Thursday, October 4, 2012

Sock Season

I have spent most of the summer running around barefoot.

This is not necessarily an issue since I like being barefoot.

It has been possible for my toes to enjoy their freedom because I work from home and, now that we live in the middle of nowhere, I don't spontaneously go places anymore.

In fact, my slide into being feral recently led me to be concerned about what I'd do in the event of an alien invasion. How prepared would I be to battle aliens barefoot and in my pajamas? Although I don't expect to be going places, shouldn't I get dressed everyday in the off chance that I might have to make a fast escape from an intergalactic threat?

These concerns are being naturally addressed by the advent of cooler weather.

Maybe the threat of an alien invasion can't get me to put on shoes, but cold weather sure will.

And you know what? Sock season is awesome!

Is there anything quite as awesome as wearing handmade socks in comfy shoes? Aside from knitting more socks for future wear?

Really, if you have to give up going barefoot, due to either cold weather or aliens, handknit socks are the way to go.

There is just one problem with it.

The need to eventually wash those handknit socks. With commercial socks you just toss them in the washer and dryer and move on with your life.

Handknit socks should not be subjected to such abuse. They need to be hand washed. That isn't to say that they are delicate flowers, but...they are delicate flowers.

Trust me, I've lost at least one pair of socks to the horrors of the dryer.

Now, I must confess that when I was living in Connecticut and had a brand new washing machine, and even in New Hampshire where the washer was fairly modern, I shamelessly and without hesitation threw my handknit socks in the washer.

I would machine wash cold on the delicate/knit cycle and then hang them to dry on a collapsible wooden drying rack.

My socks and I lived happy lives.

But those days are over.

The house we are renting now has an ancient washing machine.

Don't get me wrong. It's a solid unit and it's doing a great job cleaning our clothes. But I don't trust that it's knit cycle is really as delicate as my handknit socks want it to be.

This presents me with a dilemma since I like hand knitting socks, but not hand washing socks.

Actually, it presents me with a dilemma and a massive pile of dirty socks on the bathroom floor.

 And cold toes that are unprepared to face aliens.

As you can see, I own dozens of pairs of hand knit socks (there are also two sweaters in that pile adding to the bulk). But even my sock drawer has a limit.

A breaking point is being reached.

I'm either going to have to hand wash the buggers or risk ruin and throw them in the washer.

In actuality, I might split the difference by putting them in the bucket to soak and then running them through the spin cycle to get the excess water out.

Honestly, I don't understand how letting the socks stand in water for a bit actually gets them clean. Don't they need the agitation?

Action must be taken soon.

It takes me two weeks to knit a pair of socks. I only have nine clean pairs left in my drawer.

I hope the aliens don't show up anytime soon.

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