Knitting Amnesia

Jasmin over at the Knitmore Girls podcast has been on a kick of revamping her sock drawer. Seriously, she has an amazing set of socks, but she is bored with them, and will give them to new appreciative homes and knit some new ones. In my imagination, my life is ordered at these degree.

In reality, however, my replacement strategy goes more like this. See falling apart socks:

Socks with holes
These socks are several years old (at least one pair predates Ravelry), have been mended more than once, and I have finally come to terms with the fact that they are done. This pair I even had made out of scraps from other socks, so I really shouldn’t be sad that they’ve finally outlived their usefulness.

Scrap Socks with holes

Unlike Jasmin, my sock drawer has socks on their last legs, but on the other side of the coin, I also have my “reserve socks.” Yes, I have knit so many socks that I put some in reserve to be added to the rotation when socks like these go splat. They are kept in a ziplock bag at the back of the sock drawer for easy retrieval, usually two or three pairs of socks.   I opened the bag, and found this pair of socks:

Hummingbird socks

I was astonished – where did these socks come from? They aren’t my usual colorway at all. I had absolutely no memory of them. But nobody knits this expert knitter socks – not because I’m picky, I just don’t have any family members who are sock knitters. This was a case of knitting amnesia. Only after about five minutes did I realize where the socks had come from – these were the socks of my travail earlier this year.

They are the children of whirlwind (rav link). I knit them in chaos of life, job, mom getting sicker. I knit them a lot in hospital rooms and ERs, to calm my last nerve. They were the keepers of the chaos, the socks that held me together when everything was spinning apart. They were the socks that clocked the seconds, minutes, and hours of sitting at my mother’s side wondering where her journey would take her, and where my own life would lead next. Round after round, the socks were created out of sticks and yarn and the creativity of design.

The name of the pattern is Hummingbird by Sandy Rosner from The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes. Today, outside my office window,  I can see hummingbirds whisking from bloom to bloom, finding the nectar to sustain life. And then I realize, my hummingbird socks are being called out of reserve at the perfect moment. This fall, which used to be called harvest season, I will wear them as a reminder that chaos settles down, and we are called to live and thrive again, to reap the plenty of the earth. Round after round, I am supported by my knitting through the chaos.

I will not forget these socks, or their story, ever again.

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