For the past couple of weeks as Melbourne's temperature plunged I have had my hand-knitted purple socks on almost permanent rotation. I wear them, wash them and curse how long they take to dry before starting the cycle again.
I have dozens of pairs of machine-made socks including a few expensive pure wool pairs in far more useful colours (such as black) but it suddenly struck me that my thick hand-knitted purple socks were truly my favourite. I wasn't wearing them to show off my knitting skills or for any other reason apart from the fact they were warm and well-made and I liked them.
So maybe, just maybe, I should knit another pair. For the one person who I knew would truly appreciate them. For me.
So I pulled out the Opal 6-ply; checked my foot circumference and gauge against the sock pattern sizing chart where it fitted exactly between two official sizes, reminded myself that I had a brain and cast-on a number of stitches between the two sizes (64), figured the ribbing that can both expand and contract would take care of any inconsistencies, and started the first ever item which I was making for a very specific purpose for myself.
Don't get me wrong. I love all the hats and scarfs I have made and wear them often but I never felt compelled to make them in quite the same way. Usually I have wanted to try out a pattern or yarn and more often than not the end result is something I am happy and proud to wear and say I made. But this time it is different. I want another pair of socks made by me for me that fit exactly.
Speaking of the 6-ply Opal sock yarn...
I had a call from Rachel last night. She got the DLB Hat and is so sleep-deprived with a new baby and toddler under the age of two she actually thought I had made the hat with genuine fancy fair-isle knitting for her bub. So I explained the concept of self-patterning sock yarn and promised to show her a strand when she is next in Melbourne. She reminded me that she had a complete collection showing the development of my knitting from plain cotton baby jumper onwards.
I have to finish Gabi's cardigan. I've done the supposed hard bit. I will beat those silly cardigan bands.
Worst case scenario I'll bring it to the next Stitch 'n' Bitch and throw myself on the mercy of the other knitters of Melbourne.