My evening pages... at the end of a day in new socks

A recent goal for me has been to sit and write at least 30 minutes per day. For many reasons, I have felt the need to create or find a little more balance in myself... specifically by writing down my thoughts... externalizing all of the stuff I tend to internalize and keep inside beyond the threshold healthful for a dyed in the wool introvert. In addition to my daily writing, I have begun to reintegrate sitting meditation, 10 minutes of it, into my daily routine. This practice was once much more a part of my daily life, and my yearning for balance has turned me back to it.
So why write here? I recently pulled the sock yarn out of stash and completed the pair in the photo -- striped and ribbed from KnitPicks and Ravelry. Wearing them today for the first time, I walked home and thought it might be fruitful to sit and write out of my socks where some might find it interesting.
This round of knitting was a reminder of the magic of turning a heel. I have knit socks before, but every time I do it... every time that I work those short rows back and forth, I am left a little bit breathless. That our ancestors so long ago devised this method for sculpting spun fiber into the shape of the human body. And that I do this sculpture with pieces of wood turned into a useful shape with metal sharpened... I inherit so much of human ingenuity each time that I turn a heel.
Do you remember the first pair of socks that you knit? Did someone teach you how? My friend Michael -- whose book you may have read -- sat and explained these short rows to me... going back and forth and closing that little gap until I was left with the little cup of yarn pooled with color. Yes it was like magic. And then to go forward picking up the stitches on the side and finish the sock... to be a little scared but also to muster a little confidence and pick away. Well, it all worked out.
The funny and comforting part is that I still make all kinds of funky mistakes when I make socks. This time, I was all prepared to make identical socks, but approaching the end of the second, it was clear that I was going to have to bind off with more stitches than I had at the end of the first if they were to be the same length (which I deemed to be the more important end). Again, with a little trust, knowing that I would be able to make the same basic shape and length using my skills, I have on my feet socks that I am happy with, that fit well.
Since returning to DC, the capitol of black, grey, and tan, I have also made a goal of adding more color to my wardrobe, and all day, I enjoyed in my peripheral vision the weirdly blue stripes peaking out of the cuff of my pants. It put a little more bounce in my step and a little more power in my pedals as I biked home today. As gay a town as DC is, it can take the light out of your loafers, and perhaps these socks are the antidote.

Indeed, this was fruitful. I may have to make a visit here more regularly for my daily 30.

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Tom Hart's picture

I also sit, David. I think you're smart to come back to it. I think being able to be still even for a few seconds is a valuable life skill. And I'm getting into socks too. Bill from this group taught me how (thank you so, so much for that, Bill) and I've decided that for the foreseeable future I'm going to have a sock on the needles. I like to knit at work and on the bus and a sock is the perfect thing for that. I plan to make enough of them to be able to stop buying socks.

CLABBERS's picture

Your socks are beautiful. I wish I lived near you, I would beg you to sit down with me and teach me as your friend Michael did with you. I am ready to move on from flat things with little or no real definition or personality to them. I think that scarves and hats are great, but I am ready to try harder things. I find what are deemed "simple" socks for the "beginner" knitter, and I am having a difficult time understanding the pattern. I am the kind of person who likes to read the pattern and visualize all the stitches, but find I get lost in the vernacular, but I persist and will break through my frustration and lack of forward momentum. Keep writing, keep meditating, and definitely keep knitting. They are all incredibly therapeutic activities.


knitsncycles's picture

Thanks. If you've already done hats, then you've tasted what it's like to shape something in knitting. Take the plunge and do some socks. Some of the fellows here, or a good Youtube video, will get you through it.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

I taught myself to knit socks, using a pattern from a children's knitting book that is now a rarity. That formula has remained my staple pattern for many, many years - with experiments incorporated - and is still my "go-to" when teaching others the joys of socks. Congratulations on socks, meditation, and journaling. -- Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Kerry's picture

Knitting a sock still seems a little magical to me, and if you can meditate in some magical socks all the better.

Melbcub's picture

Great socks. Great photo :-)