Thursday, October 13, 2005
Have you caught Socktoberfest fever yet?? Watch out, because sock mania is sweeping through blog land and it is contagious! I've been spending so much time nursing my own fever by checking out all the great socks that everyone's been cranking out that I almost wasn't able to complete a sock in time to post for today. Almost. Luckily, knitting a pair is just what the doctor ordered. Right now, it's only one half of a pair, but I hope to remedy that in a few days time. This is Blueberry Waffle, in Lion Brand Wool Ease Sportweight, size 4 dpns, which will become a Christmas gift for my dad. Since the intended recipient is masculine, I did the logical and went with a masculine sock model. (I know I don't shave nearly as often as I should, but c'mon now, you didn't really think those were my hairy legs, did you?) I know you're probably wincing at the acrylic factor (or the hair. I swear those aren't my legs!), but my dad is a no-nonsense, machine wash and dry-don't tell-me-I need-to-block this-100% wool - kinda guy. Being used to knitting on Size 1's with fingering weight yarn, these are a little thick for my taste, but they'll be functional. Although it's still Hawaii, the weather actually occasionally drops below 70 degrees in Hilo, where my parents live, so I'm hoping they'll make good house socks. And I certainly can't complain. On size 4's, that sock basically knitted itself up in a night and a half!
Since I didn't have size 4 bamboo or brittany dpn's, I had to use aluminum ones. I know you're probably wincing again, but these dpn's hold special sentimental value. You see, they're the same needles that my grandmother used. My grandmother passed away 8 years ago at the age of 85, and with her died a vast wealth of knitting knowledge and crochet know-how. She lived frugally and had only an 8th grade education, but she could design patterns like nobody's business and knit the cheapest acrylic into the most beautiful garments. She taught me to crochet and knit when I was 9 years old, but I didn't have the patience to withstand the constant frogging she "subjected" me to. It took 24 years for me to appreciate her drive for perfection in handcrafting. I wish I could have shared her passion for knitting while she was alive, but I know that her spirit lives on because I feel connected to her everytime I pick up the needles she used. Whenever my snobbery for aluminum kicks in, I remind myself that if they were good enough for her, they're certainly good enough for me. They're precious heirlooms to me and I hope to pass them on along with an appreciation for my baachan's skillful handiwork. I miss her so very much, but I'm grateful to have such a wonderful reminder of her. Watching her knit is one of my most vivid memories of her, and I guess the apple doesn't fall far from the tree (or grandtree!) because that'll probably be my munchkins' most vivid memory of me, too!