At every dance studio I went to as a kid, it seemed that this poster hung on the wall in a prominent location. We tried to emulate it, standing underneath and tweaking out our pliable little knees into a perfect 5th position plie, even though our ballet slippers were squeaky clean, baby pink leather and those mustard yellow tights were (sadly!) a thing of the past. But the image of those beat-up, perfectly worn-in shoes stuck with me. Later, as a teenager, I carried around a duffel bag half-full of old pointe shoes that were far past their prime. I mean far. Tips blackened by the marley floors and sticky from rosin, shanks broken by my unwieldy arches, ribbons frayed to the point of non-existence. But I couldn't bear to throw them away! They had molded to fit my feet perfectly, and putting them on for barre warm-ups was like putting on an old friend. It even took me another two years or so after I quit ballet to get rid of them outright. I've stopped dancing now, but I've come to recognize that same sense of history and friendliness in my newer foot-related accessory: handknit socks.
The latest addition to our family of socks whose history is as long and varied as those above, but whose time on feet hasn't really even begun yet.
last year. They have traveled around with me in my knitting bag for months, getting shoved perpetually to the backburner when sample knits or designs had earlier deadlines. They were Christmas presents, then birthday presents, and they finally they were plunked unceremoniously down on my brother's bed, with a note of apology, a few weeks ago. They're Malabrigo Sock in the colorway Alaucil, on size 1s, in my typical toe-up sock recipe. I reinforced the heels with reinforcing thread, but neglected to make sure that the spools matched when I grabbed them off the shelf. Oh well. It'll help him tell left from right.
Oh, and you want to know the best bit about the three socks pictured above?