Socked in at Christmas

I felt like I messed up every gift I was giving to my Patient Husband this Christmas. Three weeks ago, the print I’d ordered him off ebay arrived several shades darker than it had appeared online. The seller apologized and will get me a new one mid-January. 

I struggled with the online image of the print until I’d lightened it enough to see the various shapes, printed that and framed it, but it was just so lame. “Hi: this is a placeholder for your real gift.” So I had one of my Patented Brilliant Ideas, the kind that make all seven household guardian angels shiver and say extra prayers.

I’ve never knitted anything for my Patient Husband. I decided I would knit him a pair of socks.

You’ll have to keep in mind that no sock I’ve knitted has ever fit the foot for which it was intended. My first socks, for me, fit my six year old daughter. My second socks, for my son, were too small for him. My third pair of socks, intended for the baby, ended up being too big for his four year old brother. They’re all nice socks, but they never fit. You’d think I’d have figured that out before buying yarn and needles and commiting to this lunacy.

Ivy told me, “Of course ten days is enough time to knit a pair of socks!”  Moreover, the yarn I’d picked would be “a quick knit.” All was golden.

My first attempt at the socks resulted in a cuff that would fit an elephant. My Patient Husband saw me knitting and commented that they were too big for anyone. I said the sock cuff was supposed to be 11 or 12 inches around, according to the book. He said no way. So I measured his calf and came up with 11 inches. Ripped out the whole thing and cast on again.

This time, it worked. I got to work.

Many times, I doubted. I panicked about how much yarn I needed and bought some more. (I didn’t need to: there was enough.) I panicked about the gusset decreases (I should have done those differently) and in the end I realized the horrible truth: there was no way I could complete a pair of socks by Christmas. 

I finished and bound off the toe of the first sock on December 23rd. I carefully and gently wrapped my one single solitary sock, and put it under the tree.

That was the last gift my Patient Husband unwrapped, and when he saw there was only one, I said, “I ran out of time,” and he laughed, and I laughed until there were tears streaming down my cheeks, and we were both (literally) in stitches. 

He tried on the sock, and yes, it does fit. It’s lovely. (He tried to say “they’re warm” but then he corrected himself. It’s warm. He would wear it now, but he’s not too good at hopping.) He said it was funny that I’d been knitting the thing in front of him all this time and he hadn’t realized it was for him.

I’ve now cast on the second sock. And yes, I’m an idiot. But you’ve been reading here long enough to know that yourselves.

Merry Christmas, and a “hoppy” New Year. 🙂


  1. whiskers09092006

    Okay, now I’m tearing up at the thought of how sweet and wonderful you both are! Hugs to you, your patient husband, and all of the kiddos.

  2. Karina Fabian

    You mean you didn’t tell him the dryer ate the other one? Actually, since you have the extra yarn, you might consider making a third just in case.

    I was in a last-minute panic trying to decide what to get my husband (who either has everything he wants or wants something so specialized (like a particular piece of computer hardware) that I can’t get it. On the 17th, I got a star registered in his name. The paperwork got here in time, fortunately.

    I think we have the best gifts of all–great husbands! And they’re good all year round!

  3. Kate

    My husband’s birthday is tomorrow – I’m embroidering/monogramming a dozen handkerchiefs for him (he being an old fashioned type who will use them)…but I’ve got 6 left to go! Good thing he’s working all day today…

  4. philangelus

    Kate — ACK! Why are you online?!? <8-0

  5. blueraindrop

    lol tell him to imagine its red (i assume it isnt) and it can be a christmas stocking.

  6. Ivy

    I’m sorry. I really didn’t think a pair of socks at that gauge would take very long. 🙁

  7. philangelus

    You underestimated my slowth. 😉

  8. Kimblee

    That is such a sweet story!

    *giggles at image of elephant sockies.*

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