Almost three years ago, in January of 2013, I started knitting through Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush.
When I cast on that first pair of socks, called “Canada,” I was living in Ambridge, 7 months pregnant with my first baby. Back then, blazing through a pair of socks a month was no big deal. I was still in a bit of denial that having children in my life would have that much impact on my way of life. I even asked my boss at the yarn store if I could bring the baby to work after a few weeks. (She said no, and graciously managed not to ask if I was insane.)
I grafted the second toe of the last pair of socks in November of 2015, in Canada, while entertaining my two children, by reading a book and letting a baby play with my yarn while doing a basic toe and kitchener stitch from memory.
A lot has happened in three years. I finished a masters’ degree, had two kids, discerned a call, got ordained to the deaconate, and moved to a different country. And all the while, I was knitting socks, one at a time, piling pairs on my dresser.
Now here’s the part that will make you think I’m crazy: during all that time, I didn’t actually wear any of them.
I saved them. I made them all to fit my feet, then I hoarded them like a demented sock leprechaun. I wore my previous set of hand-knit socks to shreds, and didn’t touch these. I didn’t want to until they were all done.
I can’t tell you what I was thinking. I’m sure it was obsessive. But now that I’ve moved to a land where the November highs feel like January lows, I am really excited to have sixteen new pairs of wool socks.
Most of them I hadn’t bothered blocking (the exceptions being the fair isle pairs), figuring that they’d change when fitted to my foot. But so many months of being folded on my dresser had distorted some of the cuffs! So I sent them all for a nice bath in the sink. They took three days to dry on our new couch, even with the dry air and the three or so hours of direct sunlight they received.
My family submitted without comment to the three-day loss of the use of the couch. I figure I usually fold the laundry, so I’ve earned it.
Now that they are dry, my feet are having a serious fiesta. So far, my favorite pair to wear are the dark blue ones toward the left, made out of “Bugga” MCN by the late Cephalopod yarns. So soft. My favorite pair to knit, though, might have been the first: the green and red “Canada.” It’s funny that I don’t remember the names of most of the patterns, but I could tell you where every skein of yarn came from.
There’s something weird about wearing art on your feet. I have been wearing slippers a lot. And sweeping more than usual. I’m sure I’ll get over it.
Thirty-two socks. Thirty-five months. An embarrassing investment in sock yarn. And an artifact of a season in my life now passed (or at least on hold) when I could think about knitting this much all the time!
I am pleased. I also don’t think I’ll knit another sock ’till my kids are in college.