No, I won’t make you a pair for $10

I’ve taken the clothes out of my suitcase, washed them, and put them back in, and I’m almost ready to go back out the door tomorrow. I’m starting to feel wildly spoiled, like I’ve pulled off the most amazing trick, and now I get to live in a world that contains knitters alone, punctuated by these weird intervals where regular people exist and don’t have yarn in their purse.  I always start to wonder about that world when I travel this much for knitting I’m about halfway through a sprint where out of 28 days, 22 of them will be spent knitting while I travel to be with knitters, or hanging out with knitters, talking about knitting. Right now, my world consists almost entirely of people who think knitting is incredibly important, and the people who don’t think about it at all are a weak and tiny minority.

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Usually, when I take my knitting from my bag, strangers say “Do you knit?” (to which I have always wanted to reply “No, I just find it nice to have around.”) but this month, all the strangers around me take theirs out too, and nobody tries to turn the lights down, or asks me if I’m going to do that “the whole time.”  It’s like living in a magic, magic land where knitters are the norm, and people who don’t know how to make any of their own clothes are the lunatics.

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In this land, nobody, when I show them my fabulous finished socks, ask me why I bother, when they’re just $1 a pair at Walmart – and should I choose to reveal what a pair of socks costs the way I make them (yarn expense, plus minimum wage for the hours it takes to make them) will goggle at me like I’ve taken all leave of my senses.

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Nope, that’s not where I’m living. I’m living in a place where I can show you my finished socks, and every person around me smiles, asks me what form of short rows I used for the heel (classic) and wistfully considers making some just the same -because it totally makes sense to them – and they would, but they’re making a sweater right now.

finishedrainbow 2015-04-23

Re-entry in twelve days is going to be hard.

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(PS. These finished socks, besides being the cutest things ever, are not for me. They’re for one of you. They’re the Dark Side of the Moon socks that Commander Hadfield held, and for a while, I thought about giving them to him – but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted them to end up somewhere they were really wanted, not as a random weird gift for someone they may or may not fit, or who may or may not really, really love them.  (While I have no doubt that Chris Hadfield is s great guy, that inexplicably doesn’t assure us all that he wants a pair of hand knit socks.)  So, I decided to use them to kick off my fundraising for the Bike Rally this year. I’m hoping to raise more than we ever have (which is a lofty goal- considering that you guys blow me away every time) and while I’ll start doing Karmic Balancing Gifts soon, I’m starting with this. These socks go to whomsoever offers the biggest donation to the Rally, and will love them to death. If you’re someone who’d like to make an exchange like that – a donation for a pair of hand knit socks, then shoot me an email.  ( I’ll check those emails, figure out what the best one for the rally is, and I’ll let you know if you’re the one. If you are, you’ll make the donation, and I’ll pop them in the mail.)

PPS. They fit a friend with ladies size 9 feet really well, if you’re wondering about size.



68 thoughts on “No, I won’t make you a pair for $10

  1. First off, living in a world inhabited by knitters is my dream. All the funny looks I get while standing line get uncomfortable after a while.

    As for those socks, while unfortunately, I won’t be able to give them a home, I can want to knit my own pair and I can donate what I can to the rally cause. 😀

  2. Be sure to let us know how we may offer karma balancing gifts for this year’s donors. I won last year, so I’m offering a prize of some of the uber yarn I happen to have in my stash. As well as a lotion bundle.

  3. You know, I gotta say, it’s really nice to know that even you get the same questions and exclamations about your knitting that the rest of us do. Most people I’m around don’t necessarily know that I’m a knitter, but you make your living from knitting. You’d think they wouldn’t be so surprised.

    And, for the record, yes, I am going to knit through the entire evening/car ride/hockey game/movie.

    • I agree, it’s reassuring to note that these questions are universal…you knit? why bother? why here?
      I was recently asked to knit a knights helm hat for $10. The pattern was ugly, complicated and crocheted.

      • …or a dog sweater for the one who ate the last one you only agreed to knit because the request came when you were in bed with a fever? Yeah, no more knitting for you!

    • I would end up framing them too, even though my feet are a men’s 10-1/2 EEE. Oh well, as one of my junior high teachers used to say, “It takes both ends to help make a bell-shaped curve.”

