The Sock Curse

I have a problem. A horrible, terrible, dastardly no good problem. It’s a very strange problem for a knitter to have, particularly for someone who enjoys knitting socks so very much. You see, in the eight months since I began knitting socks, I have knit six pairs of socks. That’s twelve socks that have come off my tiny double-pointed needles, and yet, I have no hand-knit socks to wear. Now, I am not a selfish knitter, one pair of socks was for my sister, Audrey, who spent last semester in Russia where wool socks are essential. I have even made two pairs for my boyfriend, because he is demonstrably appreciative of having warm feet, and there is something greatly satisfying about watching something you have made shuffling about being useful. I like to knit for other people, but I also like to knit for myself. In fact, the other three pairs of socks I have knit were meant to be worn by my very own feet. Yet I have none. The Culprit: The Sock Curse.

The first pair I knit for myself were in KnitPicks Felici in the Time Traveler colorway. The colors were very similar to the The Doctor Who Scarf. This summer I happily knit them up, all excited for the opportunity to where a Dr. Who tribute on my feet. When they were finished, like a good knitter, I washed them before I wore them. I pulled the socks out of their soak in my bathroom sink, and I felt them grow in my hands. I did not worry. They were superwash. I could probably just throw them in the dryer and shrink them back up. So I did. They did not. Thus, the first pair of socks were no longer mine. They grew to gigantic proportions. My feet are big, but not gigantic. My boyfriend, however, does have gigantic feet, so he now owns the Dr. Who socks.

The second pair of socks I knit for myself were some 100% Merino which I dyed myself. They were hand-wash only socks  in a beautiful mock cable pattern with my variegated green and pink dye job. The fit perfectly in the heel and the toe, and they were snug, but not too tight in the cuff. They were warm, but since I knit them when it was 100 degrees outside, they sat in my drawer waiting for a drop in temperature. But these socks were not content to simply sit in a drawer. They were beautiful, and they knew it. They had to be seen. The pink mock-cable socks allowed their vanity to best them and jumped out of the drawer and onto the floor where they could be briefly admired before being scooped up with the rest of the laundry and tossed in the washer. By the time I found them, it was too late. They were still beautiful, but now they were delicately felted pink mock-cable socks that might fit a six year old. Since I know no six year-olds, and maybe because I was really upset that my perfectly perfect pink socks (I really like pink, and I am not afraid to admit it) were no longer fit to be worn, I threw them away. Hours and hours of work in the garbage. Throwing away knitted goods, even if ruined, might be considered a knitting felony in some circles, in which case I claim temporary insanity–which actually might not be too far from the truth, as I am still too scarred to knit another pair.

The third pair were this semester’s sanity socks, because school came dangerously close to actually driving me crazy this semester. It worked out, quite nicely might I add, that I often-times arrived in Lawrence for school just around the time the yarn shop downtown opened up. Since the yarn shop is just a hop, skip, and a jump from campus, I might have gone in a couple of times instead of being on time for class. One time, I might have skipped my astronomy class altogether and bought two balls of Mini Mochi and a set of needles and cast on for a pair of socks right then and there. The yarn was so beautiful:  a superwash single-ply in blue, violet, and green with long color repeats. I was in love, and knit them up in my free time over about a month or so. I finished them on laundry day, and since they were superwash, I tossed the pair in with the regular washing. I thought I was being so smart, saving time and (my) energy, and I would have a brand new pair of wool socks to wear the very next day. It turns out that mini mochi is only mostly superwash. At least, this pair decided they would felt just a little bit. They probably were trying to teach me a lesson about skipping class to knit, because when the socks came out of the wash, they were a teeny bit sturdier, but also a teeny bit smaller. I tried them on and tried to match up the heel of the sock with my own heel, but my giant size 10 feet weren’t having it. The sock heel kept slipping down to my arch. These socks, originally tailored to fit my long feet were now shrunken down to fit the feet of someone who wears an average size 7 in shoes. Yesterday, after washing them again and making sure they would not shrink any further, I offered them up to the other women in my family, all of whom have much smaller feet than I do. They went home with my sister, Caroline, and I hope they serve her well.

I still don’t have any socks. It is a curse.

I was dyeing sock yarn regularly from July through October (what I have been doing since October is its own post), so I have a lot of sock yarn laying around. I have made a couple pairs of mittens with some of it and a couple pairs of socks with some more of it, and it hasn’t even made a dent in the sock yarn stash. I currently have plans to start on two different pairs of socks for myself. One, just a regular old, plain pair of stockinette socks out of some of my hand-dyed yarn. (Pictures to come once I actually cast on). The second pair I am going to use one of Wendy Johnson’s lacy toe-up knee sock patterns out of some 100% merino I dyed hot pink. I have never done toe-up socks before, but I figure if I am going to go for it, I might as well really go for it. They should be stunning.

Of course, I am going to do all of this while finishing up school (I passed my astronomy lab! I will graduate in May!), working full-time, learning to spin, knitting a few sweaters, dyeing yarn and roving, starting an online shop, and being a mom. ETA on finally owning a pair of my own hand-knit socks?

3.25 years.

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2 Comments

  1. This is the most interesting read I’ve ever seen about socks! And I hope you are able to get yourself a fabulous pair made before summer! :0)

    1. Thanks! I realize not everyone is as enamored of socks as I am, but I think everyone can understand a little low-level disappointment. In reality, I really like making them more than I care about wearing them. Still, it would be nice.

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