In honor of the sock madness that is Socktoberfest (go give Lolly a whack on the back for keeping this thing going for an entire month), looky at what I found at last week’s Tailgate Antiques Show.
My finest hour as a Tailgate patron. A pair of handknit cotton stockings. $48. Which, I grant you, is a lot for a pair of socks, but good heavens, come take a look at these. I’m telling you the price because I look at these stockings and imagine who made them, when they were made, and how long it surely took that person. Chew on that for a minute.
These are worked at 13 stitches to the inch–that’s one inch with 13 stitches in it, y’all. I read about this sort of madness in Nancy Bush’s most excellent Knitting Vintage Socks, but I never thought I’d see it in person.
This is the legendary Pointed Toe (p. 21 in Nancy’s book), which creates an insanely beautiful serpentine spiral around the toe.
The “unusual” German heel (p. 17).
The lace pattern reminds me of the Birch shawl.
There are tiny, almost invisible mendings on the bottom. The lady who sold these to me said they were incredibly dirty when she bought them. Her washing made them completely fresh.
I can’t believe they fit me. I won’t ever wear them, of course, but it is amazing that there was a woman, back when, with a size 10 foot who was willing to create a confection like this. What was the wedding like?
Midlife Crisis Expressed through Shoes
Speaking of size 10 feet . . . sorry for the dillydallying.
Here’s what I’m dealing with:
Shoes of Laura, Junior Varsity Heels
Shoes of Laura, All-Pro Heels
Laura actually gave me TWO pairs of girl shoes. (I can’t believe she would part with these, under any circumstance.)
I’ve been wearing the Shoes of Laura around the house, trying to figure out the best means of locomotion when wearing such footwear.
My training involved such tasks as a) walking to my closet; b) standing; and c) sitting. I sought advice from expert heel wearers and was advised that a person doesn’t “walk” in shoes like these, she “strolls.” She “works” “it.” She “takes her time.” This all sounded promising to me–I mean, maybe if I didn’t rush around so much, people would have more time to see me and my footwear, which in turn might make me spend more than three minutes a week on grooming, which in turn might be sort of fun to be someone who is groomed. Can ya imagine what THAT would be like?
Anyway, on Saturday Hubbo had put in yeoman’s duty in the fathering department, I was kind of trashed myself, and we realized (as usually happens when you don’t plan ahead), that there was no prospect of a Date. We haven’t had a Date in about six years. Chronic failure to plan ahead. In a weak, desperate moment, I called Daddyo and his bride Ann. Without a blink they took the fellas, who were ready for some grandfatherly poker action. Wow. Pushing our luck, I called the restaurant in town that has ridiculous food on the menu, and zipzap they had a table. It was at this point that I thought, I’m going to wear the Shoes of Laura.
I went with Junior Varsity Heels, because the All-Pro Heels are just flat scary. You don’t become a pro overnight, you know.
Off we went, improbably free as a pair of hooky-playing birds, me clutching Hubbo’s elbow as we made our way to the restaurant. Hey, I thought. This is the TICKET. I was almost as tall as Hubbo. Of course, I couldn’t CATCH Hubbo if he took off running, and the possibility of catching a heel on a crack added plenty of drama. All the way through dinner, I kept wiggling my toes. Even though nobody could see them, those shoes were down there transforming me from a Barely on a Date Mom to Date Woman.
We made it home without a single wipeout. Verdict on the Junior Varsity Heels: brilliant.
My conclusion: I’ve always had a semi-feminist dislike of high heels. Men don’t wear high heels, you know. Why should we? Shouldn’t a woman be able to run for her life if she needs to? What’s with all this cobbling of women? Whose idea was this, anyway?
Ah, lighten up. Shoes like these are a great little midlife crisis. You can have a fling, but you won’t hate yourself in the morning.