Non-knitters, look away now. Actually don’t – I want you to admire my socks!

I am very proud of these socks, my first ever pair. If you knew how much I hated knitting in the round, tiny needles and fine yarn, then you’d be proud of me too because those are all things you need for sock knitting. But notice I use the past tense. In the course of creating these toasty works of art, I became a sock-knitting addict. It’s fiddly knitting with four or five small needles, but once you get the hang of it, it’s rather fun. And the 4 ply yarn is so delicate. A little goes a long, long way. It’s a pity I don’t have a third leg as I’ve easily got enough wool left from the 100g ball I bought from Pip at to rustle up another sock.

I’ve already stocked up with wool for another three pairs. I had planned to knit socks for family members, but I think I’ll be selfish and knit more for me first. I need warm socks. I have permanently cold feet in winter so the more pairs the better.

Why do I like knitting so much? I learned when I was 7 or 8 from Mum. She was always knitting, so it was normal to want to do it too. And I’ve knitted ever since, with very few breaks. It’s such a useful as well as creative hobby. I’ve kitted out a lot of people in jumpers (predominantly), gloves, snoods, cardigans, hats and scarves. I knitted romper suits and leggings for the kids when they were babies. I had a long love-affair with intarsia knitting (picture knitting) and the kids had Bambi, Barney, brontosauruses and Barbie on various jumpers. I knitted Mum a jumper with a picture of her dog Holly on it, did a Spitfire on a jumper for Chris, as well as several Dennis the Menace jumpers, and one with his company logo on. They were all pretty neat, if I say so myself.

I hardly ever knitted anything for myself for a long time. I couldn’t see the point. Part of the appeal of knitting was the giving aspect of it. I read somewhere that if you knitted one of your hairs into what you were knitting, the person you gave it too would love you for ever. Don’t bother, though, it doesn’t work, as I found out with the first and long since ex boyfriend I tried this old wive’s nonsense on!

As the kids got bigger, I knitted less for them, and moved into knitting accessories rather than large time-consuming articles of clothing. When we started the llama trekking business, I became a one-person sweatshop and created loads of llama-shaped USB key covers, finger puppets, lavendar sachets, egg cosies and toys for the souvenir shop and sold them at ridiculously low prices. You never get a realistic price for hand-knitted items. People just aren’t prepared to pay for the time that goes into them. It’s a labour of unrequited love.

And now I’ve discovered socks and I’m not so altruistic as I used to be. I knit for me these days too. OK, socks are not massively quick, but since they’re smallish, they don’t take too long. And I’ll speed up the more pairs I do. Sock knitting goes well alongside the little projects I’m working on for the Knitting for Frenchaholics ebook which is up my sleeve. About which more later …