A Great Omen

It's very cold here on Long Island right now, although we haven't had any snow yet.  There's a deep biting wind that goes right through me and I've taken to dressing in at least three layers--in my own house!  I've decided my winter coat, bought fifteen years ago in Austin, isn't up to the task of keeping me warm and I will be hitting the after holiday(s) sales for a new, down-filled one.  It's either that, or sew my husband's sub-zero sleeping bag into something fashionable.  (Everyone who knows me just burst out laughing.  What I MEANT to say was "HOT GLUE" my husband's subzero sleeping bag into something fashionable.  You people are such STICKLERS.)

Anyway, I find I have a deep commitment to staying warm. Normally, I am very rarely cold and am frequently underdressed for the weather up here, but this year, for whatever reason, I am feeling it.

So, I've been wearing a lot of layers and a lot of wool, specifically, wool socks. This is somewhat problematic because, although I have probably knitted a hundred socks, I only have two pairs that are still mine.  I love hand-knitted socks and therefore, I want to give them away to people, especially people who have never experienced them.  (It's my own little plot to take over the world, because, y'all, once you've worn hand-knitted socks, you know that all other socks are pale imitations of True Sock Love.  AND, given that each pair of socks has (on average) about 34,000 stitches in it, you're going to be hard pressed to find someone to knit more than one of them FOR you.  So, now you know: I am converting the world to sock knitters, one person at a time.  Share it with Wiki-leaks if you'd like--I'll admit to my nefarious plan freely.) Anyway, I'm down to my Edward Socks and my Lin Socks and yesterday, I discovered the unthinkable.

I'm pretty sure this is due to washing my socks in the washer and not hand-washing them.  First bigger-than-it-looks truth of the day: You Have to Take Care of the Things You Love by Treating Them With a Little Extra Care-- even if that means hand-washing them. Even when you hate to hand-wash.  It's like exercise, really. You just have to invest the time, even if you don't enjoy it all that much, in order to keep your body strong and supple.  Because if you DON'T and then you discover (I am speaking purely hypothetically here) a raving passion for Yoga, you're going to have to freaking KILL yourself getting back into shape so that you can do your practice without A) toppling over at regular intervals and B) making noises that make everyone else in the room uncomfortable. (Unless you're in a room full of walruses giving birth, in which case you will fit right in.) (Hypothetically.)

But I digress.

As things turned out, about an hour after I discovered the hole in my Lin Sock, (I've never gotten a hole in one of my hand-knitted socks before.  It was oddly sickening.) I finished a pair of socks that I had started and finished FOR MYSELF.  They fit me perfectly.  They are soft and warm and I will be hand washing them with gratitude (dammit.)
Click to embiggen to see the gorgeous Monet-like colors.

Basic sock (2X2 ribbing and then just stockinette foot.) using Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Watercolor)

AND, as it turns out, the night before, I had been shopping with my daughter Ana (12.75) for new jeans (Since she outgrows hers at a rate of one per day, it seems like.  She is one long tall drink of water.) and had a...well...little accident with my credit card after seeing THESE.

I KNOW, right? Shiny red clogs just MADE for showing off a new pair of (well cared for) hand-knitted socks!


If YOUR higher power does not speak to you through the opportunity to buy fun red shoes at a significant discount just in time to show off your new, perfectly-custom-fitted hand-knitted socks, I do not want to hear about it.

(Seriously --those shoes jumped off of the shelf and onto my feet.  They're that Born brand, where the "o" has that diagonal line through it (Børn), which normally means an addition of at least $40 to the price tag?  I got them for $35 at TJ Maxx.  Red.  Børn. $35.  Clearly, a sign from the heavens.)

Oh, just hush.

At any rate, I am off to my yoga class, dressed in several million layers (it's getting to where I feel like one of those nesting dolls every time I get ready to go somewhere) and my new socks and my new shoes.  And TOMORROW, I will tell you about other life/joy lessons I am learning right now and about this amazing woman named Brené Brown.


hokgardner said…
Beautiful new socks. And your plan to convert sock knitters is a great one.

I'm trying to convert people on my end, too.
ToyLady said…
I have GOT to learn how to knit. I'd hand wash those beauties for sure! :)

