Little Magic: Snow drops & socks

Alicia de los Reyes
5 min readMar 22, 2022
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Sock: a garment for the foot, typically knit from wool, cotton, or nylon

I can’t stop knitting socks. Before a few months ago, I had never successfully knit even one, and now I’ve made three-and-a-half pairs, and I’m starting to feel anxious, because I’m running out of yarn. They are so intensely satisfying to me at this transition, this moment we are in right now: two years into a pandemic, the seasons changing once again.

This time last year, I was about ready to burst with hope. My parents had decided to move closer, to be just an hour’s drive away, instead of an impossible-for-us plane ride. Vaccines were just starting to be distributed, and it seemed that the only impediments to the end of the coronavirus were logistical. I was ready — so ready — to emerge from my home and from full-time (make that full-full-full-time) parenting, from modified school schedules, from masks and curbside pick-ups and takeout. I was ready to return to writing. I was ready, like plants that stay dormant for the long winter months, to bloom.

But one year later, here we are again, navigating masks and rules, guidelines and quarantines.

This is why I knit socks. I need something predictable.

Socks are the same, every damn time. I start with the cuff. I knit two, purl one, until, to paraphrase Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, I am sick of ribbing. I switch to stockinette stitch. Eventually, I make a heel flap, then turn a heel. I feel like a freaking wizard when I do this part. I pick up more stitches for the gusset, reduce them back to their original count, then work more stockinette until it’s time to shape the toe. A k2tog here, a ssk there, and I am at the end, the dreaded Kitchener stitch. But even these tricky little stitches have an end point — one row, and I’m done.

Just writing out these steps, I can feel my heart rate slow down. I literally need to knit socks. My nervous system longs for the knitting of socks.

Snowdrop: a bulbous European plant that bears drooping white flowers in late winter

I don’t feel the urge, as I did this time last year, to act like spring flowers and burst into bloom. Instead, I’m up and down, all over the place — optimistic, then depleted. Some days, I want to hide for another year. To…

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Alicia de los Reyes

Freelance writer who loves to make stuff 🧵🧶 Stories about crafts/fiber arts/art/history/women/related | aliciadelosreyes.com