Pink Alpaca

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Elaine's socks

Inside my coffee table are wicker bins, stuffed with my knitting. And in the rightmost one is the beginning of my first-ever sock. I cast it on in September, with the intention of giving the finished pair to a dear friend of mine, Elaine.

Elaine, my mom's best friend, was in a nursing home battling a long illness. I thought hand knit socks might be the perfect gift for her. Having never made socks before, I was a bit nervous. But she loved to crochet and knit so I knew she'd appreciate them regardless. So I picked out some yarn I thought she might like and set to work.

I had issues with it from the beginning. Cast-on edge was too tight. Needles needed to be a size smaller. I finally got things right but progress was slow. My part-time job began. Christmas knitting got in the way. The sock is about half-finished and still in the bin.

Elaine passed away on the 21st at the age of 57. It was a shock to me and my family. We still held on to the hope that she would get better. Elaine was like an aunt to me. She called me her little-tiny-baby-Kara, even up till this past year. Our two families celebrated the Fourth of July together nearly every year - tubing trip, late-night snacks and movies, fireworks, games and laughs. Her laugh was amazing. I miss her so much.

And now I don't know what to do with Elaine's socks. I can't bear to open up that bin in my coffee table. I don't think it's guilt of not finishing them that's hurting me, but maybe it's that I planned them for her, and even if I were to finish them I couldn't imagine giving them to anyone else. I spent 10 minutes choosing the yarn. Half a day finding the right pattern. For Elaine, and for no one else. I suppose the unfinished sock will sit in the bin until I can decide what to do with it. I may finish them for her daughter. Or maybe for my mom. Or maybe just for me, so I can think of her when I wear them. Maybe knitting these socks will help me get past this grief.

Thanks to all who read this. I needed to get this off my chest.


  • At 10:18 AM, Blogger Plum Texan said…


    I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish that neither of us could say we'd been at a place like this - but both of us mother-in-law died in March, rather unexpectedly, at 57. I hope you won't mind if I send you an e-mail about a project I started for her. Take care.

  • At 2:15 PM, Blogger BethC said…

    I'm so sorry... I'm not sure how far you are but you could draw up the stitches and then stuff it and sew the top closed for a sachet for a drawer so you can think of her each time you get dressed.


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