One of my (far too many) hobbies is knitting. Actually, although I've knit a few scarves in my day, mostly I knit socks. Oh, I've also done quite a few pairs of fingerless mitts, but, really, those are just socks without feet. I started knitting right after my middle brother died. He was a wonderful, funny guy, easy-going, who died too early. It had been a standing joke between us that I always gave him socks for Christmas -- it got to a point where he'd be disappointed if he didn't get them. One year when I got him something else he grumbled that he really needed socks and put off buying them since he knew he'd be getting them from me for Christmas.
Anyway, when he passed away, I took a week off from work, and, after a few days, found myself at odds and ends. I took a trip to the local Michael's and found a little pamphlet on knitting socks. I collected the necessary yarn and needles and headed home, on a very serious mission. I would knit socks in my brother's honor. That poor first sock. I must have cast it on and ripped it out easily a dozen times. Of course the important thing to realize is that, when I started, I didn't know how to knit! Except for a brief and exasperating (mostly for my mother!) few days when I was about 10, I'd never picked up a knitting needle in my life. But I persevered. It was important, you see, to learn how to knit socks. Not only for my brother, but for me. I needed something to concentrate on, to work through my grief. And every time I cast on that poor sock, then ripped it out again, a little of the pain that I felt over losing my brother came away with it. After about three straight days of work, I finally managed to complete a perfectly acceptable sock-shaped object that even fit my foot. A day or two later it had a mate, and, although I wasn't healed, I was, at least feeling more like myself. And when I looked at the sock and thought of my brother, I was just as apt to smile as to cry -- a definite improvement.
How Sweet the Sound's Pink Saturday, I present my latest finished pair of socks. No, not the first pair I made -- to be honest, I don't even know where they are right now. Probably lost on the Island of Missing Socks. No, this is a pair that I started over a year past and finally just finished a few weeks ago. They're made from a hand-dyed yarn I found on Etsy (Hippie Feet Sock Yarn by St. Seraphina Knits in the Black Light Poster colorway), in the Wildflower Socks pattern, which I found on Ravelry. The color is a little louder than I normally work with but, like the memory of my brother, these socks make me smile.