Not Really My Fault

Let me be perfectly clear:  I tried not to. 

I tried not to buy sock yarn.  I tried not to first covet, and later procure, the finest sock needles.  I labored to avoid sock books, sock blockers, sock project bags, and free sock patterns.  For a while there, I even attempted to hide from sock knitters.  Neither my children, angling for anklets, nor big brother, begging me for kilt hose could sway me.

You see, I thought that there was no need for me to be interested in sock-knitting.  I don't need to design socks, because it looks really hard, and gobs of clever people are already doing it, much better than I could.  I don't need to fuss with all those little DPNs (I'm guaranteed to lose at least one).  I cannot afford the luxury of self-indulgent personal knitting when I have professional knitting projects backed up around the block, and deadlines for them all.  Nope.  There was absolutely no need for me to branch out into the hosiery realm.  I was a monolith of resolve, even in a storm of temptation.  That's how I know that what happened was Not Really My Fault.

I found myself at the Sock Summit (couldn't help it - they threw the party right in my own backyard), and my ironclad will went like cotton candy in a car wash.

Carson started it.  He had these gorgeous handspun socks on that he made from Targhee, and it took everything I had not to get down on the floor to gawk his ankles. 

Then we went to the marketplace, which was ground zero for all things socksy.  My resolve started to rattle loose when I saw the yarn, but I held on to the thought that I have lots of yarn of my own at home (cause that was bound to work).  But none of my yarn is sock yarn.  My yarn is good; great even, but it's for other things, having been procured in specific amounts for specific projects.  One new little skein could make me a whole pair of socks, and there would be no need to disturb the stash.  One little skein could never hurt.

And that's when I saw the Scottish Terrier Sock Blockers.  If there were one thing I could have told you I really don't need, I would have to have been STSB.  But there they were, and Carson bought the Poodle ones.  That was it.  The twang of my self-control slipping from its cogs could be heard around the block.  I clutched the STSB to my heaving chest, breaking the cold sweat of a junkie as I wrote the check.

Everything after that is a blur.  I vaguely remember screeching to a halt in front of the sock needle display.  They were all there - all the sizes, and you could try them out...

And then there was the Blue Moon Fiber Arts booth, which Tina and her ilk had cleverly baited with all my favorite colors.  I staggered through, drunk on wool fumes, with only one thought:

"If I knit them really fast, it doesn't count."

Honest, I can quit any time I want.

If ya think I'm soxy

I used to live a sheltered life.  I used to think I knew what I like to knit, what I don't, what I'm interested in trying next and what I really can't be bothered with.  My knitting existence was predictable, sane (by my standards; an admittedly dicey frame of reference) and comfortable.

Modern sockmaking accouterments de rigeur :  Go Knit pouch  (sock people walk while knitting),  Signature  DPNs (size 2, 6" length) and  Socks That Rock  Lightweight in Tanzanite (Pattern I made up and am unlikely to remember for the 2nd sock)  All the cool kids have these things, and they really make it fun.

Modern sockmaking accouterments de rigeur: Go Knit pouch (sock people walk while knitting), Signature DPNs (size 2, 6" length) and Socks That Rock Lightweight in Tanzanite (Pattern I made up and am unlikely to remember for the 2nd sock)  All the cool kids have these things, and they really make it fun.

I really should have known better, but there it is.  See, my true confession is this:  I've just never been all that into socks. 

I find them fiddly: all those teensy DPNs are tough for me to manage, and two circulars are even worse. 

I think they are tricksy: Everyone has their favorite way to turn a heel and no two are alike - how can a person trust it will ever work? 

I find them redundant: The big payoff when you finally finish a sock is that you get to start all over again from the beginning, or else never get to wear them. Something about that just breaks my heart.

Or so I thought.

I went to the Sock Summit, conveniently thrown in my home town, to see my knitting friends (sock maniacs, all), take a few meetings, and do a little shopping.  I even got to attend some classes.  

Somewhere in between those activities, the fumes must have gotten to me.  In class,  I learned a whole lot about all things socky.  In the marketplace, I was seduced by beautiful tools and yarn.  My friends waxed poetic about tops toes and everything in between.  But best of all, everyplace I went, and everybody I met felt like home.  The Mother Ship had definitely landed, and it was such a relief to stop my frantic paddling and roll with the tide.  What complete luxury to drop all pretense of normalcy and blend in with the other teeming throngs of string-loving weirdos. 

I bought sock blockers with Scottish Terrier cutouts.  I spent big money on DPNs I've been coveting for a year.  I grabbed a skein of STR lightweight in my all time favorite purple and let the waves of socktitude wash away the last of my feeble reservations.  I put down the (now extremely weighty and totally unportable) Red Faery and cast on 60 wee sock stitches.  No pattern, no plan, no deadline.  Just me and the sticks and the string, singing whatever song would come.  Thank you, my knitting bretheren (and sister-en) for a delightful rest in your embrace.

I feel Stronger.  Faster.  Soxier.