I’ve discussed this before, but it bears repeating.
Every now and then I hear people say, “Why should I spend $25.00 for a pair of socks? I can get three or four pair for half that much, and those are already made!”
Well yes, that is true. And you can get a few more next year when these cheap ones wear out.
The problem with this thinking, whether we’re talking $25.00 for a pair of socks, or $75.00-$100.00 for a sweater, is that people are mentally spending from their clothing budget. And I do understand the need for careful spending, and getting as much value as you can for the few pennies you have. In their minds, such people are thinking: “I’m spending all this money on yarn for a DIY *kit* that I have to put together myself, and it’s so much more expensive than just buying it already made without all the effort to make it myself.” And, for people who think that way, I suppose they are right. I doubt they fully appreciate the value of a well-made hand-made garment, so maybe they are better off not buying my yarn, maybe I am better off not trying to change their minds.
But for those who are already in on the secret, we already know that yarns for socks or sweaters or other things do not come from the clothing budget.
For $25.00 you can take your sweetheart to a movie, maybe buy a bag of popcorn and 2 soft drinks. Maybe. And standing in line to get in. And sharing space with strangers for 2 hours.
For $25.00 you and your partner can visit the coffee shop for some fancy chi-chi caffeinated beverage and a scone, and any change is left for the tip.
For $25.00 you can go to one of the less-expensive theme parks, museums, or other paid entertainments – but we all know you can’t get tickets for the big shows for $25!
But when the movie is over, the scones are eaten, and your feet are sore from wandering the theme park, it’s all over but the memory. Oh, and that’s not even including the gas-and-parking (or bus/cab fare) to and from these things. Want a movie poster or a theme park souvenir? There’s five or ten bucks more (and that’s just the cheap crap). Once you’ve spent the money, it’s done and gone.
for $25.00 you can have a one-of-a-kind hand-dyed skein of sock yarn that nobody else can have. Oh, they might have similar, but not mass-produced identically the same.
And you will have 10-12 hours (minimum!) knitting a pair of socks, following a pattern you personally selected. And you are free to modify that pattern to fit your own feet, or the feet of someone you personally care about. It might be a favorite tried-and-true pattern, or maybe one of the modern progressive “experimental” designs you’ve seen cropping up.
Socks and other small projects can go with you, so when you find yourself on a bus or sitting in a waiting room, you are not killing time, but filling time. You are occupying yourself without disturbing others and without meddling into other people’s business. Avid sock knitters are rarely bored because they always have a sock or two on the needles close at hand, ready to fill time that would otherwise be spent complaining about having to wait for this or that.
Or at the end of a day, you just want to unwind, you can pull out your socks and watch the sun go down with a cup of tea or pint of beer, fully engaged yet fully relaxed in your project, without the need for someone to entertain you.
Fine hand-dyed knitting yarns do not come from the clothing budget; they come from the entertainment budget. Dollar for dollar it would be difficult to find a less-expensive yet fully-engaging way to pass the time. And you don’t have to buy a special wardrobe to knit. Other than needles, you really don’t have to spend a lot for special gear, either. People have been knitting for hundreds of years without requiring anything more than yarn and needles.
Oh, and the “souvenir” from all this entertainment? You get a finished pair of socks that you get to keep and wear for years to come!