It's been so nice having a kindred spirit in the neighbourhood. Lynda and I have gotten together several times now to knit and visit, and we've had a great time. She must be feeling like she's getting to know me better, because she recently asked me a very personal question. It wasn't about politics or religion. No, the question she asked me was this. "How many pairs of socks do you own?" Of course, she didn't mean store bought gym socks, or crazy socks from Korea. She was referring to my handknit socks.
I don't know what was more surprising - her courage in asking the question, or my cowardice in dodging it. I mumbled something about not being sure. She asked again. I dodged the question again. Then she asked me to just estimate how many I had. Feeling cornered, I visualized my sock baskets (yes, there are two), and started doing a rough count in my head. All I can say is that degree in mathematics might have finally come in handy.
When I got home curiosity got the better of me and I decided to do something I had never done before. I counted my socks. It turns out the "B" basket, which contains bed socks and older, worn out regular socks, had 14 pairs. The "A" basket? Well, I have to say even I was surprised. It had 25 pairs in it. Add to that the pair I was wearing, and the pair waiting to be mended, and that makes for a grand total of 41 pairs of socks.
In my own defence I would like to point out that I have been knitting socks for over a dozen years, and in all those years I've rarely thrown out a pair. I just demote them to the "B" basket. So you can see how they can add up over time. Also, one of the 41 pairs, in fact the nicest pair I own, I didn't actually knit. They were gifted to me by Lynne, the Sock Lady. So that takes me down to just 40 pairs that I've actually knit for myself.
I think one of the reasons my socks last so long is I only hand wash them, even though some of them are knit with yarn that is supposed to be safe to put in the washing machine. Then I hang them to dry on the clothes rack in the spare bedroom upstairs. I love the look of them, especially when the sun shines in the window. It's the knitter's equivalent of stained glass.
Once they are dry I roll them up and place them in my basket. I don't think they worry about being worn again anytime soon. The competition is pretty stiff.
So I would like to hear your opinions. Is 41 pairs of socks a bit extreme? And, if it's not too personal, I would love to hear how many pairs of socks you own. There has to be at least one other knitter out there who has me beat. Or the friend of a knitter.
I wanted to say thank you so much for all the helpful comments and suggestions you left for me on the post I wrote about my feet/shoe woes. I've already made one change. I have ditched my Crocs inside the house and am trying my Birkenstocks. Time will tell as to whether or not this makes a difference. I am also researching different brands of hikers, especially ones that come in wider sizes. I might be on the hunt for new shoes, but I don't think I'll be needing any new socks for awhile.