Friday, May 31, 2013

Slow Socks

I have been knitting these socks for I don't know how long. They didn't seem to grow much for the first six months or so. Most of what you see now wasn't there two weeks ago. I'm either going to finish them in a week or they will return to a vegetative state. I'm not even sure what made me pick them up again after making so little progress for so long-- I think from time to time I just need to knit something that has already been started, that requires no effort to get going.

I am knitting them very tightly-- so tight that I have to take breaks because I get a stab between my shoulder blades from gripping my size 0 needles. They are going to fit perfectly and wear like iron. I love the colors and the blurry stripes the patterned yarn makes. It's ordinary Patons sock yarn from the craft store, nothing sacred or fancy, but it delights me all the same.

I have one other pair of hand-knitted socks, and I cherish them. They cost me effort to make and they aren't easy to replace. I wash them carefully and fold them carefully-- I'll probably even repair them when they start growing holes. It's probably placebo effect, but I feel different wearing them-- like someone cares a great deal for me, even if it's only myself.

Sock knitting may just be the opposite of "fast fashion"-- at least for me, at my snail's pace. I have been kicking this phrase around my mind quite a bit in the past month or so, ever since the disaster at the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh. I have been thinking about the true cost of the abundance of cheap, disposable garments available to us, and searching for a different path.

I would like to live in a slower, kinder world-- the one we have seems so fast and cruel sometimes. It's a naive wish, or an impossible one, surely. Hand-knitted socks are probably not an answer or antidote, but maybe they are a small part of one.


  1. I adore my hand knit socks. I have only ever knit one pair for someone else, simply because they didn't fit me. I love that I am taking the time to look after myself, with every stitch on each sock. They colours and the patterns make me happy and I HATE wearing shop bought socks now. They just feel wrong! Each time I put on my hand knit socks, I smile. I hope you get to finish these and then you can start another pair, and then soon you won't have to wear shop bought socks either!

  2. Handmade socks may not cure the world's ills, but it can sure bring a little sweetness into it. These are pretty.