April 15, 2017

One In, Two Out

How do you know when your socks are at the end of their life?  Does it hurt your feelings to have to do away with them?

My socks have four stages of life, depending on how they look to others and to me.  Phase I, is where I find myself taking my shoes off to show them off.  Not just because I made them, but because I think they should make a public appearance and I look for any reason to show them off (or no reason at all).  Phase II is when the colors change from their original color, you can no longer distinguish the pattern from the rest of the sock and, while they may be cute, the memory of what they once were makes me now wear them with sneakers instead of shoes.  Phase III, well, the socks are faded, felted, and no longer look like they did when I made them and even I'm not impressed by them.  They get washed, put in a drawer and become 'house socks'.  Phase IV is a hole which is instant death.

Remember when I made these Nordic Lights socks by Janel Laidman from her book The Eclectic Sole?  At the time, they were the best stranded knit socks I'd ever made and I adored them, but that was then.

This is now, almost 8 years later (which is a very long life for socks):


These poor socks, while still in good shape, no longer fit ne and have reached Phase II, they got fuzzy and have shrunk in a most unnatural way (or my feet grew, which is unlikely).  Since I'm the only one who washes and wears them, for the life of me I can't figure out what happened.  They are in such a state that they cannot be unraveled, and cannot be worn by me.  So, I have to give them up.

I found another pair of socks that somehow met with misadventure.  Way back when, I made my first pair of Socks on a Plane by Laura Linneman, they were wonderful and functional and the yarn was divine.

This is what happened to them:


Could have been the cat, or the washing machine, or maybe even a dastardly moth and her lousy babies.  Who knows, but it hurt my feelings.  Only one sock was destroyed, and I have unraveled it (I'll get to the other later):


I already washed the unraveled yarn and hung it to dry, and I've already replaced my Socks on a Plane with these and new yarn.   Now that its Springtime, it's time to reassess my sock inventory, and I'm sure there are others that deserve a good garbage can send off.

In the old days, when my socks got a hole, I'd just throw the pair out and bought a new skein of yarn.  Now that I am on the verge of retirement and money may be an issue, it seems awfully wasteful to throw out otherwise good yarn, so I'm getting into the habit of recycling and reusing what I can.

While mourning the loss of two good pairs of socks, I decided that knitting another pair of socks will make it all better.  However, my mourning must have addled the part of my brain that knits socks because I every pair I started didn't make me happy.  I just couldn't find a pattern that made me happy, and every attempt to make socks failed, even plain socks. 

I decided that I needed to work with some yarn that was happy and I chose Knit Picks Felici in the chickadee colorway then designed a pair.


These are the 'make it all better' pair that I started yesterday, so it's going quick.  Now that my sock knitting mojo is back I am not feeling so bad about having to chuck socks that took some of my awesome yarn, lots of knitting hours, and  about 10,000 stitches to make.

This makes pair #7 for the year of twelves. I'm way ahead of my self-proclaimed schedule, am happy to be getting a new pair of socks out of the deal, stashing down, recycling good yarn, and I'm making space in my sock drawer.  I call that a pocket full of wins.

Until next time ... happy crafting.

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