“Honey, come look at this.”
I am frowning at my newly completed On-Your-Toes toe-up socks as they lay innocently side by side on the coffee table.
R. Darling: Hmmm?
Me: They don’t match!! Look at them!
R. Darling: Don’t be silly. No one will even notice honey.
Me: But I’ll notice! I’ll know they don’t match!
Instead of identical sock twins, my needles gave knit to a set of fraternals. One loose and relaxed with jaggedy pooling stripes reminicent of some sort of storybook big cat, the other skinny and uptight, bands of color in precise intervals. Same needles. Same yarn. Same knitter. So what happened?
Knitting is such a fascinating barometer of our emotions, our thoughts, our state of mind. I can remember every ball, hank or skein of yarn that I’ve ever purchased (tells you how measly my stash is!), what drew me to it, what else was going on in my life at the time, where I bought it, what I was dreaming it would become on my needles. Looking at these socks and their differences, I reflected on the time and emotion spent on each one. My loose, pool-y first sock was begun during my week’s recovery from knee surgery in May. I had nothing to worry about all day long, except icing my knee, resting and knitting. Its loose gauge and relaxed fit, reflects clearly this time of relaxation, this focus on my needs and happiness. Whenever I look at this cheerful yarn I think of Jeanie who so thoughtfully sent me a little get-well gift to keep me occupied during my recuperation. And I smile. Fondness fills me up. Then this second sock. Knitting it, I didn’t see the differences slowly emerging until I had moved past the point where pooling had started on the first sock. Isn’t that funny? I thought to myself. No pooling. Huh. But I just kept knitting. When this little brother sock had finally arrived, I noted how much smaller it looked and felt. And looking at it I was filled with the tenseness of the weeks during which it had been knit. Crazy times at work, stress of no concrete origin creeping into its knits and purls, exhaustion of both body and mind seeping out of its fibers. I felt a little sorry for me and this little brother sock as I looked at it. Despite its nearly perfect striped repeats, that seemingly pretty surface belied the melancholy hiding beneath.
So I did the only thing I could think to do. I put on my Converse, put on a big smile, and tried not to dwell. Lace your Converse just so and no one will be the wiser about your mismatched sock or what’s behind your mysterious half-smile. You can’t help but smile with a pair of Converse on your feet.
Lesson learned: Don’t knit angry. Knit happy.
And keep your Converse nearby just in case……