A toast to those who did it first

The socks are growing… see? Two short-row heels and one of the feet they’re intended to fit. The first one is not quite perfect (I thought it was too easy to be true and unlike the maths exam, it was). It took me a while to realise I was finding it difficult to distinguish between the last knitted stitch and the next wrapped stitch; no way was I tinking that, so I fudged it. Anyone else see a sock covered in chocolate sauce there? I paid MUCH more attention to the next one and it worked as it should. I’m experiencing a momentary difficulty in getting the lace on the back to join the lace on the front as it should, but I’ll get there. How can I not? Others have marked the way for me …

Someone did it first. I was thinking about that as I worked through the first heel (part of the problem, perhaps, but I don’t regret it). Someone, somewhen was knitting something that needed a bulge and thought “If I did this and that, then… “. I don’t think it could have been me in a previous incarnation, alas: I don’t think that way. Or perhaps I lack the confidence to look beyond the instructions? But I spent some time staring off into the middle distance thinking about the people who can do that, who did it without instructions: those who first tried twisting fibre into string, who worked out how to get linen out of flax. Who put a bit of stone or wood on a stick to get the right weight to make a spindle. Who thought of running string through holes in square bits of wood and rotating those bits of wood to get a shed: tablet weaving! Who devised the Weaver’s Cross… The list is almost endless, the complex beauty of what we do today traced back through time through all the individuals who contributed finesse and elegance and functionality to the people who did it first. I’m knitting gratitude and admiration into those socks and, more importantly, I am a (very) small part of the tradition keeping their accomplishments alive, passing the knowledge on.

ps. Most of the blue flowers are Nigella damascena, commonly called Love-in-a-Mist or Devil in the Bush. Interesting combination of names. There’s a single Viola cornuta, the last of the Forget-Me-Nots and a bit of a petal of Papaver orientalis Perry’s White at the very top.


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