A newbie knitter was at Sit & Knit last night. At first she was saying she couldn't knit at all, and then she was saying she'd never be able to knit socks, and then .... well, she was pretty much apologizing all night. Anyway, a bunch of us were riffing on The Yarn Harlot's explanation that knitting costs less per hour for entertainment than nearly anything else, plus you get something cool at the end. In her book, Knitting Rules, Stephanie explains that she can get a skein of sock yarn (enough to make two socks) on sale for $16. It takes her about 16 hours to knit a plain sock, so she spends only $1 per hour for her enjoyment and she gets a pair of socks at the end of it. (Try it yourself: Rent a DVD and enjoy the movie, then see if anyone gives you a pair of socks at the end of it. Not gonna happen, friends.)
So, newbie knitter pipes up, "How much does it cost to knit a pair of socks?"
Oh, can you really put a price on love?
I just got a new skein of yarn: Socks that Rock from Blue Moon in the newly released Fire on the Mountain colorway. I even got it in the medium weight (about 7 to 8 stitches per inch on US 2; I'm still knitting the gauge swatch). It's such a heavenly color, I could swear that God gives it to the angels to knit with!
And it's not just the yarn. It's the wonderful time spent browsing through patterns, knitting the gauge swatch, watching the socks come to life under the needles. It's how they feel when you slip them on your feet and your heel is cradled perfectly and even your toes can feel the smoothness of the stitches. No matter how many socks you've knit previously, you get excited when you realize that each little stitch from those skinny little sticks in your hands is turning out something so beautiful that you wonder why everyone in the world doesn't do it!
The Zen of socks: One little stitch building on one little stitch building on one little stitch. Each little stitch is a world of its own, perfect on its own and yet integral to the whole. A careful bend here, a thoughtful decrease there, and you've turned the blessed tube at a right angle so that they flex with the natural motion of the foot and ankle.
And you can't buy that for $2 per pair at Wal-Mart.