Growing up in Hawai‘i I rarely wore socks. Slippers, yes. Barefoot, yes. The only socks I ever wore were in tennis shoes, and my feet rebelled every moment.
However, my move to Oregon has made it clear that snow and ice were not compatible with either bare feet or slippers. At least not with my feet. I wear slippers or sandals barefoot as long as I can stand it, but eventually, the cold wins out.
On my visits to yarn stores, both in person and on the internet, I was intrigued by people who knit their own socks. I was entranced by the multi-colored yarns, which seemed to call me me, “Eh, Mokihana! U like buy us? Can make nani socks, yeah?” Of course, being mainland yarns, they didn’t talk pidgin, but it sounded that way to my local ears. I thought of my lu‘au feet encased in nani, warm socks, and smiled.
But knit socks? Not even! I was intimidated by those 4-5 pointy needles (pointed on both ends, mind you). Thoughts of being impaled on them in places I don’t care to mention filled my head. I could visualize my fingers clumsily trying to maneuver all those needles, all the while pretending to knit an unbelievably gorgeous sock.
Try wait! I am Hawaiian!!! I have sped down the muddy hills of Mānoa Valley while ti-leaf sliding! I have raced my horse at a full gallop through the Kane‘ohe hills! I have been tumbled around by the waves of the mighty Pacific Ocean and lived to tell about it! I have braved Portuguese man o’ wars, a hurricane, and sailing through the Moloka‘ i Channel without getting seasick! Am I going to let some thread and pointy sticks get the best of me? Not even! IMUA!
When I was in Bend, Oregon, in November, I picked up some yummy looking yarn from Lornaʻs Laces and decided that it was meant for socks. With
just a little quite a lot of apprehension, I picked up 4 needles and the yarn, and began to knit.
I cast on the required number of stitches, and though clumsy at first, I soon taught those four small needles who was the boss. My sock progressed little by little…I even got past the dreaded heel turning… and it is not without some degree of pride and pleasure that I present to you my very first socks, knitted in a wonderful handpainted yarn that reminds me of sunsets in the land of my birth.