Saturday, April 14th, 2 p.m. Phone conversation with my grandmother.

Me: Hi, grandma! How are you?

Grandma: I’m good.

Me: Did you get any packages from me recently?

Grandma: I did! I haven’t gotten the chance to talk to you, but I got the brown socks you knit for me.

Me: Good! I was starting to worry – I mailed them out a week ago, and didn’t hear from you.

Grandma: No, no, they’re here. The package was so small, I didn’t even think they could be socks at first.

Me: Yeah, I didn’t tell you that I had knit another pair, so it must have been a surprise. Do you like them? Do they fit?

Grandma: Yes, they’re great! I don’t know where you got such interesting yarn. It’s brown but it has other colors in it, too. And how did you finish them so quickly? I got the blue ones just a few weeks ago.

Me: These knit up really quickly, I’m glad you like them.

Grandma: You know, I don’t even wear regular socks anymore, just handknit ones.

Me: And that’s how it should be.

Grandma: For the summer I wear the darned ones… for ventilation.

Me: [rolling of the eyes] I should really stop sending you extra yarn. You shouldn’t have to darn your socks.

Grandma: You know, I still have all the prettiest things. Even the scarf* you just sent to your mom isn’t as nice as the one I have. Not her old one, nor this new one*.

[*I gave my mom my Shetland Triangle.]

Me: Never! You will always have the most pretty things.

Grandma: Yes. Well, it’s enough. I have enough socks now. Knit for someone else.

Me: [laugh] Okay.


And with that, the Hidden Passion socks are demoted from “temporary” to “permanent” hiatus. Don’t get me wrong – I really love that design, but it took me a good 4 tries to get it right. And that’s the equivalent of knitting a pair of socks. I’m not sure whether one day I’ll pick up where I left off, or frog and reknit the pattern with some modifications, but I’m not going to think about them for a long while.

Instead, I want to knit another sweater for myself. I splurged during the Webs Anniversary Sale, getting a bag of Classic Silk and a bag of Jo Sharp SilkRoad DK, and now have an uncomfortable amount of sweater yarn.

Plus there will be sock knitting for my Sockapalooza 4 pal. I get quite enthused finding yarn and pattern perfectly suited to my pal.

And I’ve started a pair of non-grandma gift socks:

These are Gentleman’s Sock in Railway Stitch from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks. The gorgeous olive green yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in cedar (from Linda, of course). I’m using some chino Lorna’s for the contrast, leftover from these socks I knit for my dad.

I just hope I have enough for two heels and two toes, since I think the two go quite well together.


49 thoughts on “Ventilation

  1. cairi

    those colours go really well together, I love it! Your gran sounds like such a sweetheart! I didnt half grin reading this today

  2. Carrie

    I love the railway stitch socks–the stripes on the heel are such a fun surprise! It sounds stupid, but when I scrolled down the page I was genuinely shocked by the stripes.

  3. Sheila Mayhew

    Wonderful socks! Your Gran is so cute – maybe some cotton sox with th stretch built right is for summer??

  4. Jayne

    Your Gran sounds like a sweetie. Lucky woman having nothin’ but hand-knit socks, and from YOU. Bet she pulls out that card at her regular grandparent boast-a-thons. They all do it.

  5. Cirilia

    Glad you jumped on that Classic Silk, it was sold out by the time I got to the store for a binge.

    I envy the person who will be your sock pal–which could ostensibly be me since I’m happily signed up for my first round–but seriously, your grandmother is right, your socks reign supreme!

  6. Sereknitty

    I’ve had a similar experience knitting for my Mom. She loves getting the things I knit, asks for more and then I find out that she’s given them away.

    I love the yarn combination of the new socks you are knitting…. I too hope you have enough of the contrast yarn to finish the heels and toes. Looking forward to finished photos.

  7. CatBookMom

    The socks are going to be a big hit! The idea of striped heels is a great way to jazz up the pattern, pretty as it is already. Makes for very special socks.

    I always enjoy reading about your talks with your family. Thank you for sharing them.

  8. Elinor

    I really like that pattern. I attempted some earlier this year but misread the pattern so I’d like to think they’re Nancy Bush INSPIRED. Heh. Your color choices, as always, are wonderful!

  9. frecklegirl jess

    Grandmas do have a way of just getting to the point, huh? 🙂

    I love those railway socks- I am gonna knit them for my guy. Once I actually have time to knit that is. (pout)

  10. Michelle

    I love how you love your grandma. It reminds me so much of the relationship my kids have with my mom. Very lucky, not all grandmas are “kid friendly” 🙂

    The sock combo is pretty. What sweater do you have in mind?

  11. Siri

    These new socks of yours are great! I’ve had my eye on that Cedar colorway and the heel detail is fantastic…makes me want to reconsider and start knitting that kind of heel again…it’s been years of nothing but short row heels now.

    I’m looking forward to those Sockapalooza 4 match ups as well so I can plan my next up yarn accordingly.

    So that’s what holes are called, ventilation? Looks like your grandma could use some planned ventilation, maybe something with yarn overs?

  12. Daisy

    Gorgeous work, as always! The railway stitch is amazing and I love the contrasting heels. I would never have though to make them striped.

  13. Kristin

    I was really hoping to see how the Hidden Passion socks turned out… It’s my “dream project” something I really want to do but I’m not nearly ready enough to do it!

  14. Mel

    Speaking of your father’s socks, I really, really, really love that cast off method. It quickly became my favorite for socks.

  15. Lori

    I love the thought of someone walking around all day, going to themselves, “ha ha ha, you [the world] think I am just wearing these lovely sophisticated socks, but WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW!!”

    Or at least, that is what I would do if I walked around in those socks. Then I would take off my shoe and shoe everyone what they didn’t know. With or without revealing the prior inner dialog.

    Your sockpals are the luckiest people ever — one gets lovely Grumperina socks, and one gets to knit socks for Grumperina!

  16. Trico

    I really like to read your conversation with your grandmather. She is so cute and we can feel your love for her. Your cedar socks are gorgeous, and I guess you won’t stop knitting socks for her anyway….

  17. ali

    Mmmm, I just love those colors- Olive Green has always been a favorite of mine. And the stripes looks so cute, fabulous job!

    Happy knitting,


  18. Christie

    Your Grandma is the cutest! I love your little dialogs with family members.

    I’m really diggin’ the striped heels! The two colors are beautiful together!

  19. Asa

    Beautiful yarn and pattern for the socks. It’s so great to have appreciative knitted gift recipients. Sounds like your grandma also wears your gifts, something I’m still working on my lot to do (I’m not taking it personally… much).

  20. Sherry

    I love it when you write about your conversation with your Grandmother. It’s wonderful that you’ve provided her with a wardrobe of handknit socks.

  21. Amy

    I love hearing about your Grandma. The new socks look great, and I can’t wait to see what your sweater looks like.

  22. Jenna

    Noooo! Say it ain’t so. You can’t deep-six the Hidden Passion socks. I was so counting on you to debug and demystify them!

  23. thorn

    re. hidden passion socks: you have the full support of a total stranger (me) in deep-6-ing those. heck. why hide your passion, anyway?

    your gentleman’s socks are gorgeous. you are right. the two yarns do go well together. i, too, hope you have enough for two heels and two toes.

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