  4. Alas, my feet are not a size 9, and offhand don’t know a knitter-appreciator (appreciatress?) whom they would fit. But I will make another substantial-as-I-can contribution this year. (ps–I do MSF on a monthly, straight-out-of-checking basis. should I report that to you annually for your ever more impressive grand total?)

  5. Oh gosh. After all that knitterly love, how ever will you re-integrate into society? Perhaps that is not really necessary. Who wants to be part of a group that doesn’t understand the value of hand knit socks anyway! Coincidentally, as I was sitting at my wheel earlier today, I was thinking about the bike rally and your karmic balancing. I’d really love to make a wooly donation this year (and hubby may contribute a wooden donation as well…)

  6. Oh! I wish I had enough money to give to you for the bike rally! I really do. I don’t, so I shall have to find the yarn and make some socks like the ones someone else will get to wear. Love your dedication to the cause and everything else you do, including knitting!

  7. Not enough to win me the socks, but I made a donation. Good luck Steph!! A worthy cause and lovely (priceless) socks.

  8. Oh how I want them. They are so lovely. However I have a much smaller size 6 foot. And I don’t have any deserving friends or family with a size 9 foot.

    I hope you raise a ton of money with them.

  9. I will, of course, support your team and the bike rally again this year. But I will be watching to see who wins the socks!! Fantastic idea!!!

  10. Yes, I will be knitting “the whole time” through the officially-required, totally pointless meeting I have to attend this weekend. Knitting is what makes such meetings tolerable. Before I learned to knit (I’m still a baby knitter, less than four years) I tried to sneak a good book into such meetings, but it didn’t work very well. Knitting does indeed grant serenity.

  11. Awesome! I have a small budget and small feet, but I have suspected all along that the Dark Side of the Moon socks would be worth their weight in gold for a cause you believe in. It truly would not surprise me if Commander Hatfield made a generous bid on these socks, because you’re both awesome like that!

  12. Sadly, my feet are too big, and with one child in college and one starting next year (plus one bringing up the tail), there are no large piles of cash to win the prize anyway. (Even though the socks would likely fit my daughter, she has proven herself unworthy because everything is too scratchy for her tender self.) I’ll make a donation anyway of course. You work too hard at the rally not to be respected with a donation.

  13. No, you won’t knit her a pair just like them for $10, but I will bet that you will teach her to knit her own pair for $10. We’ve got your number — and it ain’t ten bucks (Canadian or USD).

  14. You know, I’m so priviledged to not have EVER heard any of those questins when knitting in public. I did, however, have some one gesturing wildly at me and whispering in hushed tones as I knit at Taco Bell tonight. I must have had toilet paper on my shoe.

    I think I’ve actually been subconciously flexing my mad skills in public just to draw such attention to myself, but I think it may be backfiring and other people simply don’t know what to do with me.

  15. “. . . my world consists almost entirely of people who think knitting is incredibly important,. . .”

    Don’t forget the cat who will barf a hairball into your stash, which you won’t find until it is time for a new project and you close your eyes to reach in and draw from the “knitting lottery” to determine the yarn that will win the jackpot. (No, don’t kill the cat. You know The Daughters would never speak to you again!)

  16. I thought everyone had yarn in their purse. (I have actually trained male co-workers to let me keep yarn in their suit pockets at conferences. Or to untangle tangled skeins during meetings. In return, when their wives get pregnant, they get wee little hand knits.)

    • “I have actually trained male co-workers to let me keep yarn in their suit pockets at conferences. Or to untangle tangled skeins during meetings.”

      Oh that is amazing! I’m totally beginning my training today! I work with almost all male coworkers and they could score dress socks in return!

  17. While the socks haven’t been to space, they have been touch/fondled/handled by an “astronaut”. You forgot to stress that in the provenance of the socks. lol
    And as to your travels the ‘others’ are still out there as you are in your ‘bubble’. 🙂

  18. An Australian phone number is rejected on the donation page so just put in the first 8 numbers: 12345678 and this let me donate. Seems I had the same trouble last year as well.

  19. I was watching the TV show Louie last night and in it (while feeling old and out of touch) he took up knitting. When a friend arrives, he hid the knitting under a sofa cushion! He was redeemed (in my eyes at least) at the end when he shows the friend how to knit, and actually does it, none of that pretend knitting that happens on shows.

