Sunday, July 26, 2009

Let's talk about socks, baby

(I refuse to believe I'm not the first blogger to come up with that subject line.)

ANYHOO, I was just thinking about how strangely divisive socks are in the knitting community. There are those who hate them and would never even think about knitting a pair, and there are those who can't imagine actually buying a sock from a retail store when they can make their own. The latter group has divisions of its own - DPNs vs Magic Loop vs Two Circs, fiber wars, the works. Socks is a crazy subject.

I am the Switzerland of socks.

I've been knitting off and on since I was 8, really getting back into the craft in high school and college. By the time I was 19/20 I'd made potholders (both on purpose and accidental), sweaters (ok, just the one huge one), scarves, hats, fingerless gloves, lots of things. But I'd never made a sock. Until the Knitty of Winter 2006, when a pattern called Monkey caught my eye.

I was awestruck, both by the beautiful pattern and colorful designer/model Cookie. If I made this pair of socks, would I too become as hip, knowledgeable and supremely well coiffed as Ms. A? Short answer: No. Longer answer: HELL no, idiot! But I WOULD become fascinated with an item of clothing I'd never thought to make before. My first pair of Monkeys was knit in Knit Picks Memories, and because I knew pretty much nothing about yarn (haha, still don't) they felted after a few washings and were unwearable. But I was hooked.

That first pair was knit on DPNS, and I continued to use them until I found out about Magic Loop, which I regarded as some kind of miracle magic. Non knitters seemed to feel the same way, staring at me like I was creating clothing out of thin air. I don't recall having trouble turning a heel (which seems to be the main complaint of the anti-sock group); when I got confused Ravelry and the internet had abundant amounts of information regarding the caring, keeping and knitting of socks.

I became the Switzerland of socks when I realized that people became very, very particular about the way you knit your toe toasters. I say (as they say in Switerland*) do what you gotta do. Hate knitting socks? Then don't, dude. That's cool with me. Love socks only on DPNs? More power to you! Magic Loop's the only way? As long as you don't strangle me with your circ we are fine. Knitting is knitting is knitting, so as long as there's fiber in your hands and needles in your closet (or something like that) we are all on the planet Knitting Nerd, capiche?

I know that there are lots more Switzerlands (Switzerlii?) in the socks community. I say be proud! If not, come on in, there is cocoa and cheese and very nice knives and clocks.

- Love love AMBRRR (who promises some photos soon, as soon as the bees stop scaring me out of the backyard)

*This is a lie.

No comments: