Sunday, November 27, 2016

Socks, knitworthiness, and Gorgon the Destroyer

Well, it's the 27th already, and I'm only just ready to say that posting every day is becoming any kind of strain. I did think I might show you some knitting (if in doubt...) but then much of it is either for people's Christmas presents so I don't want to risk their seeing, or else I've forgotten to photograph it before giving it away, and most of it this year has been socks, for example, these pink and green ones:

I gave these to my yoga buddy A, for whom I had never knitted anything before and whom I understood to have a fondness for a good sock, they are fine sock wool and were carefully sized, you know about people's feet are when you do yoga with them regularly, and they are her sort of colours, I'm quite good on that too. She was only very moderately enthusiastic, but she's not an excitable person. They have my fraternally matching/contrasting toes heels and tops, a device I often employ, mostly to make the knitting more varied and interesting. Other yoga buddy, Dutch E, remarked on the fraternal thing as one of my trademarks, and openly said she was jealous of these socks.

This led me to ponder on the matter of knitworthiness. I have made quite a few things for Dutch E, and thought perhaps it would be only fair to give A something. I do not, do not, do NOT make or give things to people in the expectation of gratitude, and yet... A's tepidity on receiving the socks didn't exactly irk me, but made me disinclined to think of making her anything else, though it might simply be that she is, as I've observed, rather phlegmatic and undemonstrative. But she has knitted herself, I gather, and knows what goes into a pair of socks (about 35000 stitches, I think I once heard). Dutch E, who isn't a knitter, is rather greedy, it seems to me, saying she was jealous when she has already had lots, but I do appreciate her appreciation, and that she is observant about the way I make things, and I know whatever I give her I will see her wearing and she will make positive but honest (she's Dutch) and useful comments on it, and I am much more inclined to knit for her again.

But it's silly to take it on yourself to know what people might like, as well as to expect certain forms of appreciation. We had the Quiet American and German Doctor round for a meal a couple of nights ago. Last Christmas I had made the former a pair of fine plain black socks with a touch of colour on the tops - dark red or something masculine and discreet anyway, I forget - they were boring to make but I thought surely unexceptionable; I've heard people complain that the problem with hand-knit socks is they are usually too thick and awkward to get shoes on over.  I didn't hear anything back about them, and finally decided to ask the other night if he ever wore them. Yes, he said, but they're a bit thin, he liked to wear them in the house in the evening, when reading or watching telly... So I'd patiently knitted boring fine black socks when he would have preferred some chunky wool sofa socks. Serves me right for assuming anything.

Talking of thick warm house socks, here are the ones I made for myself inspired by the lighthouses off Roscoff (in this post a couple of years ago).

It must be said that almost all my family and friends, including all of the blogging ones on whom I have bestowed my knitted favours, are extremely appreciative and highly knitworthy.

G and A are also very knitworthy, particularly of socks. I forgot to photograph the red patterned ones I sent to A, but he expressed his appreciation by sending me a personalised Face in Hole creation. We got rather into exchanging these; the first, and still one of the best, he sent was one of Peggy the Boxer as Henry VIII:

I returned one of Elfie as Rita Hayworth in Gilda, but in fact it turned out a little too disturbing to post here. He has since progressed to videos, and in his thank you e-mail for the socks was this one of my being eaten by Gorgon the Destroyer (I wouldn't really have recognised myself and am not quite sure where he got the photo from):

I assume this means he liked the socks, so 35000 stitches was time and wool well spent.


Alison said...

lLucy, we have just eaten Lucy's Garlic Chicken. . sooooo delicious! During the cooking I thought the garlic would be OTT but actually not

Thank you so much for sharing that!


Unknown said...

I got to wear a certain purple circle scarf, so lovely. It's raw and cold here all of a sudden.

the polish chick said...

i left the lovely scarf you made me in texas, and was unable to satisfactorily explain to mr. monkey where it was exactly, so it'll have to wait till i go there for christmas. i sure could use something warm around my neck right about now.

i know what* you mean about not giving with expectation of appreciation, but i also find it irksome when people don't say thank you or say it in a way that doesn't acknowledge the effort and thought that went into the gift. makes me disinclined to give as well.

*thrice now i've typed "twat" instead of "what" and had the luck to catch before posting. yikes!

Roderick Robinson said...

Feel quite smug. Had myself photographed wearing 100 m long scarf in garden when temperature was 30 deg C-plus. Looked a bit foolish but never mind, it was in a good cause. Greater love hath no man, etc, etc. Also references to assymetrical shawl, poignantly, as VR struggled with shingles. Duty done, except it wasn't a duty. You know that.

Got it! Singing lesson at 10 am today. I shall go there wearing scarf - a fusion of the cultures.

However I do have one suggestion. As you knit you think. But it won't be quite like normal unrestricted thought because a tiny part of your multifarious brain will have to be set aside to work the creative needles. Twil be a tester, I know, but could you possibly define knit-thought? Chances are it could be a worldwide first.

Lucy said...

Thank you.

Alison - I'm delighted about the garlic chicken! In fact sometimes for people who are slightly less garlic loving than we are I ease up on the garlic a bit, and use a lot of fresh herbs, parsley is good. But the garlic does smooth out more quite a lot. It also makes for good stock afterwards.

Z - I always rather like it when you appear as your given name alter ego! I worry about that scarf, the wool pills and fuzzes so, but it is very pure woolly and warm, I hope.

PC - oh dear, I can't get anything to you quickly enough really. Funny you should say that about your Freudian typo; I accidentally typed that G and A are very appreciative of cocks, which is almost certainly very true but not the kind of thing I want to grace the pages of Box Elder!

Robbie - glad to hear V will see your scarf. Knitting thoughts, well, I do tend to knit while watching or listening to telly or radio; I can't honestly say I practise any particular kind of mindfulness when doing it. 'Wool-gathering' perhaps best describes the kind of thinking, or non-thinking, involved, a pun used in a passage of Rose Tremaine's 'Music and Silence' to describe it, which I have quoted here and may do again to fill up a post!