Friday, May 01, 2009

Set the rest of us free

Today was a first - I wore hand knit socks all day.
socks & docs_2
I only have two pairs - two finished pairs, that is - and these were only finished last year after it was too warm for wool socks. The first pair are made from a cheap Spotlight wool/nylon blend that didn't feel particularly great on my feet the time or two I tried to wear them.

I do have sensitive feet and I have always had doubts about the 'grainy' feeling of hand knits. I should try those first ones again on a really cold day though - it's when my feet warm up that they get more sensitive and irritable.

For these socks I employed a strategy I've seen suggested here and there. I'm not sure now if I thought of it independently, probably not. The sole of the foot is knit in reverse stocking stitch, so that you wear the smooth side against the skin. You can get much the same effect wearing plain knit socks inside out - this just looks (arguably) a bit more polished.

This was the simple train knitting project during the work trip to Europe last September. I got the first sock done during the trip and the second one soon after returning. People often think my socks look small while on the needles (I have average sized feet). I remember whipping off my shoes and demonstrating the fit of the toe on a train somewhere in Norway. I think they look small because I tend to knit them at a fairly tight gauge on 2mm or 2.25 needles, another strategy to avoid the grainy feeling.
socks & docs
Hand knitted socks are perfect with my new Docs, a bargain on ebay recently. I finally had to admit that my beloved cherry Doc shoes that I bought so long ago (1992?) really were too small. I hadn't worn them much in years. They always needed very thin socks, but my feet have also widened quite a bit over time and they became unwearable. So I passed them on to a friend and now have these ones a size up.

I am loving wearing them to work with my dress pants, on days when I just feel a bit irritable about femininity in general. Sometimes I wonder how I became this person who wears ladylike shoes, carries a handbag and wears makeup every day (very little of it, but definitely essential). I was strongly opposed to all of these things when I was younger. I even wore flat shoes, and no makeup, to the Year 10 and Year 12 graduation formals. Now I enjoy these things - especially a variety of shoes. But I also enjoy having the option of wearing nice sensible lace-up shoes like men do.


Donna Lee said...

some socks are more comfortable than others. I have some handknit socks that are really only comfortable with slippers. And then I have some that feel so wonderful with any shoes.

Anonymous said...

What are you night owls doing blogging and getting comments in the middle of the night? How I love reading about your thoughts on knitting and shoes and feminine trappings and so on. Matches my thoughts on shoes too! I still miss the fabulous black velcroed shoes I bought in China that were a fractionally feminised version of a men's shoe. Most comfortable shoes I've ever had and I could wear them with everything. Unfortunately they wore out! ily Ma

Rose Red said...

I think that is one of the best things about being a woman - you can lady it up if you want, or do the sensible man style shoe thing if you want, and either way looks good - lots more choices, really.

Michelle said...

I was always very anti-makeup and anti-hairdo and anti-frocking up too. Then one day I realised that I wanted make more of an effort - for me. I don't get dressed up for work or anyone else. Just me. I deserve it. It was quite a liberating feeling!

Love those socks - the colour is so nice.

Alwen said...

When I know I have to be on my feet all day, I find myself reaching for my handknit socks. I know they will stay up and I won't be pulling them up in back all day!