Family Finished Handmade Knitting

A tale of parcels and socks


Once upon a time two fat brown packages plopped onto our doormat.  One, addressed to the girls bore the additional comment along one edge “some lovely post from your Great-Aunt” and one, addressed to me was similarly labelled “some lovely post from your Aunt”.  The girls tore into theirs and out fell a silicone mold, of the sort that could be for cake or jelly or even perhaps chocolate. It had six dimples shaped like Easter Eggs and once the girls had been persuaded that it was for the real kitchen and not the play kitchen, we put it on the counter to wait for a day to try our hand at chocolate easter eggs.

And my parcel, well my parcel contained these:

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Socks, woolly, well loved socks, with a gigantic hole on one foot and the other so threadbare it was a miracle it was holding together.

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

 And with it came a note from my aunt, suggesting that I might like to recycle the socks, the yarn or something about them, and if I couldn’t, or didn’t want to, I could dispatch them to sock heaven.  And I laughed as I held them up both because nothing in the world was going to turn those socks back into socks, and because I love to see a hand knit well used.  

 Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

These were socks that I knit for my Mum. In fact I think they may have been the first socks that I ever knit for Mum, I’m not completely sure, because they pre-date Ravelry, but I remember knitting them for her that first Christmas that I’d learnt to do socks and everyone got a pair because I was completely obsessed and couldn’t imagine knitting anything else and I know that she loved them, not least because I kept getting phone calls about how to wash them.  

Dad gave me all of the knits I had made over the years, and because it was a time when I needed to pull my family in close, which in my mind of course means entangling them in yarn so they can’t escape, I gave some of the socks to my sister, and Mum’s sisters, my two lovely aunts had a pair each. And I’m forever grateful that they did, it helped.

But the best sort of socks are the ones that wear out because they’re the ones you reach for everyday and these have certainly been well worn. And anyone that keeps wearing socks until they’re that far gone more than deserves a new pair. So even though the summer is coming, even though I’ve been wearing sandals all week and even though it’s not exactly the perfect sock wearing season, I’ve been knitting.  And last week we sent a parcel labelled “some lovely post from your niece and great nieces”

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Inside, one brand new pair of soft warm fluffy socks, and a little something extra from the girls, made with very clean hands and a little bit of help from Mummy and then decorated with every sprinkle they could make stick to the chocolateOlds socks, new socks .

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

Space for the Butterflies - an eclectic handmade family life

I hope she likes them.  The yarn is one of my favourites, Sparkleduck Socka and I love the Galaxy colourway, and how it’s knit up into starburst stripes; there’s a bit of a rings of Saturn thing going on, but mostly they’re just wonderfully bright and cheery.  The socks themselves aren’t anything fancy, just a standard 64st sock but they should be warm and cosy with all that English summer we still have yet to come. And they were knitted with a lot of love.

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  • barnraised (Jen) 16/04/2015 at 7:07 am

    Aawww…I’ve never read such a beautiful story about socks:)

    • Carie 19/04/2015 at 2:34 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  • Claire @ Clarina's Contemplations 16/04/2015 at 7:42 am

    What a gorgeous idea Carie… I bet your Aunt was thrilled!

    • Carie 19/04/2015 at 2:33 pm

      We have had a really sweet thank you card from her this week so I think they were a hit!

  • Mandycharlie 16/04/2015 at 2:01 pm

    What a wonderful gift, handmade socks and chocolate eggs, what’s not to love.

    • Carie 19/04/2015 at 2:32 pm

      It’s the perfect combination isn’t it!

  • Katie @mummydaddyme 16/04/2015 at 5:55 pm

    Awww what a lovely story Carie! 🙂

    • Carie 19/04/2015 at 2:30 pm

      thank you 🙂

  • Jemma 16/04/2015 at 7:47 pm

    I cannot believe that is a name for wool- hilarious! I would like a whole post on wool names please! Seriously though, supercute socks- as ever I am in awe of your knitting ability xx

    • Carie 19/04/2015 at 2:30 pm

      Oh there are some fantastic names around – both for the yarn and the individual colour ways but Sparkleduck is right up there!

  • sustainablemum 16/04/2015 at 9:05 pm

    You are a very fast sock knitter! It seems to take me forever! A beautiful post Carie 🙂

    • Carie 19/04/2015 at 2:28 pm

      I used to be able to turn out a pair inside a week if that was all I was knitting on – ah those pre children days when there was more time!! But I’m still a quick knitter, just without so many chances to knit!

  • sally 16/04/2015 at 9:06 pm

    What a lovely Aunt you’ve got, and it’s very clear you deserve each other! And are you going to be able to recycle the socks in some way?

    • Carie 19/04/2015 at 2:28 pm

      I’m thinking they might go into the collection of socks that are going to magically turn into a patchwork of some sort! Hopefully, one days when I get round to it!

  • Kim 16/04/2015 at 9:20 pm

    How sweet, both the receiving mail and the outgoing mail 🙂

    • Carie 19/04/2015 at 2:20 pm

      It really was – she has a lovely habit of sending us happy post – baking cases and sugar butterflies for the girls or a cake tin shaped like a sandcastle – we’re very lucky to have some wonderful aunts!

  • Vickie 16/04/2015 at 9:21 pm

    Must not click the link. Must not click the link. 🙂

    What a beautiful story Carie. And beautiful socks too! I am sure your aunt will love them.

    I have a pair of socks and a cardigan that I knit for my mum. She’d christened the cardigan Old Faithful because she wore it so often. 🙂

    • Carie 19/04/2015 at 2:19 pm

      click the link click the link click the link!!!

  • Jess @ Picnics in the Rain 17/04/2015 at 10:50 pm

    I love your writing Carie, you tell a story so well and this is truly lovely x

    • Carie 19/04/2015 at 2:12 pm

      aww thank you 🙂