A confession. (Steel y’selves knitters, this is a B-I-G one.)
I have never knitted socks.
Sometimes, this makes me feel like a not-proper-knitter, because real knitters have 204 sock patterns committed to memory and neat, colourful sock drawers that look like those displays of rolled neck-ties you get in the menswear sections of upmarket department stores… Don’t they?
A non-knitting friend of mine once remarked on a knitter he’d observed who always knitted socks. This knitter was, in my friend’s opinion, not a serious yarn-wielder. I think he assumed that proper knitters were people who made big things like cabled afghans or fairisle coats. Socks, to his mind, were for mere dilettantes, because socks are small. I love my friend, but he clearly didn’t know much about knitters.
Still, I haven’t knitted any socks.
It’s not as though I’m scared of any of the techniques involved: I’m happy with DPNs, kitchener stitch, and all manner of stranded/ribbed/increasing/decreasing shenanigans. And I’ve crocheted a sock. (Just the one. It was beige, for some very good reason that escapes me now.) Hell, I even knitted a pair of slippers once, so you can’t accuse my knitting needles of any aversion to feet. Although our various and mostly cold, rough, floor surfaces shredded the soles of my slippers within days.
But I’ve never knitted socks, despite the fact that the Toddler Twinnage specifically requested that I knit some ‘smelly socks’. (I had to explain that the odour is generally introduced after the knitting is finished.)
The main reason for this is that I’m scared… not of the techniques involved, but of the addiction. Because as far as I can tell from other knitters, getting into sock knitting is a little akin to getting into crack cocaine – it’s a one-way street. You don’t come across people saying with a shrug, “Yeah, I used to knit socks – still do, occasionally – but I mostly work on afghans, now.” No. Those sock-knitters turn their heels with a fervour that scares mere mortals. And I’m scared, because whilst I’m already pretty obsessed with knitting, I do still occasionally pay token acknowledgement to my friends and family (yes really, I do), and I don’t want to lose touch with them to the extent that I forget their names. Also, I don’t want to forget to go to work.
I don’t spin or dye, for exactly the same reason. Don’t think that I wouldn’t like to try. When the Stoic Spouse presented me with a large wrapped box on Christmas day, I secretly and silently wondered whether it was a spinning wheel. Because if a spinning wheel was foisted on me, the consequent addiction wouldn’t be my fault, right?
Anyway, back to the socks. Which I definitely don’t knit. Ever.
I must confess that Father Christmas brought me some rather especially lovely DPNs that have entirely cured my aversion to such needles. ‘Tis a mere coincidence that they’re all in sock-perfect sizes. Who even knew that Father Christmas knew about knitting paraphernalia? Likewise the fact that I’ve just shelled out for a beginner’s book on sock-knitting certainly does not suggest any imment sockery. I’m merely taking a theoretical interest, so that I may contribute insights at any future sock-knitting conversations at dinner parties. This is not at all like an alcoholic expressing surprise when her chosen holiday destination is right next to a vineyard.
And whilst I work a jumper sleeve on DPNs, it hasn’t even remotely occurred to me that it would be similarly pleasurable to work the neat length of a sock. Oh no.
And the fact that the sock-knittery book wasn’t delivered until a day later than promised? Noooo, it didn’t bother me at all. It’s completely coincidental that I sulked all afternoon. Coincidental, I tell you. Probably just the weather.
No, I’m not about to knit any socks. None.