All things come to fruition in their own time. People — and socks!
Today is my father’s birthday. He’s special for many reasons. He bequeathed to me brains, persistence, good hands, and a strong sense of family. He retired not too long ago from the same institution I work for, and those who have worked with both of us say we have the same smiling eyes, even though there may not be a striking resemblance otherwise.
But, me being a knitter and all, there are also a couple knitterly reasons why he’s special. I just told you with my last post about The Scarf — my, um, unique first knitted object. Which he still wears at times, and proudly tells people his daughter made for him. That’s one reason.
The second has to do with socks. My first pair of socks, I made for me. When I’m trying out a new technique for the first time, I will often make the object for myself in case it really bites. Because I’ll probably still wear it! My second pair of socks, I made for my father. They were pretty good, though not perfect. I’ve learned some things since then, and also gotten more creative, now that I’ve got the basics down: top down, toe up, circs, magic loop, dpns, short rows, heel flap, throwing stitch patterns in there….
Last year, my father told me he wears those socks every week. Once a week he wears them, on the weekend he washes them, and then he wears them again. He loves them!
You know what that means — this man needs more socks! How can I NOT knit more socks for someone who appreciates them that much? (Don’t we all like to have our handknits appreciated? And really used?)
So last year I started the Tsock Tsarina‘s amazing Oktoberfest socks, in a manly variation she came up with across the ‘net as we corresponded about them. I mentioned them and showed you the gorgeous beer-colored yarn, here in a teaser. But then, last September, a renegade bowl attacked me and the socks did not come to pass.
Then, by the time my hand healed (the second time) enough to knit, I was way late for holiday present-knitting schedules, and had already made my apologies to my father (showing him one half-made sock). So I concentrated on Christmas knitting, and put the sock to the side. Oops, tactical error. My husband tidied up for company. Sock went one place, directions another, and small skein of white yarn still a third. It took me MONTHS to reunite it all! Then mojo had to be regained, plus the modifications The Tsock Tsarina had made (and then I had modified the modifications minimally) had to be remembered (shhh, I goofed up slightly at that point; proving it’s handmade); my first ‘foam’ edging drew in a little, too tight, where I joined the new yarn, so I ripped; the yarn ball got tangled and had to be rewound….it was just an ongoing series of speed bumps.
But for the Ravelympics, I took the second sock with me to Camp, and crossed the finish line! Note: Each reverse Irish knot is like knitting 9 stitches for the price of one. Cool effect, but is it any wonder I usually don’t like bobbles; or that it took a while?
So tonight: The Oktoberfest Socks were presented, at long last! They are of course, really last year’s birthday present, so we’ll just say the sock blockers are this year’s present.
Jennifer‘s gorgeous yarn, The Tsarina of Tsocks’ wonderful pattern with Manly Barleycorn variation (plus Barleycorn Eyelet as in the original, at the top), and a series of unfortunate events, to coin a phrase, that made them take much longer than they should have to knit. Finally, presented to the feet that have been waiting for them!
And, continuing the bloggerly theme, I also made my father pickled beets from Norma‘s recipe. He LOVES pickled beets. My husband’s usually the cook….hmmm. The recipe didn’t seem hard, though, and I had organic local beets and a good will. We’ll know in a few weeks, when they’ve sat long enough, how they really turned out. I’ll take a picture in daylight, maybe, and show you; they are pretty, though not as pretty as Norma’s.
Too bad there was so much work and kid stuff going on; there was not much birthday celebration time, though we did go to brunch this weekend with my brother and his wife, who were in town. But the socks and the beets will continue the celebration, I hope! And we can always go get a brat and a beer at Oktoberfest in my father’s honor, eh?