Dad vs. socks

I am not sure how to properly thank you for all your wonderful comments about grandma’s shawl other than to say, thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I’m so happy with the outcome – English is not my first language, and idiomatic expressions are especially challenging, but I believe the expression is pleased as Punch :).

I mailed off the shawl on Friday and grandma should be receiving it within a few days. I’ll report her reaction, of course, but I remind those of you who “must have a picture of grandma wearing her shawl” that she is many hundreds of miles away and I probably won’t get to see her until June-July-ish. Also, is it just me, or is it incredibly odd to pay $1.11 in postage to mail something that I spent many, many hours knitting? So odd.

Will you forgive me if I tell you about my interaction with the shawl distributor another time? Because, damn, I have a funny story for you.

February 11, 2006, 7 p.m., phone conversation with my parents

Dad: Hi!

Me: Hi, dad, how are you?

Dad: Listen, when you called earlier I forgot to ask you about something.

Me: Oh yeah?

Dad: I hear that you’re knitting black socks for me.

Me: Uh-hum.

Dad: So, how far along are you?

Me: Right now, one and a half socks, dad.

Dad: Oh, already one and half. Compared to the other pair you knit me, are they thinner or thicker?

Me: Thinner. Why?

Dad: Oh, good. Because the others are a little tight in the calf, and thinner ones will be looser (note: non-knitter reasoning).

Me: Oh! You should’ve told me earlier, I can totally adjust for that.

Dad: But they are fine, really, I wear them every night to sleep. But you know, it’s just a stitch.

Me: Exactly, it’s just a stitch, you should have told me earlier.

Dad: I mean, I still wear them, every single day.

Me: Okay, I understand, but I could have adjusted for that, or paid extra attention to that on this pair if you told me earlier. Now that one and half are done… I think they’ll be okay, but I can’t adjust for that.

Dad: The others are fine!

Me: I get it!

Dad: So, I don’t want to put any pressure on you or anything, but when do you think you’ll be done? Because your mom has been nagging me…

(Mom takes phone away from dad)

Mom: Listen, you have to finish those black socks for your dad.

(Dad in background: She doesn’t have to finish them!)

Mom: Because he won’t let me wash the other pair you knit him – he wears them to sleep every night!

Me: Wait, I knit those more than a year ago…

Mom: And he has yet to let me wash them!

Me: You mean he won’t let you take them away for one night to wash them?

Mom: Yes!

(Dad takes phone away from mom)

Dad: You don’t have to finish them.

Me: Dad, please, I have just a little bit left. I do wish you told me earlier about the cuff.

Dad: Well… and the other thing is that I wear these dark socks to sleep, it’s a little odd.

Me: Oh yeah, mom told me that you wanted light-colored ones, like beige or gray or oatmeal.

Dad: Yeah. Well, yeah.

Me: Mom told me about that literally one day after I started the black ones. You guys should just tell me – it’s just as easy for me to buy beige yarn as black, so I end up taking a guess for no reason at all! Same about the cuff of the other ones I knit for you.

Dad: They are fine.

Me: Dad, I know they are fine. You sound like grandma – she has never told me anything other than, “they’re perfect.” But I really appreciate the feedback, it’s so easy for me to incorporate changes into the next project.

Dad: Okay, so here’s the deal – you finish these black ones for me, no time pressure, and then I’ll tell you how I like them, and for the next pair, you’ll make them light-colored and incorporate my suggestions.

Me: Finally. Yes, dad, that’s what I want!


I gotta finish ’em socks. Because, you know, my dad has stinky feet and it’s all my fault :).


64 thoughts on “Dad vs. socks

  1. Rhoda

    AGH!! The first comment!

    That is so funny. It’s nice when people appriciate the hand-knit goodness. Maybe he’s afraid if he washes them he’ll wash out some of the love. Tell him that would be fine. And his athlete’s foot will clear up as well…

  2. carole

    Is that your own sock pattern?? It looks lovely.

    I would have never guessed that english is not your first language. Mind if I ask what is?

  3. Sheila Mayhew

    Well Lady Jane- – me thinks you are into sock making for your Dad!! Make him a few pair so your Mom can wash them occassionally!! Cracked me up! Oh well, at least now you have gotten some directional feedback so you can make them perfect next time!!

  4. Agnes

    Your grandmother is a pretty cute old lady … I’d like to know what she is going to say about the shawl when she receives it.

  5. Lisa

    Your family is so funny. How do you stop laughing? Not letting her wash them for a year? What a hoot! The new socks look great and now he will actually get to wear clean ones!

  6. nikki

    Beige socks next time? That’s nice, especially since lots of knitters find working with black yarn hard on the eyes. (As if you didn’t already know that.):)

  7. Laurel

    Without your noting it, I would never have suspected that English was not your first language, your writing is really superb!

    And your dad sounds like my grandpa 🙂

  8. Kim

    Your dad is so funny.. I hope my dad tells me what he likes and doesn’t like when I make his socks. (I found the yarn!! We went shopping and because of your suggestion when I saw Lornas Laces I picked it up.. man.. that is some soft shit! (Your green scarf, hehee.) Anyway.. I got some in the Chocolate color because the other colors they had were too girly. They don’t have much selection there. I got worsted weight and size 5 needles. I hope that works out pretty well.)

    Anyway.. You could have paid more shipping to get her shawl to her faster.. then would it feel more.. right? 1.11 IS cheap! Can’t wait to hear grandmas reaction : )

    Am I right to assume that all these conversations with your family are actually translations into english? Just something I thought of : )

    Sorry for rambling in your comments. lol.

