Of winter, wool and socks
Pixie and Anna, the gallery cats, stand guard over the sock collection at Ibis. We have provided them with an adjoining bed which usually prevents them from sleeping on the merchandise.
Felicity Davis is our tireless sock knitter. Made from mostly wool, with enough synthetic blended in to keep their shape and prevent sagging down, there is nothing that better keeps feet warm on cold winter days than these socks, and nothing as important as keeping feet warm. No matter how well muffled up, cold feet spoil everything and make you miserable.
This seems a good time to post Pablo Neruda's sweet poem about a pair of hand-knitted socks which he loved. And thanks to our friend Georgia Saunders for introducing me to this poem many years ago.
Ode To My Socks
Mara Mori brought me
a pair of socks
which she knitted herself
with her sheepherder's hands,
two socks as soft as rabbits.
I slipped my feet into them
as if they were two cases
knitted with threads of twilight and goatskin,
my feet were two fish made of wool,
two long sharks
sea blue, shot through
by one golden thread,
two immense blackbirds,
my feet were honored in this way
by these heavenly socks.
They were so handsome for the first time
my feet seemed to me unacceptable
like two decrepit firemen,
firemen unworthy of that woven fire,
of those glowing socks.
Nevertheless, I resisted the sharp temptation
to save them somewhere as schoolboys
as learned men collect
I resisted the mad impulse to put them
in a golden cage and each day give them
birdseed and pieces of pink melon.
Like explorers in the jungle
who hand over the very rare green deer
to the spit and eat it with remorse,
I stretched out my feet and pulled on
the magnificent socks and then my shoes.
The moral of my ode is this:
beauty is twice beauty
and what is good is doubly good
when it is a matter of two socks
made of wool in winter.