Knitting Tragedy

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juujika's picture

I want to cry. Seriously. A few minutes ago, while trying to reduce the pile of cloth items that invariably accumulates in the laundry basket that habitually sits atop the dryer, I found a black (I thought) partially felted sock. I thought, "That's odd, I don't remember doing any worsted weight black socks in any yarn that would felt..."

I carried it into the bathroom, where the light was better, and my heart sank. It wasn't black. It was a beautiful deep hunter green. It was the "Grandmaster sock" - the luxurious merino/silk sock that I made for a dying friend, back in January. A little bit of luxury for the one foot which could bear a sock (the other had an infection, and could not tolerate even being covered by a blanket), for his last days. The sock he told me was a very sweet thought, but that there wasn't enough time for me to make. It was the result of the last playful challenge he would (unwittingly) throw my way. The sock that, when it became clear that I might actually finish in time, he made me promise to size so that it could be worn by somebody else, after he died. The sock I promised I pass on, along with the mate I would make, to his chosen successor. The sock whose toe I grafted during the last session he attended of the role playing game he loved - the session for which we tromped 13 people into his hospice room (one of whom drove in from halfway across the state, and another that flew in from D.C., just to be there), and had several more "pop in" via Skype, to say hello, good bye, and to tell him how much he'd meant to them. The sock that I placed on his foot that Friday evening that was the highlight of his last few months. (He died the next Tuesday morning).

I took the sock and put it in the bathroom sink with some wool wash, knowing even as I did so that it was futile - there is no coming back from a felting, but I couldn't NOT at least try SOMETHING. Part of me (a big part) tells me that I'm being silly. It's a sock. Yes, it was the most expensive sock I ever made. Yes, it does present a little bit of a quandry, because I now have the skein intended to become a mate for the sock sitting in my knitting bag, unable to realize its initial purpose. But, it is only a sock - it served its main purpose, and Lee is long done with it. It is pretty inconsequential in the grand scheme of the world. But still I grieve, because now... I cannot fulfill the last promise I made to my friend. ):