Monday, August 11, 2014

Socks: they're so much like children

Lately I've been looking at the many different stages of life, so I guess it's not surprising that the other day when I cast on a new pair of socks, I saw parallels between socks and children (I mean, this is me we're talking about.)

For one thing, both start out as kind of blank canvases.

I'm a big M!  or maybe a Squiggle! or even a backwards 3!

Obviously we know a human infant will grown up to be a human adult, just as the top border of a sock will end up as a sock, but we don't know character or personality.  We have to wait for those surprises and while we wait we often project our ideas of what they might become.

Another interesting point is how compact and manageable they are at the beginning.

So... now I'm a house? or just nice and safe in one?

So often families that start with one baby try for a second as soon as possible.  Friends with multiple kids have mentioned to me a particular desire never to quite get out of the diaper stage before they introduce another brother or sister, lest they balk at having to go back to it from beyond.  Kind of like sitting down in the middle of a long, long walk - who's to say you'd even be able to get up again?

And so it is with a sock.  You could have just one, but unlike a child it's not going to be quite so useful that way, so some of us hurry to start a second.

At first, you can tell which sock started first, just as you can tell that a toddler is older than an infant.  But over time things change, because people grow at different rates and socks sometimes get picked up at random.

And then both socks and people get bigger and a little unwieldy.  They reveal themselves in ways we might not have expected (even if we kept a close eye on the order of the striping when we caked the yarn.)

They reveal their colours...

... and just as people must learn to push away from their parents and stand on their own, socks outgrow the comfortable space they once occupied between four needles.

Inevitably, one moves on before the other, allowing us to focus on the particular perfections of the one left behind.

Hello, I form a perfect square.  I could be a picture frame with nothing inside and you would love me. I am gorgeous.

Let's take a closer look at the cute:

Oh, I do love this stage in a sock.

Soon enough though, even the newer addition gets ideas of its own...

and moves on...

and is ready to be what it started out to be.

A sock cuff.

Bet you never thought I'd come up with something as crazy as this to make a new sock post sound different!

(I still think it's true, though, don't you?)

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