Sunday, April 18, 2010

Art for your Feet!

I'm celebrating with my friend, Fay, today!

I met Fay when she started coming to my farm shop to buy yarn. She always bought the nicest sock yarn and talked so passionately about knitting. It turned out Fay was quite a knitter and quilter with an amazing artistic touch.

Well, that was about 2 years ago and we've become great friends. She's started spinning with great projects in mind. She's also eyeing the weaving that my friends and I have been doing. Fay starts to talk faster and more intently when she starts thinking about a fibre arts project. She's a gem in my life.

I kept seeing Fay buy my sock yarn, but whenever I saw her, she was wearing store-bought (ugly) socks. I assumed that she did what many fibre artists did...loved the process of knitting and then gave away the finished product to love ones. One day, the topic came up. Fay told our little knitting group that she had a huge bag full of beautifully hand-knitted socks of the best yarn. She didn't feel that she should wear such precious things on her feet just for everyday.

Well, I'm glad to report that Fay came to my home the other day and this is what I saw!'s not my yarn in those socks and it's not alpaca..but Fay's made a start and is feeling worthy enough to wear her art everyday!! It's a start!

There is something comforting in just knowing that you are wearing pair of socks that were the output of a process that has been past down from generation to generation. Mostly by women caring for their families.

The ultimate is wearing handknit socks from handspun and handpainted yarn. If these are alpaca, the experience is almost sensual. My friend, Suzanne, wears hers with sandals and her blue jeans so they can be noticed.

Some sock yarn is machine-washable and other needs to be cared for like fine lingerie.
Hand washing socks has become a ritual for me...I handwash my handknit, natural fibre socks because I want to preserve them. These socks bring me pleasure when I wear them and are worth the small effort of handwashing.

I have some totally utilitarian socks that my husband's late grandmother knit from thick indestructible acrylic. These socks are probably 25 years old. I wear them in my barn boots when the temperature doesn't require the warmth of alpaca. Gary's grandmother loved this farm, I loved her and those indestructible socks she made remind me of her.

Most commercially available socks come from overseas mass-production with an attached environmental cost, and, in some instances, a human rights cost. You can buy a pack of 8 cotton socks at the big-box store for likely the same as some moderately priced yarn for one pair of hand knit socks.

But, those socks won't last very long and I can promise you that you won't get the same feeling that I get when I wear my hand knit socks. Especially my alpaca ones!


Azure Islands Designs said...

Wow...I think you could sell just about anything to anyone Norma... :0)'ve got me sold, I want a pair of alpaca socks, right now!!!

I do understand what Fay means though...sometimes we think something should only be worn/used for special occasions...I used to feel that way but not any more...I could wait for ever for a special occasion!!! So now I use/wear everything all the time!

I loved this post Norma...can you tell!!!

Enjoy your Sunday.

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said... pair of hand knit alpaca socks to the lady with the jewelry!
Thanks Heather...
See you soon.

Northern Toes said...

You put the experience into words, I wish I could knit faster so I could wear them more often. I am knitting a pair of socks now with yarn from your store (as well as 2 other pairs from other fibre). They are addicting