Hand crafting community.
This must have been the longest break I have taken from blogging and I have been ready to write my final words and close this blog. Sometimes even good things come to an end. I am afraid that I sound like a broken record and have very little to bring to the table. I still knit. I seek for inspiration. I live far away from the civilization, well--- from any knitting metropolis anyway and this leaves me the internet to find my muse. You never know when you click away, where you find yourself mesmerized by the screen. I don't believe in taking only but also in giving back, and thus cannot bring myself to write the closing words.
Beauty - in handwork.
Over the knee socks by Cindy Taylor
I was lured away from knitting socks probably mainly by two reasons:
1. I began to believe that socks are a quick knit. This led to frustration as socks have so many stitches that even though the end product covers only a fraction of the cold skin, they take a long time to make. Because of feeling that socks needed to be quick, I ripped my socks from all the interesting and beautiful details. First mistake!
2. I once in a while accidentally and on purpose cast away all the thoughts on functionality and knit a pair with the yarn that was not a good choice for hard wearing. After a very short while, all my labor was in vain and the socks in rags. I do realize that items that are used, will break at some point, but really rather later than sooner. Second mistake!
I began to believe that there is no sense in knitting socks. I know, I know... very sad conclusion and very odd too, as socks really take use of the knitted fabric perfectly: it is possible to make a three dimensional object without any seams.
I have a daughter who loves hand knitted socks. During the past couple of years, she has reminded me over and over again how all her socks have huge holes and using them is getting very difficult, even though she said that layering one on top of the other, sometimes takes care of the holes... I told her to bring all her woolen socks with her when she comes home the next time and I would mend them when possible. (I do believe in repairing and mending.) Deep down in my heart I knew something was very wrong.
If you look at the old handwork, you can see that beauty and functionality walk hand in hand. All kinds of tricks were thought out to make socks durable. Coarse wool, reinforced heels and sock bottoms - all these included in beautiful knitting. Handwork was not just handwork for the sake of it, in all cultures over the world, skillful craftsmen included beauty in their products and making beautiful items requires time.
As you can guess, I have returned to socks for the sake of my girl. She did manage to convince me that she does need wool socks. I would love her to make her own though. But in the meantime, this is what is on my needles now...
The labels are long gone, but I know these are sock yarns with some polyamid. The pattern is not all that slow but not that quick either. Socks are ribbed all the way which should help them to keep their shape over the coming months. One sock finished, the second one at the heel, my favorite part.
Let's celebrate fall and wool.
The weather here has been fabulous for months. The summer was extremely long and warm, the fall has been very nice so far, it is getting cooler but not cold yet (we had a few rough days with hard northeasterly winds). Fall is the best time to knit, it just is, the wool season stretches in front of us with all the possibilities.
In October 2005 I wrote in my very first post "wear thy knitting" and socks on the needles takes me back to the beginning. Of all the knitting over the years, socks are the items that have been worn most. I am not sure just how many socks I have knitted over the years, but I believe there are plenty. The favorites always get the most use, but even the least favorite ones, eventually develop holes and disappear from the sock drawer. (All the stockings in these pictures are in very bad stage today. As you have recognized, these have been proudly shown here before.) Once again, I'm here, beginning a new year of blogging with the very same thought.
Cheers and Wool with you,