March 30, 2011

Socks, some sadness and such

I recently received an unsubtle (but charming) request for bloggery from one of my favoritest knitting ladies. It's appropriate, then, that I have something to show off that she in particular would appreciate.

Behold! The finished Nutkins.


Specs: Nutkin, size 2 Harmony wood DPNS, Ancient Threads Bambu fingering. Mods: Added one pattern repeat, and subbed standard cuff, heel and toe.

Because I rule at gift knitting, these socks were promised to my friend Kelley for her birthday last March, at which point I let her choose her favorite yarn from my entire sock yarn stash. At the time, I was pleased and a little chagrined and kind of surprised
when she chose the Ancient Threads yarn.


Pleased because suddenly I would be knitting it, after letting it languish in the stash for many years. Chagrined because I would not be knitting it for me. Mostly I was surprised, as Kelley's tastes run very heavily towards the purple end of the color spectrum. To the point where several friends have unsuccessfully attempted a purple intervention. I, on the other hand, support her purple fetish, as I have much the same relationship with the color green. And pork products. And IT guys.


Anyway, despite the extraordinarily long time I took to knit these socks (over a year, people, so please never ever feel bad about missing a knitting deadline), I loved knitting them. Every few stitches brought a new and amazing color. The dyer uses all natural dyes, like osage, cochineal and cutch ("Cutch" being a word I can't say, type or think about with chortling a little). The colors are amazing, and unlike any other dyes I've seen.


And this brings me back to my knitting friend, who[m?] I haven't seen in far too long. She's wonderful in pretty much every way someone can be wonderful. She has a remarkable combination of personal warmth, intelligence and a brilliant sense of humor that's pretty irresistible. She's also a motherfucking badass spinner and knitter.

Every time I picked up the socks that I was knitting for Kelley, I thought of my other friend. This friend and I have very similar color sensibilities *cough* seventies appliances *cough*. In fact, both of us bought this yarn at Mass Sheep and Wool, in almost identical colorways, several years ago. At the time, I thought her skein was slightly prettier and may have experienced an uncharitable burst of fiery hatred and envy for a second when she clutched it to her bosom and declared it the most beautiful thing in the world. That passed as soon as I realized my yarn had its own considerable charms. And in fact, we were both so smitten with the colors of our yarn that we were inspired to try natural dyeing ourselves, using the same dyes as were used in this yarn.


This wonderful friend also had an extraordinarily tragic event in her personal life in the past year I've been knitting these socks. And, being awkward and clumsy with emotions and unsure what to say or how to say it, I sent her stilted condolences and little else. But I thought of her. When I picked up the socks, I thought about how colossally unfair it is that this incredibly warm, vibrant, joyful woman could have something so awful happen to her. I thought about how sad and angry and disappointed she must be, and how I really can't begin to understand her loss. It's a sad and awful thing that I would not wish on anyone, but it's especially horrible that it happened to someone I like and admire so much.

And then, mostly, I thought about how very much I like her, and how much I miss her. And how my life has been better (and funnier and sillier and more filled with joy) for having her in it. And I wished there was something I could do to help her.

But I realize now that I can do something, which is tell her that I was thinking of her, with every stitch, and every time I looked at the yarn. And I am sending my love.