Friday, 14 May 2010

return of the socks, and how

Until I find that bûcheron who’ll come home from a hard winter at the chantier (circa 1840) and lift me up in one hand while making me tea with the other, well, I’ll just be content to knit myself the girls’ version of the socks he’ll be wearing when he does.

I have the crazy sock gleam in my eye for these, the one that leads me to write sentences longer than a whole paragraph should be. I cannot begin to describe how beautiful and miraculous this yarn is. It is from Bilby Yarns, a local producer.

This is the quintessential voyageur yarn. It’s rough (in the best way) and honest; springy and even and clean; it feels good in your hands and smells good, and it makes the warmest socks I have ever produced. These are socks that could only be worn out by a thousand days on the hardworking feet of someone with a sincere and loving heart. I know for certain that socks made with Bilby Yarn are worn by every wholesome woodcutter, every good farmer, every truthful man in every folk tale or fairy tale ever written or sung, in any country, in any language, ever, primarily in northern hemisphere ones where there is real winter. (I don’t know how they got it from here to all those places back then, but dudes, it is le fact).

Photos never do colour justice, and I can only imagine the dyes used on these yarns are distilled from nothing less than the quiet and happy souls of those who did small kindnesses, who built bridges, who did not hurt, who laughed long, who sang loudly, who loved deeply. They are beautiful.

The pattern is from a hardcover book (deetz below) that I could not bring all the way to Australia with me. I did photocopy this one pattern, though, because I already had a skein of Bilby Yarn and knew this was the pattern it had been yearning for all its life.

As we all know, it’s better to be happy than to be right, but being right is cool too, especially when it coincides with also being happy. And I was so right. They were made for each other.

I have two more skeins of this yarn already. I am so not done. I may never knit anything except these socks with this yarn for the rest of my life.

(For the knit-interested who need to know, the facts: the book is Handknit Holidays by Melanie Falick; it recommends knitting these on four needles but I usually use three until I get to the foot, when it gets bulky on three; these are made with a double-strand of Bilby 4-ply on 4mm needles.)


A. Hiscock said...

Those are just gorgeous. Who couldn't help but be cheerful with those on their feet?

Amber said...

I just wound the next skein (purple) ready to use. But part of my socklove comes from the swift/ball-winder way of doing this, cos I don't have mine here, and the hand-wind thing does not turn my crank. In fact it makes me crank_y_. So after this, I will simply have to bring all the skeins back to Canada where I can wind them as they should rightly be wound. The whole process matters (and it matters most to my friend's 8-year-old son, the Chief Winder-Operator. He wants to visit me in Australia for the sole reason of winding wool off the swift for me).

zircon11 said...

Ah, happy feet indeed! Such glorious hues, and such pride that a sock-connoisseur such as yourself would choose and extol an Australian yarn. Beaming with vicarious satisfaction and first hand pleasure, I am. :-)

Anonymous said...

What can I say but...

...what a nice a pair you've got there m'dear.

Ahh, sock-smut. (amused me anyway)