When I started making socks, I was like “what if I get a hole in a sock? Does that mean I lose that pair?” While that has yet to happen (thank goodness), I learned about this nifty tool called a Speedweve. They came about and were popular in the 1940’s & 1950’s (makes sense in the Post War Era). It is exactly what I have been looking for and need to add to my collection of knitting tools. I would hate to have to just toss a pair of hand knit socks if one gets a hole. Once I get a speedweve I will be able to fix it and get more wear out of the socks. If it were a pair of store bought socks, I wouldn’t think twice about tossing since they are cheaply and poorly made anyway. Hand Knit socks I have a harder time being willing to toss, as more time and money went in to the creation of said socks.
In today’s modern culture, a lot of things are made poorly and cheaply, which means the items don’t last as long as they once did (thanks fast fashion). Back when my grandparents were children and young adults, maternal items were made to last longer, and if it broke, you fixed/mended it, if it couldn’t be fixed you did without (either completely or until money could be saved to replace it).
Over the past couple years, I have been trying to incorporate more of that philosophy into my life. Learning how to knit things for myself, I prefer doing, as I know that what I make is if a better quality than can be bought at the local department store. My socks are definitely of a better quality than buying Nike/adidas/other name brand crew socks at the store. I still use those kinds of socks for my current job since I am active there and it is easier to throw those socks in the washer.
What I am working towards is to live a more sustainable and self sufficient life, away from the city life. I would ultimately like to homestead and more from scratch. Making my own socks, hats wraps and such is part if that.
I had started the second sock of the pair I am working on last week, but ended up ripping out what I had done on Sunday as I had dropped a stitch and it ran too far down to get it. I restarted the sock, and yesterday I finally got back to the point of where I had been on Sunday when I dropped the stitch. It was nice it only took me a couple days to get back on track (among doing other things around the house). I am back to making progress again and I am almost done with the cuff. The first version of the second sock definitely was looking different as far as striping was going from the first one, but it’s reknit is looking much more like it’s mate, while using the exact same amount of yarn as it’s predecessor did.
The desire I have to live a simpler life, I know takes hard work and delayed gratification, and that is definitely part of why I want to do it. I also believe the final product is of better quality. It’s also more satisfying for me to see the final product knowing I did it myself or had a part of making it happen.
I am also trying to support the smaller yarn dyers who create some of the most beautiful and interesting yarn colorways as far as sock yarn goes. I still have some Knitpicks sock yarn to knit up. I am really trying to use Knitpicks for supplies and yarn for bigger projects, where it is more practical to buy from them. To me, Knitpicks is akin to the Montgomery Wards or Meyer and Frank Catalogs of decades past, and the “indie” dyers, while still having an online presence are the mom and pop stores on your local Main / High street. It’s the premise of shopping on Main Street when possible, but sometimes when what you need / want isn’t available locally, you order it from the Catalog. Then again even from the time I was a teen I enjoyed looking at old catalogs and magazines from the 1940’s and 1950’s. I was also fortunate to have Grandmothers who were young adults / young wives during that era who could actually tell me about that period from their own experience.