Wanna bet? For you non-knitters out there, socks are like potato chips (sort of). You can't knit just one. This is true (sort of). You can knit just one sock. But, unfortunately, by the time you are done with that one sock, you have found 10 new sock patterns that look really cool...much cooler than the one you just slaved over for days.
So, you start the new one. Think of it as a potato chip, but just a different brand. But, just as it doesn't make sense to eat one potato chip from the bag and then open up a new bag to try out a new brand (over and over again), it also has its disadvantages when it comes to socks. It's called SSS (Second Sock Syndrome) and if you see knitters habitually wearing two beautiful (but completely different) socks, you know they suffer from this malady.
On the upside, SSS gives you an excuse to go to your favorite yarn store for their once-a-year-at-5am-in-the-pitch-black-dark-40%-off-sale (because you want to save $$ after all)...and buy that new yarn you've been hank-ering after (excuse the pun).
Whenever I feel guilty about SSS, I remind myself that this is a hobby after all and the last thing it should do is cause stress or guilt. There are lots of other things in life that already do that, thank you very much. So, I happily keep knitting my different socks and maybe someday, all those socks will have mates.
In the meantime, I would like to show that the situation is not completely hopeless, because all of these socks featured below have mates (even if it took months for those mates to materialize)...
The very first socks - crocheted.
Now, I love crochet; it was my first yarn addiction. But, crocheted socks are no good, IMHO. They look nice, but they have zero stretch to them. Think about it the next time you put a pair of socks on, especially after a shower. You don't want to spend 5 minutes tugging and fighting with your socks, when you are already late getting the kids breakfast and out the door. It takes all the joy out of it.
But, because of that first humble pair of socks (which I still wear when I am out of all my other socks), I learned to knit. And, walla: the very first pair of knit socks (and, no my feet aren't actually that big). This pair could very easily be in one of those kid's activities books where you have to spot all the differences. See if you can find them all...
Next came multiple tries to get a pair of socks made for Chardy. Poor girl, nobody's feet are shaped like that. The first one (far right) had ankles that could have fit around her thigh, but the length of the foot was a few inches too short. The second one [not pictured] was (very slightly) better. The third and fourth fit (me) perfectly, but not Chardy. So, I got a nice pair of socks, but Chardy had to wait awhile.
The next pair used perhaps the ugliest yarn known to man, but the colors (orange, green, blue, and lt. green) looked nice when they were all balled up in the hank... On the positive side, they fit (me).
These ones below are so comfy, but they smelled like vinegar for the entire time I knitted them (over the span of 3-4 weeks). Some hand-dyed yarn folks use vinegar in the dye process. Makes for great colors, not so great scent until you wash them.
These are called Coriolis Socks. They get their name from the cool spiraling line that wends it way up the foot and around the ankle. As is typical with SSS, though, I found a new pattern that I wanted to work on. And so, these got cut short and turned into slippers for Alli, which she loves.
So, this whole time, Chardy is waiting patiently for her own pair of socks... In addition to all the above socks, I had actually made a good-faith effort to make yet another pair for her (not pictured), but they turned out way too small (but fit Aaron perfectly, so at least he got some).
Finally, fate worked in her favor. I was working on a pair of socks for me in the absolutely best colors. I figure if you are going to wear hand-knit socks, they should be shockingly bright. But, karma caught up with me on these socks. They ended up too small for me, but fit Chardy perfectly. Can you tell whose happy feet are whose?
In the end, all of these misfit socks showed me reason #2593 why it is a really good thing to have 4 kids. If nothing else, no matter how big or small the socks turn out, they will always fit someone in the house perfectly.
Currently, I am working on yet another pair of really bright socks using a pattern I found off the web called "Circle Socks". I finished the first one ages ago, but finally started today on its mate during Alli's Ortho appointment. (Didn't get very far, I know, but that's what happens when you knit 5-10 minutes a day.)
So, in the end, the moral of this (admittedly very long) story is: If you get one sock from me for Christmas (or two, but they don't match), you'll understand why. And, who knows? The next Christmas, you just might get their mates.