Month: June 2016

I Calculated The Value of a (hand knit) Sock

I’m pretty sure my blog is schizophrenic. One minute it’s a parenting blog, then a diet blog, then a travel blog… I originally wanted it to be a “look at the fascinating/exciting things I’m doing and places I’m going!” blog, but I don’t do enough fascinating things for that to happen, so what you see is what you get.

Brace yourself, because I’m going full-on knitting mode.

Hand Knit Sock In Progress

I promise I’ll try to make it interesting, but if making amazing things isn’t your  jam, feel free to skip this one.

We recently took the boys to Texas. They experienced their first flight, a series of long road trips, and two weeks of visiting and sweating (June in Texas is no joke, y’all). The longest we spent in any one place during the whole trip was three days. Throw eight-month-old twins into the mix and that’s a recipe for crazy. BUT I had plenty of road trip time to knit socks.

The most knitting I get done lately is in the car, when we’re in transit. That’s the only time the boys are guaranteed to be safe (and likely asleep) that I don’t also have other pressing responsibilities. So I use that time to make things. I knit. And the very best travel knitting is sock knitting.

Hand Knit Socks Cascade Silk

I did some math. One pair of socks includes well over 20,000 individual stitches, and depending on the pattern, takes me about 10-15 hours to finish.

Which is why I laugh when occasionally (very occasionally) people ask if they can pay me to knit them socks.

The yarn for a pair of hand knit socks costs $20-$30. There’s cheaper sock yarn out there, but I won’t knit with it. If I’m going to spend 10-15 hours of my life running the stuff between my fingers, it’s going to be soft and beautiful.

Hand Knit Socks Araucania Huasco

At a modest rate of $10/hour plus yarn, a pair of handknit socks could easily cost $150 or more. But that’s assuming I would be willing to work for $10/hour. I probably wouldn’t.

This is why hand knit socks are special. You can’t buy them (unless you’ve got a pretty hefty sock budget). You can bribe a knitter, but if that knitter doesn’t already like you a lot, it’s just not going to happen. In fact, if someone gives you a pair of hand knit socks, you should reevaluate your relationship with that person and consider thanking them with coffee. Or chocolate. Or a sports car. Because they gave you a pair of priceless socks and they probably deserve it.

You can go to the store and get perfectly serviceable socks for a dollar. You can get high-end Smart Wool socks for $20, if you want to be fancy. And neither of these options requires hours of running yarn between your fingers, rubbing needles together, putting to use all the skills learned over many years of trial and error and how-to videos.

That makes it crazy to knit socks, right? I mean, who does that? Why do that? If you realize that time is the most valuable currency, why knit anything–let alone socks?

Hand Knit Socks KnitPics Stroll

For me, knitting doesn’t replace other things I should be doing (most of the time). It is my entertainment, the thing I do when I would otherwise be sitting motionlessly watching Netflix, listening to an audiobook, or riding in the car (and I’m not good at sitting motionlessly). It’s an activity I enjoy that results in actual things I can keep or give to someone I really, really like.

You can’t pay me to knit socks or much of anything else. I have no desire to open an Etsy shop to sell the things I’ve made. I can make better money taking on extra writing work.

It’s about watching that beautiful yarn run through my fingers until something priceless comes out. Watching actual things come out of those little snippets of time is fun. It’s my version of PC gaming, movie watching, music listening, time-wasting amusement. And though I’m a little biased, I consider it superior to all of those–if only because in the zombie apocalypse, I’ll be able to enjoy myself and clothe my feet.

The Brain on Twins

Twins are like very cute little reality-altering drugs.

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If pregnancy brain is a thing (studies say it isn’t. I say the studies are stupid), twin brain is an even bigger phenomenon. Twin brain has very real, sometimes very disastrous results.

On twins, my brain does improvident things it never did before.

My brain leaves bags of merchandise sitting on mall benches while I rush away to feed a child.

My brain throws cell phones against walls.

My brain forgets a $600 jogging stroller in the middle of a public parking lot and drives away without it.

My brain forces me to laugh at my husband when he’s trying to make a very serious point.

My brain takes me to the store without my purse. Multiple times. In one week.

My brain forgets how to talk to normal adults that aren’t my husband, because I don’t do that anymore.

My brain sends emails, Facebook messages, and texts to the wrong people.

My brain makes me crave another baby when two is twice as many as I thought I wanted.

Twin brain also has its benefits, though. Having twins makes it easier to separate the important things from the things that don’t matter. Showers? Important. Coffee? Important. Fixing hair and wearing a bra? Not so important.

Waking up too early has never been so rewarding. The walk from my bed to the boys’ room at 3 a.m. might be agonizing, but seeing their smiles when I get there fixes that.

Twins make me brave. I can’t be self-conscious when the babies just need to be fed or to go on a walk. I can’t maintain a bad attitude for long when they grin at me every time I look at them. I can’t be the same kind of selfish I once was when these two little people need me for everything. Twins make all the excuses for not really living look absurd.

Twins make me want to be the very best version of myself possible. They make me want to spend hours outside. They make me want to learn so I can teach them. They make me want to explore more, to get out of my comfort zone in ways I would have hesitated to before. They make me want to go to Iceland, to run a half marathon, to dye my hair purple, to wear tie-dye and macaroni necklaces. Twins make me want to take very long naps.

So. My brain on twins? Sometimes rather expensive and potentially embarrassing. But not so bad.