Thursday, 13 August 2015

The Steam Cleaner, the Socks and JD Salinger

..with huge and grateful thanks to everyone who left a message on Monday. My Mum is still in hospital, but improving.

It's quite a drive to visit, so I'm continuing to be grateful for a bit of uncomplicated knitting to unwind to when I get back. This sock thing: it's going to be a hard habit to break. There is a tantalising variety of different heel types and toes and laces and cables to try. How many? How long is a ball of yarn? 



Do you think a Great Big Sock Off would work? I was thinking about it as I knitted in front of Great British Bake Off last night (edible boxes of biscuits..where would you start?) 

"This week, Sian, we want you to make an Estonian Crossroads sock, with half handkerchief heel and a wedge toe"

I'd definitely need sock blockers for that: nice wooden ones (ooh, yes please, Etsy), not the plastic ones (no thanks, Amazon), to sit and look craftsy and decorative on my work station. Can you tell I've been looking? That's how they know it's a serious addiction round here, when I start buying equipment. Like sock blockers (to help pull the cast off socks into shape and make them look properly finished). I'm not a gadget kind of girl. I don't have a cricut or a cameo, or a cuttlebug, or even a heat gun though I do have lots of paper. Likewise, I have piles of yarn, but I buy darning needles, stitch markers, row counters as I go, if I absolutely can't avoid it. So sock blockers would be quite a step.


It's funny, though: once you buy one piece of equipment, and discover that it actually works and that's why there's a market for them and why people spend their Sunday afternoons queuing in Argos,..it's a slippery slope to fully tooled up living. I bought a steam cleaner the other day. It steams, it cleans, its usage is weirdly addictive. When I'm finished here I might turn it on again and try another one of my attachments..

But only after I've hit the button and ordered the sock blockers. I'm sure they'd make my life a whole lot better. When they arrive I'll get some eye rolling round here, I don't doubt it. But they know they're fighting a losing battle

When we were on holiday we spent an afternoon out on the deck of the ship, just reading. Very pleasant it was. I had to keep biting my tongue, though, because my book was full of interesting things I wanted to share..and often when I do that I find my interesting things just aren't as ..interesting to everyone else.

"I'll make you a bet," said The Accountant. "I'll bet you that the next thing you read out of your book will not be as interesting, as pertinent, as relevant to your life right now as the next thing I read you from my book"

I glanced over. Ardennes 1944. Easy. I couldn't imagine what I needed to know out of that. "Okay," I said. Go ahead.."

"Did you know," he said, "Did you know trench foot was such a danger that JD Salinger's Mum used to send him a fresh pair of hand knitted socks every single week?"

Ah. yes. Good one. Mrs Salinger: I salute you.

23 comments:

debs14 said...

Good quote! Who knew there were gadgets to buy for sock making? I can't believe you've managed so long without a sock blocker! But I bet you've clicked on that Buy now button and there's one in the post right now.
The Great British Sock Off? Or maybe a variation on your postcard exchange, people knit a pair of socks keep one of them then send one of them onto someone else? My son always insisted on wearing odd socks when he was at school, he'd have loved that idea!

Karen said...

LOL; who knew there'd be such an appropriate quote from The Accountant's book? I admit to being a tool junkie, but I'm much more discerning now as I'm facing cleaning out about what I bring in.

Patio Postcards said...

Glad to hear that your Mum is improving. The very thought of trench foot makes me cringe. I believe you were set up on that quote find (lol). I will be interested to hear further tales of the sock & knitting gadgets, especially the sock blockers (which by the way I have no idea so I will be Googling once I have finished commenting). A steamer as in wallpaper remover? with attachment to be a shower cleaner? I need one.

helena said...

I think 'fully tooled up living' should be the title of something. I love one role gadgets that really work and have stood the test of time

Eileen T said...

I had to Google 'sock blockers' as I had no idea that such a thing existed! Glad to hear that your mum is on the mend, hope it's not too long before she's up and about again.

Ladkyis said...

I tried about 50 years ago to knit socks. I failed. I tried about 50 days ago and my failure was just as complete. I have now decided not to try again as life is too short.
Sending a few more magical cwtches, just to keep your arms topped up. This way you can give your Mum several armfuls and still have enough to share with her grandchildren, who must be in need of a cwtch or two in this trying time

Jo said...

This post made me smile, I can't wait to see your sock blockers :)

Barbara Eads said...

I actually admire your sock obsession. Socks seem like a daunting project to me. I only know how to knit straight things! I've been wanting to knit a tea cozy, but have not taken the time to go to the knit shop for help. I would think that the sock blocker would be a "must have" tool for avid sock knitters. I say "go for it!"

Ruth said...

Fully tooled up is a phrase you might hear as you trot around daily Texan life, but I much prefer your definition!

Sandie said...

A wonderful post Sian. I somehow missed that your Mum is in hospital, obviously not quite so up to date as I thought with my reading....
I bought a steam cleaner a while back, it cleaned the soap dispenser of my washing machine a treat, getting into all those awkward corners. I must get it out and use it more...
I love that your sock making gives you such pleasure and an escape from other things - they had some amazing jumper and sock blocks on the Shetland Islands. You would have tried to snuck one or two under your arm, I am sure!

Mitra Pratt said...

Oh goodness I do so enjoy your blog posts! Happy sock crafting!

Becky said...

I also missed your post on Monday about your Mum - I do hope that she is improving. Glad you have your knitting to unwind with.

Sandra said...

I have absoultly no idea what a sock blocker is, yet I loved and giggled my way through this post. And yes, I am going to google it now xxx

So glad to hear your mum is improving ... Sending good vibes xxx

Melissa said...

LOL - that was a good one from the Accountant! I do think tools can be addicting . . . we have quite a few around here, but no sock blockers! Praying your mum will be better & back home soon!

Denise said...

It's been lovely to catch up reading your post. I do hope your mum is much better soon and back home xxx

scrappyjacky said...

I'm actually a bit of a tool addict and have to stop myself from buying tolls!!!!

Cheri said...

The Accountant knew he won the bet before you ever had a chance! I think you were played... But good that he is paying attention to what is important to you right now!

Julia said...

So pleased your mum is improving. Always good to get tooled up! And what's perfect quote from his book for you! PS been thinking about a steam cleaner - is it really that good?

Fiona@Staring at the Sea said...

Ha! Very clever of him. Blockers sound like the perfect accompaniment to your love of sock construction. I like a nicely crafted wooden tool, in my case it's a clapper I'm after.

Maggie said...

A Great British Sock Off sounds good or even A Great British Knit ... hmmm maybe not! Well they have had a sewing one and an artists one so you never know. I think however it should have a Strictly type style to it so that we can all CAST our votes for you......glad your mum is a bit better.

Lizzy Hill said...

Oh GOSH! A sock post!!! And who KNEW there was so much to them???!!!! Loved the sharing of the reading bits, too. Cute. And so happy your Mum is improving. May it continue.....hope things can be put in place if/when she gets home. Not always easy...... thinking of you:)

Gail said...

Ooooh sock blockers! Yes I can see where they are definitely needed. I remember my Mum having some but heaven only knows what happened to them. Glad to hear your Mum is improving and happy that you've got something to unwind with when you get home from the trip to visit her.

alexa said...

I always learn new things here, Sian; and sock blockers are new to me. Sounds as if there's a whole culture to explore around sock-knitting. I've been having a look at my Mum's old patterns from the 50s ... Lovely to see it becoming so popular. You could start a SOX-R_US chain :).

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