    A world of knitters sounds pretty darn great

    • I assumed she meant this happened when she was knitting at a theater or cinema. I’ve never encountered anyone turning the lights down *because* I’m knitting – but anything you can think of, someone has probably done!

  20. Unfortunately, Uncle Sam has taken all my “discretionary” funds for the forseeable future. I may be able to stretch some leftovers into lunch, so could scrape up some pennies that would otherwise go to increasing my girth. I so totally love Chris Hadfield! What a sport.

  21. Ha! My feet would totally fit those socks! But a really stupid question – is size 9 the same in Canada as it is in the US? I know an English size 9 is not…

  22. The problem with knitting in public for me, is that so many people are curious about what I’m working on, that it’s hard to get anything done.

  23. I have something for the karmic balancing gifts this year, as well! Looking forward to your announcement that you are ready for them.

  24. While I already have that yarn to knit my own socks, I would totally bid on those if my feet were the the right size, which, sadly, they aren’t.
    BUT, before I start to knit mine, tell about the heels – does the yarn work out like that or do you have to add a different black?

  25. Your socks would absolutely fit me, and I do plan to donate to the Rally, but I can make my own and I firmly believe that Commander Hatfield would love them.

  26. Wouldn’t it be cool if Chris does want the socks? Or, if not ( and why wouldn’t he? But you never know…) if you could arrange for Chris to present the socks to the lucky donor?

    Donation will come on its own. Make sure these go to the most deserving home.

  27. Lovely socks. You inspire me with your choice of colorful yarn. I mostly go for solids.

    This post reminds me of Abby Franquemont’s post about hand spinning yarn.

    I think people who don’t understand knitting don’t understand something very deep, not necessarily just about knitting. Would you never walk if you didn’t have to? Would you never eat if you could take a nutrition pill? Is there nothing you love doing for its own sake, that makes you feel winder and pride and enjoyment? Then that’s so sad!

  28. I made an eight foot Pima cotton lace scarf. Finished it last week, wore it out, had My new young non fiber aware Pastor tell me with the utmost enthusiasm how BEAUTIFUL it was and that I could TOTALLY sell it on Etsy for “AT LEAST 20 Bucks!!! “. Poor pastor. She has no clue at all. I just looked at her, I was flabbergasted and said, but I’ve got 50$ in yarn in it! Never mind the time.

    Muggles just don’t know what they’re seeing.

  29. It’s so comfortable being around “our people”! And sometimes so awkward being around “the others”. Good luck with re-entry. Love the socks!

  30. As a person who is not surrounded by other knitters, even though I’m from a community of knitters (in my youth) I can’t even imagine how it feels to have all kinds of knitterly love and support.

    Mostly when I knit in public I get stares but few questions. I suspect the older ladies may themselves be knitters and are dying to ask me about my project but feel it may be inappropriate to approach me, and that the younger ones are mystified and confused by the activity, never having seen anyone else knit.

    When I spin in public is when I get the questions, and some are endearing: what are you doing, is it easy, where do you get the wool, what do you do with all the yarn you make? I’ve had people misunderstand what I was doing and people misname it, as in “Oh, look, that lady is weaving!”

    I totally think Cmdr Hadfield deserves Dark Side of The Moon socks and if he doesn’t bid on them, then someone should find out his size and make him a pair. No, I’m not volunteering.

    And I too have been offered ten bucks for a pair of hand knitted socks made with my own handspun yarn from locally-sourced fleece. Every so often this bloke will pop up on my Facebook page and ask again, and I always tell him to go fluff a duck.

  31. I’d like to donate some of my hand painted yarn to your collection of donor rewards. Could you please email me or post the address to which some really stunning yarn can be sent? Thanks!

  32. When I saw this post I squealed out loud with joy– since I was in a car full of non-knitters everyone stared– the socks are gorgeous! I so want them, but they will never in a million years fit me. I wear a girls 4 and a half or sometimes a ladies 5. I’ll will still donate to the rally though.

  33. Pingback: No, I won’t make you a pair for $10 |

  34. I was knitting a pair of socks while sitting next to a five year old at a church function. He watched me for a bit and then leaned over to ask what I was doing. I told him “knitting socks”. You could tell this really had him thinking. Finally he asked “Do you not have money to buy them”. I loved that little guy.

  35. I ran across your blog quite by accident and have been reading for over an hour. I have to say you are brilliant! I simply adore your humor and insight. Thank you

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