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The thing I like best about knitting socks is the frequent milestones. When you’re knee-deep in the twelve inches of plain, unshaped stockinette that make up the body of a sweater, it can be difficult not to get bored (and by bored, I mean you’re staring at your knitting and feeling sad and thinking “If this knitting was a sandwich, it would have no filling: it would be a bread sandwich. And not good bread, either, but slightly soggy bread that has been left in the lunchbox until it got warm.” until your boyfriend asks you why you’re staring at your knitting instead of knitting it). Sweaters take maturity and patience (and complex metaphors involving bread) and that’s why they’re awesome. You work steadily and diligently, you show commitment, and you get the triumphant milestone of the waist shaping, the sleeves, the neckline. They’re far apart and celebrated when you get there.

Socks, on the other hand, milestone after milestone, in quick succession. That’s why they’re so awesome. I knit my socks toe-up, and so it’s cast on, work the toe – BAM! Toe’s done. Then you get the foot, which is usually the longest part, but it’s still over pretty damn quick. Couple of movies’ worth of knitting time, tops. BAM! Foot’s done. Time to turn the heel — whoa! BAM! Done like a dinner! Here’s a map of all the BAMs, although I admit the writing is a bit hard to see from a distance:


See those milestones? I got to get past each one of those in less than a week. The cast-on and toe I worked while M, I and a friend all worked through Tales of Monkey Island: Launch of the Screaming Narwhal; the foot I worked on the drive up to Sydney this week; then the heel and cuff I worked on the drive back from Sydney. Badda bing, badda boom: first sock! Cast on the second sock today, and had the toe done by afternoon tea time. BAM! The best part about these milestones is that they remind you why you knit. You get to the end of the foot and prepare to turn the heel, and you think “hey, that was pretty zippy: this is so speedy and satisfying!”. Well, I do, anyway.

You got time on your hands? Cast on a sweater, plant a fig tree and read Proust. Want some satisfaction in the here and now? Socks are your pet, baby.

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