Thursday, November 20, 2008

Sock Knitting: Practical Yet Insane

At the risk of whining about the weather, it's unseasonably cold and snowy here. Winter has arrived early. Too early for my tastes.

So it's back to my double-sock routine... a pair of thin cotton socks under a pair of hand-knit socks. I get really cold feet, and I need the extra layer.

I got caught out last night -- the snow started pretty seriously only after I'd left to teach a class. The good news was that it was a sock class, so I had a bag full of pairs to choose from for my extra layer.

I love teaching sock classes. Socks are my favourite form of knitting, no question. I had a student in my class last night, B., who has attended other of my classes. She's a great knitter, but she confessed to me a while ago that she wasn't a sock knitter... I got a sense that she was hesitant about the whole thing, that she really didn't understand the deal. It seemed pretty clear to me that she only really attended the class so she could see what the fuss was all about, and so she could help out her Mum, who has just started her first sock project.

I hear this reasonably often... puzzlement about what the big deal is. Sock knitting may well be the least efficient way of spending of your knitting time and money... I just spent nearly $40CDN (yes, forty dollars) on sock yarn with sterling silver thread in it. This is for something that goes on my SMELLY HORRIBLE FEET, to be HIDDEN inside my boots. And I'll probably spend between ten and twenty hours knitting a pair with this yarn (am noodling on a design idea, something fussy and interesting).

Socks can be complicated and challenging, and they require special equipment - insane teeny tiny needles, double points at that, which makes them more difficult to work with. And it's slow going, the tiny gauge.

It's not necessarily a rational thing, sock knitting.

Midway through my class last night, just after we'd turned the heel, B. looked up, smiled, and said... "hey, I get it now!" I think I've just converted another disbeliever...


Sel and Poivre said...

I remember having that moment myself - now I can only see the magic - in fact, what "insanity" you're talking about?!;)

rita said...

I taught myself to knit about 8 years ago just because I wanted to knit socks. I don't really care how much the yarn costs; I love my handknit socks.

That I can also knit other things is just a bonus!