Thursday, February 08, 2007

Mama's green socks and a rug tale

They're done! I finished my green copycat socks last night and I love them. For a while there I wasn't sure because they don't look so good off the foot. But on the foot, I think they're fabulous...and so me. I love that the pattern is subtle and simple yet fanciful and pretty if you take the time to look at them carefully. And they are really comfy to boot. Just right for lemon's birthday ;0)


Pattern: Hello Yarn's cable twist socks
Yarn: Lorna's Laces in 'carol green'
Needles: Size 0 DPNs
As seen on: Grumperina (I totally copied her socks)
Modifications: I cast on 72 stitches and worked in a 7/2 rib working the cable twist pattern on 7 stitches and then purling 2. I made a partridge eye heel flap like Grumperina (did I mention I totally copied her?)
And don't they look so beautiful with my living room rug? They're just the right punch of colour and have totally inspired me to look for some 'carol green' decorative accessories for the living room. I wouldn't have thought about it but I really love the colour combo.


Did I ever tell you about my rug? Buying it was a great shopping experience...probably the best I ever had!

I always knew I wanted to have an authentic persian rug from the time I was a kid. Weird, I know ;0) My sisters are both much older than I and I was still a kid when they got married and had children. They were also a lot cooler to hang around with than my parents so I spent many weekends at their homes, playing or babysitting the kids, renting movies, eating nachos, yada yada yada.

My eldest sister married an Iranian guy (they've been married almost 17 years already!) and he totally changed my family for the better. We were typical pasty white folk living in the suburbs where ethnicity isn't part of anyone's vocabulary. So my sister marrying this guy was just so cool.

He had come to Canada as a refugee when there was a regime change in Iran and had many wonderful stories to tell of his beloved homeland, its long history and rich cultural heritage. I especially enjoyed the stories about the lengths he and his rather liberal family would go to to continue having fun and leading their lives after the regime changed to a strict theocracy where things like booze and music were outlawed for instance. Things like having false compartments in cars to hide radios and music tapes. Or buying and storing 'black market' vodka in gaz cans...

Every once in a while he would take advantage of my gullability but all in all, having him as a brother in law really expanded my world view and made me a much better citizen of the world than if I had never met him.

Okay, really long tangent I know so let's get back to my rug. When my sister and brother-in-law were married, his parents sent them the most beautiful persian rug I have ever seen as a wedding present. It was cream coloured with intricate blue and burgundy designs and my family thought it was too beautiful to put in a room you actually use, especially since it was so light-coloured. But my brother in law didn't see what we were worried about and he was totally right (of course!) and the rug aged so beautifully and looks amazing almost 20 years later and after 2 kids and countless pets. So I knew that when I got married, I wanted a rug too! And I also knew that it was worth the money because of how beautifully they age and how durable they are.

Sooooo. A few weeks after our wedding, Stephen and I happened to be strolling around hand in hand being all lovey dovey on Parc Avenue in Montreal and happened on a bunch of persian rug stores. And that's how we met the delightful Mr. Khan. He was a no pressure carpet dealer (no, really) and just waxed poetic about his love of rugs and how to tell real from fake, hand-made from machine-made, wool and silk fiber from synthetic... He also taught us about the different rug making regions, the different designs and even about how the rug-dealer business works.

He had his employees unroll rugs for us so he could show us what he meant and then we started talking about what we were looking for more specifically and he showed us more rugs. We spent the whole afternoon in his little shop taking it all in. There were 2 rugs that we really liked but they were more expensive than what we were expecting to spend. We were honest about this and he did show us some things in our price range but we kept coming back to these two more expensive rugs. Seeing that we were needing to think this through a bit more, he suggested we take them home and try them out for a while while we consider whether or not we are ready to take a leap and buy one. No pressure. Just take'em home and think it over.

Now I should mention that the rugs were $2,500 each! Plus they were pretty big and we didn't think they would fit in our little honda. He read our minds and asked his employees to show us how compactly they could roll and fold them. So we decided to follow his advice and take them home. Stephen went off to get the car, the store employees proceeded to carefully pack up the two rugs and I continued my chat with Mr. Khan. At one point I asked him if maybe we should start working on the paper work. He was quizzical and asked me what paper work?

