Thursday, April 15, 2010

Socks of nostalgia for my husband

Zitron Trekking XXL sock

he 10 days or so have not been very style-oriented ones for me, as you can probably tell by my lack of outfit posts. I had a doctor's appointment to check up on a chronic condition I have and got so wound up over it that I couldn't think of anything else. Fortunately, it turned out okay, but then Taipei's weather decided to become incredibly insolent, with temperatures zig-zagging all over the place and the rain and sun duking it out for dominance. On the chilly days, I've just pulled on the comfiest things I have (mostly polo dresses from American Apparel, leggings and various sweater coats). On the warm days, I've worn the same few sundresses I've owned for the past couple of years, which reminds me... I need to buy more summer clothes! Oh, I hate shopping for summer clothes. But that's another post.

When I was stressed out about my doctor's appointment, I started knitting in a frenzy. I finished a pair of socks that I'd started two years ago (my excuse is that I fell out of love with the yarn midway through the first sock). When those were done, I pulled out this ball of Zitron Trekking XXL from my stash:

Zitron Trekking XXL

I call it my nostalgic sock yarn because I bought it three years ago from Downtown Yarns in New York City, my favorite yarn shop when I was still living in the States. Casting it on reminds me of the trips I used to make there, ostensibly just to take a peek and fondle some fiber, though I more often than not returned home with at least a skein of Koigu or a ball of handpainted laceweight yarn tucked guiltily in my purse. If I had known how intensely one little skein could bring me back to a place I miss... I'd have bought even more yarn! As I knit, I thought of the trips I took to Alphabet City (where Downtown Yarns is located), strolling through the East Village on my way and then sometimes wandering into the Lower East Side to window shop or gorge myself at Economy Candy (I once bought and ate so much halvah that I can no longer stand the stuff!). At that point, Ron and I were in a long distance relationship (we spent 18 months on opposite sides of the planet), so I had plenty of time to walk around by myself on weekends. It wasn't easy being apart, but I can't say that I didn't enjoy my solitary rambles through the city.

Zitron Trekking XXL sock

My husband's favorite color is orange, which I'm usually not very fond of. For some reason, I really, really dislike transparent orange things. I remember looking up at some stained glass with glowing orange diamonds inset into the design when I was about seven years old and just wanting to dry heave. Yes, I know, that is totally weird. My husband, on the other hand, loves flaming orange things. As a compromise, I found this tweedy yarn and I actually love working with it. If Ron ever wants a neon orange sweater/scarf/socks, however, he'll just have to learn how to knit himself!

I'm working on getting my dressing-up mojo back. Over the past few days of knitting, it occurred to me that styling an outfit is very much like starting a craft project. You have to think of the textures, colors, materials and (if it's something for yourself) whether or not it will suit you and how the final product will make you feel when you wear it or see it.


  1. that yarn is so cool! and those socks look super cozy.

  2. wow, you make me want to learn how to knit socks! they look great. here's to you getting back into dressing up again, i think sometimes we need a bit of a break, and then the outfits that result are even better! :)

    m a m u s h k a m a r i e

  3. Yes! And layering adds its own pastiche to the artful palette of outfit-making.

    I'm terribly sorry to hear that you're in ill health. Maybe not ill, as much as just not up to snuff. I know about that kind of thing, ever since discovering I'm allergic to just about everything under the sun, except the sun. So... anyway, it's not fun, but I guess it is all a part of this great experiment called life. I hope you are on the mend at least?

    You knit! How did you learn? I'm thinking about picking up crochet, but really have difficulty translating 2D illos in a book, to my 3D world. So, it's a bit of an undertaking... How nifty that the skein took you back to your old neighborhood in NY.

    I, like your hubby, love flaming orange. (But it might be because I have flaming orange hair). LOL though at your adverse reaction to it. I have a weird thing about wet paper. Yes, that's pretty weird, I know.

    Anyway, I hope you feel better...

    All the best,

  4. Hey Catherine--I'm glad all is okay health wise. Knitting seems like a very relaxing activity, I just wish I knew how to do it!

    xo Jenny

  5. those socks are looking great! i like that yarn a lot. i've never been to downtown yarn, so i will have to stop by! of course i know economy candy all too well... just this morning i polished off a giant box of nerds that i bought there, and my dog stole half a bag of sour patch kids. boo.

    anyway, i am excited to see the finished socks! they are looking perfect right now. ~joelle

  6. These are adorable, the colours look lovely.

  7. That yarn is gorgeous Catherine. Love that you're making socks for your husband.

    Lulu Letty

  8. Ahh, I want to knit socks!! I really really need to re-teach myself to knit. Its been so long!

  9. Ack. So cute. Wish I could knit properly...

  10. Catherine,

    Are you okay? Not seeing an update from you makes me think you might still be feeling puny right now...

    Feel better...

  11. Hi Darlene!
    Thanks for checking in! I'm feeling OK, just a bit overwhelmed with work at that moment...