Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Happy Post: Knitting Socks

(Reclaimed from Bubblews, where this "Bubble" originally appeared on 9.2.14.)

Although I'm a pattern hoarder, I've decided I'm almost ready to part with Betty Christiansen's Knitting for Peace. This pattern book contains more words in praise of various charities than actual knitting patterns; the type is hard for my "young" eyes to read and will probably be impossible for me to read if and whenever I get completely through midlife, so I might as well hand this book down.

So I've been knitting the socks from the pattern supplied by the Peace Fleece company. This is not your typical wool company. In the 1980s, their mission was to try to promote the idea of an alliance between the U.S. and the big bad old U.S.S.R. by getting artisans in both countries to collaborate to produce something people in both countries would like: knitting wool. The yarn has always been marketed with color names like "Baikal Blue" and "Antarctic White." The company survived, and thrived, as the U.S.S.R. broke into separate countries several of which have been, to some extent, allies with the U.S. You can still buy their beautiful wool and "Tajik Mohair" yarns at

I did not make the financial commitment to support world peace by buying Peace Fleece just to make socks. I'm using up leftover yarn. The yarn I'm using for the two smaller-size socks is royal blue and white--team colors for the Gate City Blue Devils. Yay team.

Anyway, for a few years now people have asked about the hand-knitted socks, and this year I will have socks for sale. The price of the socks is US$10. The price of shipping knitwear and/or books and/or anything else to online purchasers is $5 per reasonable-sized package sent to the same place at the same time--you could get several books or pairs of socks into a $5 box.

I don't usually knit socks, but as of today, the fact that I'm making socks instead of another hat, sweater, or blanket is still enough of a novelty to make me happy.

[Update: I've sold the team-colors socks, all but the pair I knitted to fit my own particular legs, which are not for sale. These are heavy socks, with seams, that work better as slippers or bed socks than as socks to wear inside shoes, and yes, they can be made to fit precisely, and for people with special sock needs they can even be trussed to a waistband instead of having to cling to the legs...but that'll cost more than $10. The book? It really is a sweet, goodhearted book, full of extremely easy patterns that beg the experienced knitter to invent variations that use up all the leftovers in her or his stash; I can sell it whenever anybody wants to buy it, the usual $5 + $5 shipping out of which Betty Christiansen or one of her favorite charities gets $1.]