This blog post is not for you. Unless you are my mother or my sister. If you’re not, that’s ok — you can still read it — but it’s not for you.
It’s for my sister, firstly. Are you there, meine kleine Schwester? It’s for you because, while you were staying with us over Christmas, and we were sitting at the table and enjoying that wonderful holiday feast and a few glasses of wine, you mentioned something that that showed me just how much work there is to do. Hang on, let me explain for everyone else…
My sister is not a knitter or a crocheter — if you handed her a pair of needles, I’m certain she’d hold them like chopsticks. But she’s been really supportive of SpaceCadet Creations. She’s proud of the work I do, she comes into my studio to see the dyeing in action, and she promotes the fiber arts on her Facebook stream… in her own particular way. A few weeks ago, she posted this:
Knitting is not just a hobby which reduces stress and improves manual dexterity, but it’s also an eco-friendly way to buy your clothes.
And a few days before that, this:
All the cool kids buy their clothes from knitters, because sweatshops are so uncool.
And also this:
The Knitteratti are ready for Christmas. Are you?
She’s a kook, yeah, but she’s a supportive kook. And then, there we were, sitting at the table and drinking the last of the wine and sneaking a few extra bites of spice cake, when she mentioned that she’d had some good feedback on my yarn from a couple of friends, but that they hadn’t bought anything because they don’t knit socks.
For a moment, I was taken aback. “Well… erm… you know, they don’t have to knit socks with it,” I said.
“They don’t?” She was genuinely shocked by the revelation. “But it’s sock yarn! You called it sock yarn!”
“Um, well… yeah, it’s sock yarn if you’re going to knit socks with it. But… it’s just yarn. You can knit anything with it.”
“You can?!? Like what?!?”
“Like hats, or scarves, or mittens, or sweaters, or… well, anything you want. It’s… y’know, it’s yarn.”
“You never told me!” And she actually jumped up a little in her seat as she said it. “I thought it was just for socks! I’ve been telling everyone that it’s only for socks!”
So, for my sister — my lovely, kooky sister who has been so supportive but totally doesn’t get knitting — (and for you, just in case you might be similarly confused), let me just clarify: sock yarn is not just for socks. It’s only called sock yarn because it’s the right weight to be used for socks, but you can use it to make whatever your heart desires. Don’t let that label hold you back!
In fact, that’s really important. Let me say it again, with Center and Bold this time:
Sock Yarn is Not Just for Socks!
The rest of this post is for my mum, who really wants to knit something with my yarn but, so far, neither of us have had a chance to sit down and pick her a colourway and a pattern. I suspect she is thinking of a scarf, because that’s her comfort zone, but (ignoring everything I’ve just said above!) I’d love to see her try a pair of socks. I think it would really stretch her knitting skills and, more than that, she’d have a lot of fun in the process. And I know she finds that prospect of socks a little daunting, so this is the bit that’s for her (and for you too, if you’re feeling a little intimidated at the thought of knitting socks):
Mum, go ahead and choose your colourway, pick up your needles and knit your gauge swatch. There’s nothing to worry about. Because we’ve got some blog posts coming up in the next couple of months that are going to take you by the hand and guide through starting off as a sock knitter. It’ll be good — trust me.
And, Mum… you are going to love sock knitting!