I know that that's not news for anybody who knows me in real life as I'm always pulling that long, skinny needle and a couple of balls of fine yarn out of my basket to knit a row or two. It's probably nothing revelatory to you guys who know me online either, as my last few yarn purchases and crafty projects have been all about the sock too.
But as well as the click-clacking, I've been thinking a lot about this new love too. Trying to turn it over and inside-out, attempting to understand it and trace it back to where it first began.
A long, long time ago, when I was in my early teens, I used to learn the clarinet off this wonderful woman called Anna, whose family ran a shop that sold roses on Wattletree Road. During my lessons Anna used to knit these long, colourful and heavily patterned socks. They were incredible. I remember them being knitted up with a different pattern each strip working up the sock. A house with a garden, a sky with butterflies, flowers, trees and birds.
The fact that they impressed this non knitting teenager says something and the fact that they have stayed in my mind all these years makes me wonder if I should credit Anna with my love of the knitting of the humble sock. What I wouldn't give to hold one in my hands right now and reconcile my memories with sock truth.
(Miss Pepper's blue socks raveled here.)
Fast forward thirty or so years and finally I'm knitting socks of my own. Not nearly at Anna's level of complication, but there's time.
About four years ago when I picked up the needles and googled 'how to cast on', I think I probably had socks in my mind as the end game. (Check out Miss Pepper's cute cheeks in my first knitting post).
Knitting socks just makes sense to me.
I love that I can play with the cutest, craziest, most colourful yarn that I would never be brave enough to experiment with on a larger piece of clothing.
I love that I can make something that we actually need and wear everyday. If life as we know it ever ends, my family will still have cute socks to put on.
I love how portable the sock knitting project is.
I love the anatomy of a sock. To date I have knitted nine and a bit socks and I never cease to be overwhelmed with admiration for the person who first broke it down and designed something that covers that tricky bit of the body and fits it so well.
I love all the different patterns and choices available from the utensils, to the yarns, to the directions, to the cast ons, to the gussets, to the heels, to the patterns, to the lengths, to the cast offs.
I love knitting two socks at a time, on a long circular needle, from the toes up.
I love that sock knitting is a slow and meditative craft.
I love that sock knitters are like members of a secret club. Three or four times over the past few months strangers have approached me while I was knitting and chatted sock techniques. It's almost like finding someone else who speaks your language when you are in a foreign country.
I love this book.
And I love clicking on the sock knitting hashtags on instagram and scrolling through what everybody else is making.
(Bren's Farmer Boy socks ravelled here.)
Yep, I'm hooked on socks!
How about you?
What are you hooked on right now?
Happy equinox you guys!