Socks

At the beginning of the year, I came up with a crazy plan:

Knit birthday socks for everyone in my family.

I had just finished my first pair of socks – crazy self-striping vanilla ones for my daughter, and thought that this would be the perfect idea for birthday presents for everyone. Yes, you can laugh. I know I am. Why?

  1. I have a large family, consisting of a mother, a brother, and 2 sisters – plus all their partners, my daughter, and my niece. Grand total: 9 pairs of socks.
  2. I decided this after knitting only one pair of socks – ever.
  3. These were child sized socks.
  4. It took me 2 months to finish the second sock, after doing the first in a single day.
  5. Yes, that should have tipped me off.
  6. Nobody in my family has little feet.
  7. Especially my brother.
  8. Almost all of the family birthdays fall across the span of a 3 month period.
  9. This 3 month period is what we call “summer” – which means heat and sweating and not wanting to even think about warm wool.
  10. The last birthday is in August. I decided this in February. Think about it.

Needless to say, with 9 pairs in 6 months, I wound up getting a little creative… Halfway through July, my sister’s boyfriend was declared not-yet-family, and one pair of socks was wiped off my list. My mother told me she didn’t want knit socks, because she didn’t think she’d like wearing them, so I made her a glasses “sock” (eyeglass case) instead.

I managed to mostly get through it unscathed. I do still have to finish my brother’s birthday socks (which I’m considering reclaiming as his Christmas present) but otherwise… 6 pairs in as many months really isn’t bad. Especially considering I threw a pair for myself in there, bringing the total up to 7. And shawls. And a ton of other things.

So, now that Christmas is coming, I ask my mother what she wants me to knit her for Christmas. I know she won’t wear a knit hat. She already has gloves that she’s in love with, and wouldn’t wear any I made her –  besides, I knit her fingerless mittens a couple years back (that she never wears). She doesn’t wear scarves. And I made her the only other thing I could think of that she might use.

She decided on slippers. Ok, knowing her reluctance to wear knit socks, I pull up Ravelry and start showing her different patterns for slippers, pointing out all the felted ones that won’t have the “bumps” she’s worried might feel bad under her feet. We looked through a few pages, before she got an idea of what she wanted, and pointed a pair out to me.

They were socks.

I’m pretty sure I laughed at her at this point, but needless to say, my mom is getting her socks… and I’ve discovered something very, very interesting after casting on this past Saturday: If I double up fingering weight yarn and knit it on size 6 needles, I can make a pair of socks in less than a week! And, not only that… But I’m doing this pattern from scratch. Without planning it out ahead of time.

I started with the remainder of the yarn I was initially going to make her birthday socks with – which came to about 350 yards, then wound it doubled, for about 175 yds of approximately worsted weight.  I cast on and started working, making decisions as I went… And I think these are going to be some of the most awesome socks slippers ever.

Mom's Slippers

I mean, seriously... Look at them. They're SO thick and warm and genius!

So, after working these for a few days (literally – it’s Monday. I started them Saturday) I’ve started to think… If I can do a pair of socks in a week (2 if they’re fingering weight and I don’t take forever on them), why can’t I manage one a month next year? 12 in 2012 would be an awesome goal! And then, I look at my total so far this year. Finishing this and my brother’s will put me at 9 pairs. Plus, I have one other pair on the needles (and a second that’s been put on waste yarn, but they’re dead to me – at least for now.) And there’s still more than 2 months left in the year… I should try for 11 pairs in 2011!!!

Someone please shoot me before I make another stupid decision? Like, say, committing to knitting a me-sized sweater by my birthday next year?

Oh, wait. Too late.

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