Winter (when we get it) is generally in the teens. To my knowledge it has never even dropped below zero in the city I live in. In winter if we get more than 2 days of rain in a row, we think that’s a lot. Our average yearly rainfall in my city is about 575 millimetres. So, if you want sunshine and blue skies all year round? Move to OZ.
    Oh, and the picture of the big wet naked guy being dragged out of the bath. Am still laughing. Lots.

  217. Beautiful socks, I understand about the photo shoot completely. We had a confirmed siting of the sun for about 17 minutes a day ago, I know this for a fact as one of the Troopers called it in on the radio. Unfortunately, I was too busy at work to go outside and confirm myself.

  218. I made my husband a pair of socks for Christmas (or, well for two days after). Size 14 EEEEE feet, stranded knitting size 2 needles, using BMF sock candy. I think it is the best all cotton yarn around for socks, but the skeins are small. It took 4 skeins (800 yds).
    At least he wears them. They have been through the wash several times already, and they still look new.
    I have had to knit in wool since then for my hands to recover.
    I’ll probably make him another pair next year (G). I haven’t even tried to get a photo with him in the socks. I know my chances of that!

  219. You knit beautifully. Wish my stiches were that even! Never mind socks not being on Joe’s feet. We can still see the quality work.

  220. Sorry for reposting but had inspiration. Borrow! Socks from Joe. Feet from a large, cooperative friend. Light from very strong bulb. Voila!

  221. Super socks – but I think that, for your own creative welfare (of course & in the interests of all things Martha, you need stunt feet.

  222. Steph, I hate to tell you this (especially since someone else already has), but Martha has people – called photographers – who are paid to make her magazine look that good.
    It’s like trying to row a boat without the oar, and I sympathize, because I can’t take a decent project photo to save my life. I fight that by taking multiple pictures on multiple (dial-a-wheel) camera settings (so far auto works best), and choosing the one I like best.
    I tweak it in paint shop pro. Then, I still don’t get pictures that are as clear and gorgeous and exciting as I thought they were going to look when I pictured them in my head. And yes, I get really ticked off about some of them. I’m not happy about it, but I guess I’ll live.
    I am thinking I will get a lightbox like my friend has. The one she got on ebay was extremely cheap for a set (less than $50 US), and it came with 4 different background cloths. I think it also had portable lights.
    I have considered taking a photographer’s class, but I keep thinking, “No way am I going to put that much into it…it’s a blog for Pete’s sake!” I’m drawing the line when it comes to that.

  223. Darling, the socks look great. And don’t give up on the family. My wonderful spousal unit, after 40+ years together, suddenly began volunteering to cook dinner 2-3 nights a week. This is at age 59. He also washes the dishes once a day, vacuums once a week and does other more commonly manly activities. I wouldn’t mind if he also decided to grub the snot out of the bathroom for the next 40 years, but hey, I’ll take dinner for now. AND he doesn’t ask for socks — luckily, since I can’t knit socks worth shit — but he loves the scarf I made for him.
    And he recently found out he is a Canadian citizen (to go with his knew-it-all-along USA citizenship), so dang — I suppose I will have to learn to knit socks after all — have any patterns with red maple leaves on them?

  224. Fie on Joe for thwarting your imagination! If you could spend tens of hours knitting those beautiful socks — an epic act of love — then he can spend 15 measely minutes wearing them in the frigging sunlight. Too much to ask? I doubt.

  225. I have that vintage sock book! I can’t believe it. I also have a glove & mitten book, same vintage. Someday I’ll knit from them, though I did some Norwegian mittens about 32 years ago. Thanks for showing that!

  226. I would be happy to model the socks….except I’m not as plentiful in the foot department as Joe is, lol…..
    Does that man know how lucky he is to have someone that loves him enough to knit socks for him??? My Husband is still waiting, not for lack of being loved…..I’m still learning.
    They look beautiful, love the colors.

  227. Just read Kathy’s post about a calendar featuring naked men in hand knit socks…love it!!! This has potential…. Joe could be December?!? lolol….

  228. “We’ve given the sock photo shoot (shut up. You know you have them at your house)…”
    I love it when you so eloquently express my life in technicolour.
    Do you have similar problems getting Your Beloved to take proper pictures of you modelling your works of art? My guy’s ability to be patient doing those photo shoots rivals only the Tasmanian Devil’s. As in, ain’t none.
    “Is that enough?” ; “Not enough yet?!” ; “That’s three pictures, isn’t that enough?” ; “Whaddya mean we have to take them all over again because the light was bad and the pictures are out of focus?!”

