Thursday, October 13, 2005

socktoberfest!



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!

10 comments:

Anna said...

Your socks are awesome!! Are you sure those aren't your legs?? ;)

I'm on the hunt for a new pattern for my husband socks. I really like how your socks turned out. I just may make some like those for my hubby!

Acornbud said...

Great socks!
Wonderful memories of your grandma. Lucky to have such precious memories.
I must say for a very brief moment, I wondered who's legs (or more correctly, leg) those were;)

Allison said...

Thos are fantastic socks! What a nice gift :)

keohinani said...

that looks like a fun pattern! imma have to try that one. great job! and it's neat that you've got such great memories of your grandma. mine's alive, but all the way in georgia. i haven't seen her for about 14 years...she did try teaching me to knit once.

mamma said...

My favorite aunt used to knit. I didn't know this about her until after I learned to knit because she has been ill for years and years and unable to knit. She gifted me with all her old needles and patterns. I cherish them. They're all aluminum and there's even a pair of plastic needles, but I love her so I love them. It does make me feel connected to her and a generational tradition. So I get your love for your Grandma's needles.

By the way your sock looks great. I was a little relieved to hear it wasn't your leg :)

Bethany said...

Great socks! I have yet to knit some "man socks".

Thanks for the compliment about my yarn. I have yet to decide what to do with it.

Lolly said...

Washable is definitely the way to go with gifts--you can't expect nonknitters to know how to take care of handknits, you know?

The sock looks great, Chris!

Six days till HI! So, do you think we can meet up one day? Email me when you get the chance and let me know which day is best. My schedule is pretty open :)

knittinmom said...

I think those socks look great! I have to confess, I don't mind acrylic on socks like that - it's nice and stretchy and cushy, and feet don't care if the yarn is soft (especially guy feet). I might have to make a pair of those for my hubby.

And great tribute to your grandma! I love the way you write - it's always a joy to read your posts. I can just picture her making your impatient 9-year-old self rip out some imperfect stitches...

Stricken madchen said...

The sock looks great! My youngest loves his socks knit with Plymouth Encore or Woolease and I too love how quick those knit up. ;-)

Jenn said...

I love those socks! I've been thinking about doing some socks for Christmas presents too...maybe I should get started one of these days?