The Satisfaction of Sock Knitting


A Handknit Sock

There’s a math to it. The cast on. Count
the multiples of four.
Last year it was hats and cowls.
This year, socks.
I want to try the fish lips kiss heel.

It’s a simple thing. How a sock is knit.
You start with yarn.
Needles as slim as toothpicks.
Terms like toe and gusset and cuff.
My friend says, "it’s too much work."

There’s a rhythm in the repetition.
The making. Clockwise circles.
Some throw, some pick.
Row after row after row.
In time you get length and warmth.

There’s the calm you long for,
around and around and around.
Turn heel for a path to Zen.
You think of those you love.
The grandmother who taught you.

The wet squeezed out,
pairs hang to dry. Later fold
their softness, admire the colors,
ignore imperfections.
Find comfort, hidden in shoes.
My squishy hand knit socks.

39 thoughts on “The Satisfaction of Sock Knitting

  1. They are beautiful, random wool works so well doesn’t it? And i can see they will last forever. Lots of passion in them and your poem 🙂

    • Yes, the randomness is a good thing. Thanks for your visit and for always making time to write an encouraging word, Gilly.

  2. Love your poem. And I love knitting socks. Turning the heel and grafting the toe is simply brilliant. I need to experiment with fancy patterns and toe down. Happy sock knitting to you Ruth 🙂

    • I’m working on a toe-up second sock now with that afterthought heel. I’ve tried different methods and am trying to find my favorite. I have some fancy patterns in a sock shaped book a friend gave me at Christmas but so far it’s basic. Thank you for your good wishes and knit on!

    • The pairs in the photo. A pair on my feet. A pair I gave to Laura and a pair snd a half on the needles. The first pair I made a few years ago and it’s only this year I’ve returned and become a student of sock making. Thanks Sue

    • I think it’s more like perseverance, and the first one is hard. But then you understand it and it’s easier. And there are two parts where it’s mindless knitting and 3 parts where you have to pay attention. I like no pattern, too. Thanks for your good words today. Your angel hair snd shrimp photo on your blog looked so enticing.

      • That’s very true Ruth. Once you get the hang of it, it gets easier. Maybe one day I get into knitting. I know how to do basic knitting but that’s as far as I go. I do admire and value hand knitted stuff. And thanks for liking my pasta dish 🙂

    • Awww thank you Stef. I’m knitting a pair now for my son Mark’s 40th bday in a color called Black Twig ( he won’t read this comment I’m sure) but his foot is size 12. I’d better get knitting

  3. Pingback: The Quest for Sock Yarn in Alaska | Ruth E Hendricks Photography

Thanks for your visit. It's always good to hear you stopped by.