Thursday, 22 March 2007
I am a very keen sock knitter. I taught myself from a book about three years ago when my dad was complaining that his commercial socks were uncomfortable on his swollen ankles. I found some good, wholesome British sock yarn (Sunbeam St Ives) and the longest set of double pointed needles that I had because of course, the stitches would be bound to fling themselves like lemmings from the needle given half the chance. Several hours of wrangling metal and yarn ensued but by the end of the first heel turn I was hooked.
After a brief flirtation with the peculiar fascination of self patterning sock yarn I have experimented with handpaints, lace patterns, fairisle, cables, travelling stitches. Elegant little bamboo needles have replaced the nest of skewers. Socks are such a little jewel of a project - the mundane lifted to an art form. An opportunity for the habitual wearer of black (me) to embark on flights of multicoloured fantasy. The perfect project of travelling, Compact enough to cart around. No problem with jabbing fellow travellers when crammed into crush packed underground trains. Catalyst for conversation with habitually reticent London commuters. Such is my passion for this prosaic work of art I have taught sock classes which have turned into celebrations of the miracle of the heel turn and the guilty pleasure of a small but luxurious skein of yarn.
I am an unashamed advocate of the joy of socks.