I haven’t finished a pair of Eric’s Summer Socks before the end of his visit since 2012. Other projects step in and take my focus. A shop sample needs to be completed. Sudden design inspiration must be pursued. The materials for a test knit show up at my doorstep.
Of course, a few months ago I put all of those activities on hold. Now, my hands are at the end stages of healing. I can feel my knitting life beginning to expand again. I submitted a design for publication which included me knitting a mini version of the piece (since my sketches tend to look like a kindergartener who’s gotten hold of Mommy’s good drawing materials). I’m teaching a brioche class in September and knitting up a shop sample to promote it.
Working on Eric’s Summer Socks gave me hope. After taking only ten days to complete the first one, I was able to finish the second in fourteen along with knitting up that swatch for the design submission and working the first couple of inches of the brioche cowl.
Not quite back to normal, but I’m getting better!
For the last few years, I finished his socks in time for Christmas. He would pick his yarn and I’d cast on with the best of intentions during the first couple of weeks of his visit. By the time he left, I would be distracted by other shiny new projects and promise to mail them to him. For the remainder of the summer and all through fall, the socks traveled with me whereever I went, getting a stitch here and there between test knits and shop samples and design knitting. By Christmas, they’d finally be done. Wrapped in bright paper, they’d take their final journey to his house and he’d unwrap them in time for his winter semester.
Today, after I made him model the socks, he came into my office to give them back.
“Thanks, buddy. You get to keep those now.”
“Oh. I thought you might need them for more pictures.”
“If I do, I’ll let you know.”
And, grinning, he left the room with those socks clenched in his grasp.
Next year, when I feel time crashing in on me like I’m standing in the center of an hourglass swimming in sand, I hope I remember this moment. This moment of him knowing that those socks, that sock design that I created just for him, the one that fits his foot perfectly and sits firmly under his shoes – those socks are his now. This moment where he grinned and took possession of his socks two weeks before he left. I hope I remember how happy he was to have those socks.
And how happy I was to hand them over.
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