  9. Sarah

    You’re lucky – my dad won’t wear anything I make him, in case he wears it out! I tell him I can always knit more, but he doesn’t listen!

  10. marie in florida

    when i mailed my knitting stash bac to jacksonville from texas, the nice man behind the counter wanted to know if my package was worth more than a hundred dollars….uhm, well, yes and no.

    knitting item feedback? i’ve been knitting my GodSister scarves for a while, short ones or long long long skinny one, only to discover that that she prefers wide deep shawls; if i’d have known that…


    can’t wait to hear about the ‘interaction’ you had with them about what is now pretty much YOUR pattern.

    are you wearing grandma’s ring now?

  11. Annie

    I think you need to knit your father a pair of socks for every day of the week! He clearly loves them, but your poor mother! I think it also speaks well for your knitting that after a year of constant wear they’re holding up. I’ve just begun to knit socks, but am afraid to wear them for fear of ruining them. Imagine dragging a hand-knit sweater, (or God forbid, your grandmother’s shawl, which is lovely by the way!) around on the floor for a year! You continue to be a knitting inspiration, and I love your family stories!

  12. Susan

    So was this conversation in Russian? A dear friend of mine fled from there in the ’80s with her parents, and I always loved going to her house and listening to them speak with her just like your dad did with you. It was hysterical. She tried teaching me Russian, but I didn’t learn much. Her mom showed me the hand-copied document of her university degree because she wasn’t allowed to carry the original document out of the country (in engineering, cuz selections of majors were limited and pre-selected; upwards of 90 % had to choose engineering). I should have taught my friend Nonna how to knit when I lived closer to her. (In Russian, her name is HOHHA, which I find funny.) Sorry for the rambling…

    I have to ask, do you also quilt? (It makes a nice background for your socks.)

  13. gigi

    hee hee mom snatching phone away – dad yelling in background…totally classic. socks are too tight, but he wears ’em every night….even better! gotta love the dads…they have the craziest notions

  14. Rita

    Kathy, you sent the shawl off to your grandma without insuring it? The conversation with your Dad is adorable, so honest.

  15. Becky

    Oh this story is priceless! I love that he’s slept in them every nite! My family acts like I’m torturing them when I give them hand knitted things. I even get the eye roll thing. Maybe I should knit YOUR dad a pair of socks since he loves hand knitted socks so much! GRIN.

    Love the shawl too. I ordered the pattern!

  16. Bliss

    Now that is love. Love from you for knitting the socks. Love from you dad for wearing them every night for a year. And love from your mom by sleeping next to a man wearing the same socks for a year – hee!

  17. Barbara

    Your story gave me a wonderful Sunday afternoon laugh, Thank you for sharing your family with us. The shawl for your Grandmother is beautiful.

  18. Isela

    hehehe, the pressure is on, you must finish the socks soon, if not your Mom may pass out, hehehe. I think it is very sweet that your Dad doesn’t let go of them. I am sure now you are going to knit him at least 5 more pairs, one for each day of the week. Your family sounds terrific!

  19. Irene

    Omg that is too funny! Your mom and dad are so cute. But isn’t it wonderful that they love and appreciate your gifts so much? I think it’s priceless.

  20. Angelia

    That is such a funny story. And so sweet that your Dad wears the socks you made for him…every single day. (of course, now you know that you will need to knit the man several light-colored pairs of socks).

    Thank you for cheering me up on this cold,snowy Sunday (when I can’t knit because I had some kind of knitting marathon going & now my arms & wrists hurt).

  21. Dorothee

    Yay! I just started knitting socks with the exact same pattern. My socks are red though, and I’m making them for myself because I love the pattern so much. What yarn are you using and how many stitches do you have on the needles?

    Hope your dad will like the socks!

  22. Carolyn

    They look great. How is it knitting with black yarn…can you see the texture as well? I have some I have been holding off knitting socks in…not sure why. My mom has also told me to knit socks for my dad…size 14 oh god.

  23. Katherine

    Aren’t parents great? My dad is the type who still has the little drawings his kids did for him on his office wall. It’s so sweet the way parents treasure things that their children made, even after we grow up. I hope I’m just like that, too. And what’s cooler than hand-knit socks? (Other than hand-knit shawls, of course)? Thanks for sharing.

  24. Monica

    Your family is so funny. I can picture this conversation taking place which is even better. It is nice that your family appreciates what you knit them.

  25. Laura Neal

    Your Dad sounds like he is so proud of you and doesn’t want to pressure you into doing socks. He knows how busy you are and wants you to not bother we know how they are, they are just big softies who want what they want. I have to steal my husband’s socks that I made from him to wash them. I know what is best for the socks, I knit the damn things is what I told him. They are such funny creatures. The socks are very nice.

  26. Purly Whites

    You parents are soooo funny! I can’t believe he has been wearing the socks every night for a year. Hee. That’s funny. Good time with the Grumperina parents.

  27. Petra

    But one can wash a pair of sock during the day also, or not? So they are ready to go at night again.

    You have one funny family 😉 Beats almost mine ;-))

    Best wishes


  28. marietta

    Okay so i am not the only one with a strange family! I knit my nephew a pair of wool socks for xmas – told his mom to hand wash-she said okay. Over one month later, i received the dirty socks in the mail with a note “Auntie, i don’t trust mom to wash these. Will you? PS – there’s a hole, can you fix it?” It turns out he put them on xmas eve and didn’t take them off for 6weeks!!!!

    love your page!

Comments are closed.