Bad Currency

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I don’t sell hand knit socks because I believe that they are bad currency. It’s a belief I hold based on logic and superstition. Logically- hand knit socks are a labor of love and almost always undervalued. Even affordable sock yarn is somewhat pricey and if you’re after quality or sustainable practices or recognizable sheep breeds the cost of materials alone will double the price of a pair of store bought wool socks. And that’s before a single stitch has been made. The main ingredient of sock knitting is not yarn, it’s time. I mostly knit socks in the in-between. In line at the post office, briefly seated on the train, watching my computer update, on hold. They just seem to get done and with a time commitment comprised of so many fits and starts I never really bother to add up all of that stolen productivity. But I’ll tell you- it’s a lot. Thousands of stitches, hundreds of minutes.

Let’s say a single sock for a size six foot takes three or four movies, or roughly six hours (we watch short movies!). That’s 12 hours a pair (add half an hour per sock for every additional size you go up) and $180 at a $15/hr minimum wage. I’m guessing at all of this math, but give or take your knitting speed and interpretation of a living wage, it’s just not practical. After all- socks are the piece of fabric that absorbs all of your foot sweat AND the entirety of your body weight and grinds both into either the ground or the footbed of your shoe. I don’t know if anything can make spending $180 on socks a worthwhile investment.

Now superstitiously- every time I have endeavored to knit socks for money or trade it has been cursed. The yarn, usually enough, runs out before the second toe. The recipient falls ill or dies of old age in the waiting. Socks knit up and handed off to size and on time are unreciprocated, sometimes so massively that friendships and confidence are shattered. Fully cursed.

So, no, you can’t pay me to knit you socks. But if you have small feet and I love you very much I might do it for free.