About socks

It's -15C outside my apartment as I write this, and Toronto has been in the throes of the annual "deep freeze" weather for over a week now. I don't like to moan about it — it happens almost every year, so it's not exactly a surprise. What does surprise me is how people deal with it.

I just finished the Noro socks I started last April, and am wearing them right now. They're warm in a way that only natural-fibre items can be — my feet just feel nice and comfortable, but not hot the way that synthetics will do to you. They're plenty thin to wear in my winter boots without pinching, and being Noro, they have the same colours in them, but not in the same order, which is pleasing.

Call me smug, but I find it rather sad that there are lots of people who live in this city, under the exact same climate conditions as me, in the exact same income bracket, but who will never get to know how comfortable and pleasant wearing a simple pair of hand-made socks can be. From the custom heel and toe shaping, to instep shaping if you really want to, they fit better than machine-made socks, no contest. The colour and pattern combinations are way more fun than what's offered in finished socks. And, despite being asked several times over the years, I still have no idea how long they take me to knit because I just work on them during all my in-between times: commuting, waiting to be served in a restaurant, even waiting in line at the grocery checkout. I do know from the pairs I've made for gifts and from historical accounts I've read that they don't take long.

So: if you've been holding out on socks because the smaller needle and yarn size scares you, or because of fitting issues, or because you just don't understand the appeal... the work is light and the wearing very rewarding. I didn't make socks for the first fifteen years that I knitted (there was one abortive attempt when I was seventeen, but that had other factors going against it). To me, there was an element of tackiness to it, like knitting golf club covers or doorknob cosies.

But now that I've worn them, there's just no going back.