  229. Maybe KWB could publish the calendar as a fundraising device.
    2 million, here we come……

  230. Gorgeous socks.
    The sock feet look beautiful on the book … & the cables looked beautiful on your arm!
    Joe will, I think, be kept warm in love & woolly socks.
    I’m sorry, it is not your turn for sun.
    We have a lot of hot sun in Australia at this time, making sock knitting impractical for many of us.
    (Currently, I’m knitting cupcakes on 4 dpns & have even greater respect & appreciation for sock knitters!!)
    If I could send you some sun I certainly would.
    Still loving your blog! Happy 6th Anniversary! (belated)
    Aussie Jay … anticipating above 30 degrees C this weekend in Melbourne. 😀

  231. I am a lucky owner of Classics in Kroy Book # 922 which was purchased from Lewiscraft before they went under. Love your socks! I too knit a pair of these for a family member in 2006 (just looked it up in my pre-Rav binder) from a beautiful grey DG? brand? “Confetti”…was sooooo excited to give “the birthday gift”, however the reaction of dead silence has always stuck with me. Sniff. I feel your pain….such a beautiful pattern and such a gorgeous pair of socks you have knit, suffice to say “I geddit”.
    Love your comments about the photographing socks too…I thought I was the only crazy one waiting for the perfect light! Who am I kidding – I’m the WORST photographer at the best of times.
    BUT I DO LOVE THOSE SOCKS!’re pretty cool too 😉

  232. Great socks. love the brown…inspires me to knit something other than lace. By the way, I don’t think it’s Martha that sets the bar on knitting photography, I think it’s Jared Flood. I’m knitting Bridgewater right now only b/c the pictures are amazing. Same with the Noro striped scarf… I blame him for the miles of Silk Garden in my stash.

  233. Have you considered a sock mannequin like those shown in the pattern. The leg to the left looks quite realistic (I live with a dog and 4 cats, what do I know) and if you have two of them you could make them do your bidding – Moo, ha ha!!

  234. I caught my husband. I bought some yarn from a small farm in Wisconsin to knit my husband a scarf. He said, “I should send the farmer a picture of the scarf when it is done.” So when it came time to take a picture- I reminded him of what he said and then got him to actually pose and took a decent picture! I couldn’t believe it. Most of the time I just use sock blockers or a ball to photograph his hand knits. Glad to know that I am not alone!

  235. If it’s any consolation, I’m equally disappointed when my knit wear photo shoots do not turn out as planned. I always have these gorgeous, top-photographer quality images in mind, and I’m very disappointed when they don’t turn out that way. :\

  236. Great socks, Stephanie! I’m so LOL though right now — I don’t know what’s funnier, your blog post or some of the comments! Yes, I think we ALL live with a husband or boyfriend with whom we have these imaginary conversations and unrealistic expectations at time!! Too funny! And no, for the record, the sun doesn’t shine much from Nov – Feb in SE Michigan either!! Not until those darned Great Lakes ever freeze or the wind comes from a more southerly direction — and neither of those 2 things are likely to happen here from Nov – Feb. Thanks for your sense of humor — it definitely brightens my day, and I learn new knitting skills too!!! BONUS!!!

  237. The bit where you want to scream – “you did it once you can do it again”.
    That happens to me too- all the time. The socks look warm and toasty and great.

  238. Holy happy knittiness – great socks. In 20+ years, I have exactly two photos of my husband with me and son. Had guests who wanted the first one and had neighbor take the latter. By then, the spouse was accommodating and the teenager unsmiling. BTW – Martha S. has a massive STAFF to handle a single cover photo. You have….uh, Joe. Hmmmm.

  239. So much empathy and AGREE with this post!
    I nearly spat my tea out in laughter at your remark about the housework, labour division, etc. wouldn’t it be so good if he would say that in those housework conversations?!
    I am lucky enough to have a man who appreciates the importance of the perfect FO shot; however I do not think I could ever get him out of the bath to try and make it happen and I do often use fruitcake and similar bribes to make sure it happens!

  240. Well, the sun just makes bad shadows in a photo anyway. And hey, sun was streaming in the window on January 26 in Fairbanks. You just live in a cloudy place. Sorry. January does seem long because it isn’t lit by Christmas lights like December is.

  241. “I really did try to haul a big naked wet guy out of a bath yesterday and ram socks on him in the living room.”
    Wow. Just… Wow. I pretty much don’t remember the last time I laughed that hard.
    Thanks! 🙂

  242. My blogging pledge for 2010 (since I can’t keep up my own blog) is to stop lurking and start commenting on the blogs I love AND I love yours. Don’t we all have husbands who are not “all that into knitting photos?” or is just you and me. We just got some sun way down here in South Carolina and I asked hubby to hold a bag I knit, ’cause the deck table had ice on it . . . after one shot he said ~what’s the deal?~ and ~are you done yet?~ They just can’t help themselves. ;>)

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