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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

If in doubt just knit socks

Baudelaire

Socks are the default setting on my knitting dial. I usually have a pair (or two) on the needles at all times and when I can't decide what project to begin next I usually start a pair of socks whilst I think about it. There are as many reasons for knitting socks as there are fantastic sock patterns out there but the most pressing one just at the moment is that about six of the pairs currently sitting in my sock drawer are darned in one or more places. This brings me neatly to the argument I hear most against knitting socks - that they wear out so much more quickly than any other knitted garment. Why lavish so much care and money on something that's going to end up down at heel? This used to scare me a bit I admit, especially as I'm particularly hard wearing on socks. However, one of the reasons that I love knitting so much and the main reason that it took over from my various other crafty activities such as cross-stitching is that I end up (at least when I'm not knitting tiny woolly hats) with a practical end-product to be worn and to be worn out. I'd much rather have my darned but still toasty socks than any amount of fancy work safely preserved under glass.

2 comments:

Kate said...

I completely agree - socks are speedy, portable, unique (depending on your choices) and above all useful. I have my first pair of handknitted socks waiting to be darned - I have the thread and darning mushroom but haven't yet found the courage!

Felix said...

I agree wholeheartedly. Knitwear is there to be worn! I think there is something amazing about the way that beloved and much-loved items of clothing (like socks) develop a sort of life of wear; getting mended, darned, patched etc.

You will always have a greater sense of value and worth with such items of clothing, and they will always have a richer story than either perfect knitting that gets kept under glass and never gets worn, or cheap socks that wear and get thrown away instantly.

Besides, at the rate you turn out socks (impressively fast!) you ought always to be able to have some hand-knit goodness for your feet.