I am an obsessive sock knitter in every sense.
I knit socks, almost to the exclusion of all else. (Other than shawls, my other great knitting weakness. You know where you are with socks and shawls. Much easier to make them fit.)
I also knit socks obsessively, counting and re-counting stitches every single round, making sure heel flaps, toes, legs and cuffs have precisely the same number of rounds in them – my socks have to match or it makes my teeth ache. I twitch.
Worse, I notice. Every single time I have to put a flawed pair of socks on, I can feel every missing stitch, every botched lace repeat. My first pair of toe-up socks ended in disaster when one ended up approximately two inches longer than the other. I still wear them but it’s become a sort of knit-based penance, self-flagellating in the name of Getting The Pattern Right.
And then I saw this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/surprise-stripes-3 over on Ravelry and fell in love. There was just something about the photographs’ zingy yet muted craziness that just clicked with me. And as a compulsive sock knitter I always have a bunch of leftover sock yarn scraps lying about the place. It was perfect.
So just before we left London, I carefully went through my stash of ends and rolled two largely random balls. (They weren’t entirely random, I used the same set of scraps for both balls because I didn’t want to end up with two legs that clashed horribly.)
I cast on just before we left the UK and finished just before Christmas.
Working on them got me through jetlag, several courses of antibiotics, a monstrous university assignment and a lengthy recuperation from a delightful chest infection and they just make me so damn happy:
They don’t match, even remotely. The stitch count is different, the heel flaps are different colours, the stripes are completely out of sync and I just don’t care, I wear them anyway and they make me feel good.
I had this whole lengthy philosophical spiel planned out in my head about how they represented the last twelve months of limbo – symbolising the need to just let go of the illusion that I control anything in my life – but in the end, really, they’re just a pair of socks that make me smile like a fool.