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Mother of the Year

January 23, 2012
by

I love my children with all my heart and soul. I would do anything in my power to make all of their hopes and dreams come true. If they are sad, I am sad. If they are happy, I am happy. My life revolves around them. Just don’t tell them that.

If they ask me why Child A got something that Child B did not, I usually respond, “Because I like them better.” It’s how I am. It’s how our household operates. We tease, we cajole, we excel at sarcasm. We are a close knit group but to the uninitiated, I am sure it sometimes sounds like we all hate each other. If you are ever over at our house and we aren’t teasing one another, then and only then should you worry about us.

My sons are very active boys, intensely involved in their sports. Their father is no different. He coaches them in hockey, lacrosse and baseball. If he could, he would watch all of their games, as well as the games of all the neighborhood kids. If he has free time, he sometimes heads to the rink in the hopes that there is SOME hockey game going on that he can watch, because chances are, he knows at least one kid playing. Sports Center is always on at least one TV in our house and my youngest son falls asleep at night watching hockey videos on YouTube. You can’t walk into my house without tripping on hockey bags, sticks, tennis shoes and skates. The boys are not the crafting types and generally aren’t that interested in my various pursuits. My husband and youngest son will wear the hats I make for them, and sometimes even request a certain color or pattern, but that is the extent of their interest in my knitting.

My daughter, on the other hand . . . We have tried and tried to get her interested in a sport. We have been through dance, soccer and hockey with her. She doesn’t like the dance recitals, she doesn’t like balls, she isn’t “into pucks.” Often times, with as busy as we are with the boys’ activities and the amount of money we spend on equipment, registrations, ice bills and tournament expenses, she comes out on the short end. It certainly isn’t deliberate, and we don’t mean for it to happen, but it does. I am sure there will be a day, when she is in therapy at some point, that she will blame her parents and the boys for her troubles.

She does, however, love crafting. She usually alternates with beading and scrapbooking and she even knits! She loves everything I knit for her. I have made her hats, mittens, scarves. She wears them all and steals everything that I knit for myself on top of it. I am happy to knit with, and for, her. Sometimes, if she asks nice enough, I will even share my stash with her. Then, in the beginning of November, she asked me to knit her a pair of socks.

Socks.

Sock knitting is a strange endeavor. First off, sock needles are tiny. I mean, really, really tiny. We are talking anywhere from 1.75 to 3.25 mm in diameter. For the layperson, imagine knitting with toothpicks. Secondly, sock yarn is very fine. It is known alternately as fingerling or extra fine yarn. Some of the sock yarns are one step up from thread. These two aspects of sock knitting, when taken together, add up to a lot of knitting. Socks are not an instant gratification type of project. Sock knitting is an investment in time. For the socks I have knit, I usually knit them with fingerling weight (sock) yarn on size 2 (3.00 mm) needles. My row gauge is about 11 rows per inch and I am usually knitting about 60 stitches per round. If you do the math, this means, for an average sock, I am knitting about 10,500 stitches for one sock. I have knit sweaters with less stitches than that. I don’t know about you, but I have two feet. I need to knit another sock for my second foot. Another 10,500 stitches. To make matters worse, usually you want these socks to MATCH. This means you need to maintain a steady gauge when you are knitting those socks otherwise you will end up with one that fits you, and one that fits the abominable snowman. Trust me, it’s not that hard to get off on your gauge, and once you do, there is no getting that sock back.

Even with all of this stacked against knitting those socks, I love my daughter and I know that sometimes she doesn’t get a lot of our time. I said yes to socks for her and off we went to pull out the sock yarn bin and pick out some yarn. She chose a lovely self stripping yarn from KnitPicks and told me how she wanted the socks to look. “Can you make me some knee high socks mommy?” KNEE HIGH SOCKS???????

You have got to be kidding me. The child not only wanted socks, but she wanted knee high socks. Socks that are an extra 5 inches long, AND knit on a smaller needle that I usually use because her legs are skinnier than her momma’s? Socks that went from 10,500 stitches to almost 13,000 stitches a sock? The child had now pushed the limits of what her mother was capable of. Fortunately for her, parental guilt is a powerful thing. I cast on that first sock and settled in for miles and miles of stockinette hell.

Her first sock was finished driving home from the cabin on Thanksgiving weekend. Grandma was driving and she was going to make sure that Alea got her socks. I think that was the slowest drive home ever and at one point Grandma even threatened to pull over and wait until I got that sock done. I finished the darned thing, 5 miles from home.

Then Christmas season was upon us. I went on a slipper, hat, and mitten knitting jag and the second sock was set aside. This was a mistake. If you don’t cast on that second sock right away, it is very easy to fall into the dreaded second sock syndrome (SSS). Who wants to knit a second, endless sock when there are so many other pretty things to make? Throughout December, that second sock remained only a thought. By the beginning of January, Alea had started showing me her one sock and remarking that it would be awesome if it had a mate. She then started draping her sock around her neck and calling it a scarf. I can take a hint. I finally cast on for the second sock.

I worked and worked on that sock, but the knitting gods were against me. It took forever. That sock traveled with me everywhere. It made an appearance here . . .

It kept me busy while I sat in the passenger seat on many occasions.

It watched yet another game here . . .

And finally, at 8:30 pm Sunday night, it was finished.

I think she likes them.

I am going to keep an eagle eye on those socks. When she outgrows them, I am going to put them in a special box where I will always know where they are. That way, years down the line, when she is at the therapist’s office, trying to work out her abandonment issues, when she wants to blame her mother, I am going to pull out those socks. I am going to have them count the stitches, and I am going to make my case that at one time, long, long ago, I was worthy of that Mother of the year award because I knit my baby girl knee high striped socks. And I put my love in every one of those 26,000 stitches.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. January 23, 2012 5:32 pm

    Well done, Momma! That Second Sock Syndrome is why I knit my socks two at a time! ; )

    • January 23, 2012 6:51 pm

      Thanks so much! Two at a time is next on my list of things to learn!

  2. Diane permalink
    January 23, 2012 8:49 pm

    Very cute, when are you going to start the next pair?

    • January 23, 2012 9:15 pm

      When are you driving me home from the lake again? 🙂

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