Thursday, August 7, 2014


We have company at our house this week--our son and our granddaughters. While we have the chaos and jumbled schedule always attendant when there's company in the house, the hunk decided he would learn how to knit socks. Yes, there wasn't enough going on so he cast on his forty stitches and was off and running. With numerous false starts, he finished his first sock last night.

The son and grandkids were observing the process with keen interest and humor. Especially when the hunk was less than patient with the mistakes and inevitable errors. Last night as he reached the final stages (the toe), our son just shook his head and asked, "Why? Why not just go to Walmart and buy a whole package of socks for the cost of that one pair?"

The answer is...complicated.

On one level, there's the accomplishment of learning a new skill. And the pride in completing a project, start to finish. Even the joy of knowing someone will wear what you've created.

But there's something else to consider. Old, basic skills are dying out. In the past, every single individual could claim a host of basic skills--carpentry, embroidery, cooking, baking, knitting, sewing, plumbing, hunting, animal husbandry, woodworking. Now, anyone who can do ANYTHING is considered an artisan. Fewer and fewer skills are passed down. Folks take less and less time to learn them.

In our own fumbling way, we're passing on (if not the actual skills) at least the IDEA that learning never stops. You're never to old to learn a new skill. You're never to old to enjoy jogging off in a new direction.

Oh, yeah. The hunk started his second sock first thing this morning...


  1. Tell the Hunk Congratulations. That is an impressive sock.

  2. I love that sock! Wow! And yes, it is sad that we're losing these skills. They may be necessary in the future. Who knows?