Tuesday, February 06, 2007

21st Century Yarn for 19th Century Feet

Pattern: 3x1 Ribbed Socks
Yarn: Patons SWS, about 1.5 balls in Natural Plum
Needles: Knit Picks Options 40" circular, size US7
Size: Fits my size 7.5 foot a little loosely

Upon further inspection and reflection, I love this yarn. It's really soft and silky. I love the way it's loosely spun, with occasional slubs. The colors are lovely. It's easy to find and pretty affordable (I paid $5.99 a ball). Just a couple of days from start to finish, and I have my own pair of wooly, wonderful house socks.

And a good thing, too. It's been darn cold here on Lake Erie. (Warning: following discussion may be TMI for some of you!) In the wintertime, I have noticed that the very ends of my toes can get really red and swollen and they HURT. But only in the winter. My mom and I were discussing this and she helpfully suggested Googling my symptoms.

(Do you do that too? Express complete mystification about [topic] and forget completely about the wonder of the Internets? I do it all the time.)

I was not optimistic about finding an answer to my query. I had never heard of anyone having this sort of problem. But apparently, it is not so uncommon. You can even get a t-shirt! The answer is apparently to keep one's feet nice and toasty. Looky there! I have medical dispensation to knit more socks!

Chillblains?! That sounds so antiquated. In fact, isn't it the sort of complaint you'd encounter in, say, a Decemberists song?



Anonymous bunchkin said...

So THAT'S what's wrong with my feet! The ends of my toes keep getting red and swollen and sore, and my husband always looked at me like I was crazy when I told him about it. So HA! I'm not insane!

6:59 PM  
Blogger pcr said...

You crack me up! I dare you to get the t-shirt and wear it to Phoenix.

7:39 PM  
Blogger Jenn said...

Ahhh the wonders of the internets. I have a weird itchy leg thing and thought I was nuts for several years (people kept recommending lotion - um, it's not dry skin people!), and through the powers of the google I discovered that it is a fairly common occurance. No way to "cure" it or to really do anything about it, but it's nice to know we're not alone.
Lovely socks! I enjoyed the SWS as well, and have some set aside for a scarf for me. Keep those toes warm!

8:15 PM  
Blogger Mama Urchin said...

Warm house socks, I think I better go put some on myself.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Mintyfresh said...

wow, "chillblains." That's something you don't hear about much these days. I've never experienced that, either, so I doubt I'll have much reason to use it, which is too bad, because it's such an awesome word. They look sooo comfy!

(Also: Awesome that it's your mom reminding you of the Internet!)

10:59 PM  
Blogger Stephanie said...

Well - at least you are on good company. Charlotte Bronte writes about her and her sisters getting chillblains walking to and from church at their school. It even made it's way into Jane Eyre.

Hope that makes you feel better!

11:23 PM  
Blogger Acornbud said...

Those socks should keep those chilblains away!

11:46 PM  
Anonymous Dipsy said...

Well - yay for the Internet ;) I had a couple of smaller ailments in the past of which I thought I might be the only one experiencing them and they'll bring me right into the hospital or worse - and after googling them I felt pretty relieved and *so* not alone anymore! Yay for that ;)
I love your socks, absolutely - what a gorgeous colourway, and the yarn looks every bit as soft and cozy as you described it. Great!

4:31 AM  
Blogger Jane said...

Do you mean that all these years I've been joking about being so cold I'll get chillblains, and I actually have them? Ha!

I like the SWS, too. I used that same color for a couple of scarves, and now that I see your chillblain-chasing socks I might make a pair for myself. They're lovely!

7:10 AM  
Anonymous Rachel said...

Why stop at medical dispensation? I'd say you require a mandatory medical leave of absence from your regular responsibilities to allow for an in-depth treatment of this condition (i.e making yourself more handknit socks). You can't be too careful when it comes to your health, you know!

8:39 AM  
Anonymous Ellen said...

Oh, dear! Well, at least it sounds like handknit socks will go some distance toward curing your condition. At least it isn't one of those other classic 19th-century ailments like, say, gout, or "consumption."

Anyway, it's great that you are a sock knitter, isn't it?

The current pair are quite lovely.

All best,
"Some people call me the space cowboy..."

9:45 AM  
Blogger Laura said...


Certainly, I'd rather be afflicted with chillblains than, say, dropsy or putrid sore throat, the former being particularly dangerous in 19th century Kansas.

Is it obvious I don't want to study contracts today?

"Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy"

10:32 AM  
Blogger jennie said...

chillblains? i never had any idea what those actually were (though let me tell you, my imagination of them seems to be worse than the reality!).

your socks look lovely -- maybe i should make myself a pair of worsted weight sock... :)

10:58 AM  
Anonymous JessaLu said...

Beautiful socks! I love those colors - and they look so warm! I hope they keep your toes comfy :o)

10:06 AM  
Blogger Knitting Bandit said...

We have seen 6 dermatologists since November with mystery bumps my 14 year old has on his hands. The final diagnosis: probably Pernio- or chillbains. I've scoured the internet for answers--very little is written. I can't believe I find something on a knitting blog! I'll share more with you if you're interested.

8:00 PM  
Blogger Persnickety Knitter said...

Decemberists song -- heh, heh. Yeah, but in one of their songs someone's long lost love would have died of chillblains. At sea, probably. ;)

11:35 AM  
Blogger Jeanne said...

Chilblains? how romantic! And Victorian, too, come to think of it!

1:36 AM  
Blogger Carson said...

Love those socks
And here I was thinking that Patons was an Aussie yarn manufacturer and yet have I ever heard of "SWS"?
C'mon..spill the beans on that yarn

9:56 PM  

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