Operation Sock Drawer



(Above drawing made at Eclection last Friday. An impromptu “still-life” complete with socks knitted up to the toe. Finished them up later that day.:)

Another “under the radar” knitting project, is sock knitting. This flies so far under the radar during busy times that I hardly even know I’m advancing at all. Talk about the Slow Clothes Movement… Yeesh!


Take this pair of socks for instance. I cast on the first sock sometime back before the Christmas holidays. I think I posted a blog about sock knitting being my To-Go project, and the above pic along with it. It is now March and I have finally completed sock #2. Yeah…socks are slow going for me. But I like it that way.

A fellow knitter recently said I should try the “knit two socks at a time” thing. Yes, I probably should. I have even gotten so far as to look up how to cast on for this, got my needles ready, cast on the first one, but couldn’t bring myself to cast the second one onto my long Magic Loop needles. What stopped me was a question: Is this really what I’m after in my knitting? Being able to fly through projects? Do I really want the go-go-go feel that often defines my life to invade my knitting as well? Do I really want to foster the immediate gratification syndrome in my knitting? (As if you really could do such a thing with the slowness of knitting in any form!) The more I knit, the more I realize that it’s precisely the slowness of knitting I like so much. I actually like the long drawn out process of visualizing something to make and having to wait days, weeks, months or even years before said item is actually brought into reality. I even like the discipline required of me to have to cast on a second identical sock after I’ve already completed one.



(Newly completed socks on feet with next sock begun on needles.)

Perhaps I will try the two-at-a-time method in the future, just to say I’ve tried it. Or maybe not. Creative projects, knitted ones particularly, have a quality about them I like to call, Attentive Waiting. As I pick up a sock to knit even just a row or two a day, I’m attentive to the project in hand. But I have to wait. I must wait on each stitch to be completed, each heel to be turned, each toe to be kitchenered (grafted).


There is out in the knitting world, a larger project called Operation Sock Drawer. Type this with a hash tag and all sorts of photos of sock knitting will pop up. I’m not sure how the phrase got started. It might be inspired by Susan B. Anderson’s amazing drawers filled with her hand knitted socks. I like to think I’m in on this Operation as well. You can see my several pairs here, but they hardly fill up a sock drawer…yet! Slowly, ever so slowly, I might have a drawer full of hand-knitted socks one day. Then again…the earlier ones may wear out before I can knit up new ones, and thus my pile of socks will remain the same size. That will be ok too. So whether it’s Operation Sock Drawer, or Operation Sock Pile, I’m all in. Happily, and very slowly, knitting one sock at a time.