Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Breaking in new socks

Putting on a freshly blocked pair of handknit socks the very first time is a bit of a leap.  They're new and perfect, you want to show them off to their best advantage, and also - they aren't yet broken in, so they feel like teeny tiny rocks pressing into the bottom of your feet while you walk.


This isn't something I notice much when I break in a new pair of socks in the normal way.  By which I mean, knit a pair of socks, block them, wear them, repeat forever if possible.  But as you may recall, I knit seven pairs of socks without running in ends or grafting their toes while I was preoccupied with moving house and plotting our huge renovation, and now I am breaking in seven pair of socks at once.  Plus some other new pairs from the last few years that I set aside to save for special occasions until recently when I decided that Special is Now.

When you are breaking in new socks, you want them to have maximum opportunity for their fibers to felt a little.  Even superwash wool will do this if you're walking around with closed shoes on - all you need is hot water and friction and the individual hard stitches will soften a little and blur into each other like a gently painted watercolour.  So you want to pick a day when you're walking a lot, but not so much that the hard stone feeling will bother you.  And it should be a day when, if you're visiting somebody, you're not expected to take off your shoes, because you don't want to give your feet a chance to breathe before their work is done.

(I know, I know.  Socks really have the worst job of all our handknits, don't they.)

If conditions are perfect, you'll have a very comfortable pair of socks by the end of the first day.

And then you will want to knit another pair of socks.

Unless you're Trish! who turned down my socks in progress the other day when we were early for an event and I found she hadn't brought her knitting with her.  Yes, Trish, who is never without knitting.  Tells you how much she doesn't like knitting socks.  (and yet, we get along so well - amazing, isn't it?)

Have a great day today whether or not you are breaking in a new knit, and I'll see you tomorrow!

PS if you remained awake through yesterday's post about my appliance dilemma you may be happy to know I figured out the refrigerator after I opened a top-freezer model and remembered what a pain they are.  also, the nice lady at The Bay explained that KitchenAid and Whirlpool use the same mechanical refrigerator guts, and I realized I like the Whirlpool's fridge organizers better, and it doesn't actually matter to me for all the handles to match.  Yay! might get to knit today!

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