(We're up to about a foot+ of snow now - it's about up to the puppy's chest.)
Lisa said…
I just want to convert people to make anything! Earrings, food, collages, greeting cards... homemade is heart felt!
momwhoknits said…
I have six pairs of hand-knit socks to my name (OK - 5 - but the 6th pair is my daughter's and she did not take them away to university because she didn't think she would take the time to hand wash them, so I am wearing them to keep them company.) I have another 4 pairs that have holes in them similar to yours. I don't think it is lack of hand washing, because I hand-wash mine - I think it is wear, plain and simple (although why they wear on only one sock and not the other is for the greater gods to know, not me). I would darn them (I even know how to) but I seem to lack the time and patience. I need my grandmother - she could darn with the best of them!
Love the red clogs - and Born for $35 - these were meant to be!!
Not cold in Calgary - in fact a baby chinook is blowing in, but the hand knit socks still stay. Keep warm!!
I'm feeling extra cold this year, too! Right now I have on a pair of nylons, a pair of long underwear pants, and jeans. I'm bemoaning my lack of warm heavy sweaters, and I know I could never knit one in time.
Becca said…
See, this is all the more reason to knit more socks for yourself. Then you make a pile of the ones that are ready to be washed and do them all at once. Buy some Soak wash (from The Loopy Ewe, for one) and sock washing day is a delight. I feel so satisfied with myself when I see all those pairs of handknit socks hanging to dry, the laundry room smelling of wet wool and Soak.

It's dreary and wet and miserable and cold in northern Italy. I have just ordered a "real" jacket with down filling. Living in El Paso and Georgia for those last years has left me ill equipped for a proper winter.
Great post, Barb (read in snatches when relations weren't yakking at me). I have pretty faithfully washed all my hand knit socks but holes have been the rule, not the exception, at least for socks that have been walked on. So far, I find the Koigu socks to hold up admirably.
kim said…
Those shoes were a STEAL, Dorothy! No, seriously, I love them. And I refuse to knit socks for just that reason. That, and I don't believe I need pairs of $25 socks, which is what all the yarn I love costs. But yours are lovely, and I shall admire them from afar... PS> Wishing for snow here in CT!
Bullwinkle said…
Lovely new socks :)

Socks wear out; it's an excuse to knot more.

I don't feel guilty about not darning my holes - I stuff the socks with something soft and sew them together into a cat bed. (Note to self: Post pix.)
jennyp said…
Totally fab shoes! I'm cold, too, but hard to complain because in Florida cold means 50s. But we just don't have the clothes for it (socks or otherwise.) My students wear flip-flops with temps in the 40s! Nutty teenagers.

I would love to know how Jane is doing in the new school. I find myself in a similar position. My gifted 4th grader has a teacher who it seems wants him to fail. It has been a long semester. Am looking to put him in a private school in January. Has she adjusted well? Thanks!
Susan said…
Were the socks merino? I have become very wary of knitting socks out of pure merino because they wear through too fast. I either reinforce my sock feet with wooly nylon or use sock yarn that already has nylon or silk in the blend.

Cool shoes! Totally made for those socks.
Barb Matijevich said…
jennyp, please e-mail me at barb@sothethingis.com and I'll give you a Jane update. Short version, after a bit of a roller coaster (during which, we discovered, Jane hadn't learned any math since we moved to New York) she has adjusted and is thriving. THRIVING. She has a best friend, she the social chairman as always, and she's developing study habits. We are thrilled with the school, other than a certain luddite approach to technology. Well, now I guess you don't have to e-mail me --unless you have specific questions! --Barb
Marion Gropen said…
Great choice to pair the shoes with the new socks. I agree that they were obviously MEANT for you.

As for coats for those of us who are meant for warmer climes -- try the Land's End Stadium Squall. It's inexpensive, sturdy as all get-out, WASHABLE, and warm. They're also sized large enough for a few layers.

LaDonna said…
Oh, Barb, the new socks are beautiful. and I know what you mean about "feeling it" this year. I rarely wear socks...and by rarely, I mean NEVER! (I know, I know. It's gross to wear tennis shoes without socsk, but I just do cuz I don't like my feet constricted by socks.) I go barefoot the second I walk in my house.

But this year, something is different. It started to get really cold here about 3 weeks ago and I find that I just can't get warm until I pull on some toasty warm socks.

Problem is that my kids have taken all of my socks (since I won't wear them anyway) so I've had a really hard time finding them. Ah well. I just have to get used to raiding their sock drawers in the morning!
Susan said…
I couldn't knit sock if I were locked in a room for a year with unlimited supplies of yarn - believe me. there are those of us who do not have the knack!

But those shoes!!! I am off to TJ Maxx in the morning just in case they shipped some out to the CA stores, too.
Lomagirl said…
My motto is- if they are Born, buy them. (At the discount stores, I mean.)
Tenna Draper said…
Barb, you and I have always seen eye to eye on socks and most other things.


Those shoes?

The front view, at first, I thought you'd bought yourself a pair of red, patent leather clown shoes. I didn't think you were serious until you showed a side view (from which view I could see that they weren't quite as long as clown shoes, but still), and I just fell apart.

I think my family would make me turn over in my casket if they tried to put those on me--being a "tennis shoe" sort.

Anyway, layer away, girl, cuz it's going to be one of the coldest/blustery-est winters this year. The woolie caterpillars told me so. I don't know about you, but I've been wearing hats and scarves and mitts to work lately, and people are really noticing when I walk out. It's so cold that the witches are wearing extra brassieres!

Well, gotta go get washed up for work.