Well, I figured if he was going to let us take $5K worth of rugs home with us to suburbia, he might like to know our names? Or our address and phone number? And some credit card info in case we never returned with the rugs? Each time he chuckled and said he didn't need to know any of that and that as a carpet dealer, the most important thing to him was the trust of his customers and that he was willing to trust us first if doing so would earn our trust! I couldn't beleive it! Can you? That's outrageous and yet totally amazing!

We ended up buying one of the rugs with the money we received as wedding gifts. It graces our family room and we use it everyday. It is in the background of most of our family photos and is a constant reminder of our vows and of the well wishes of our friends and family. I can't think of a better way to have spent our gift money. And I'm sure we'll be back for another rug someday, perhaps for a special anniversary...

38 comments:

  1. I love your socks! But I really love your carpet story. Nice ... [and wonderful to have such a brother in law] and to meet such a trusting & trustworthy carpet salesman. How rare is that?

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  2. That's a very nice story.. Being from Montreal myself i am surprised i haven't seen that shop yet.. If you happen to share it that's a shop I would like to visit !!!

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  3. The socks look great! Thanks for sharing your rug story-- it's nice to know there are such good hearted businessmen in the world.

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  4. Peggy3:45 PM

    Fantastic story! It is a shame that there are so many dishonest people in the world. Just think how much better life would be if everyone was so generous and friendly. I believe a world run by knitters (and now persian rug dealers) would be so enjoyable.

    The socks do look fantastic. Any progress on Lemon's socks?

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  5. I love the green socks, I am dreaming about my own version now...

    And your rug is gorgeous, and was probably fully worth every penny. It is that much more valuable for the experience of getting it, as well!

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  6. What a great pair of socks! That color is so fun. Congrads on your finish :)

    Blog: http://samplergirlie.bravejournal.com/
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  7. Those socks are so great! and a bit more green will definitly add some punch to the living room. I love the rug. It is so beautiful, and a wonderful story attached to it!!

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  8. Very pretty socks, and a very nice rug!

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  9. The socks are great and the rug is beautiful. I'll have to try to find the store next time I'm on Park Street (not that I have 2500$, but I'd love to look at them).

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  10. What a great story--and a great rug--and great socks, too! :)

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  11. Awesome job on the socks Anny! They look wonderful! I love your rug - it's soooo pretty!

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  12. I love your socks. I think they turned out great.

    The rug so reminds me of my childhood and the wonderful rugs that my grandparents got in their early years of marriage. I think its a fantastic story.

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  13. Love the socks, love the rug!!

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  14. What a wonderful story about the carpet. It is truely beautiful! The blue is so striking! Especially against the yummy green socks! I love that pattern.

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  15. julia4:15 AM

    Beautiful socks. I wore handknit socks for both of my babies and those socks really become special later. Everytime I wear them, I think about that day they were born.

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  16. It is a very different mentality that other cultures have, isn't it? I always think about how 'uptight' Americans can be in when confronted with examples like your story.

    Oh, and I like your green socks as well! ;o)

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  17. Great story about your beautiful rug. Thanks for sharing. The socks are GORGEOUS. I think I might, one day, knit a pair of them too.

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  18. I love your rug. I've always wanted one but couldn't afford it.

    I love the socks too. When you didn't post for several days I was imagining that you were putting them to good use while giving birh!

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  19. i love the socks, i'm gonna copycat your socks!

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  20. Love your socks and your rug - and what a great story! I love having things in my house that have a story and have collected lots of things from around the world as I've travelled. I have a rug which I bought in Turkey and brought back with me - bought in a wonderful little shop where the shopkeeper gave me apple tea and told me the stories of all the stitch patterns....it is now under my dining table and everytime I look at it I'm back in Turkey

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  21. I love your story of your Persian rug. Doing business "in the old days" or I should say "in the Old Country" was very different than today. It is very touchy that there is a level of trust to the business deals. The rug is lovely and I am sure you have been very happy with it in your home. We have a small Turkish rug in our living room that my husband bought in Turkey when he was in the Navy. It isn't wearing as well as I would like it to be wearing. But Joe thinks it was "old" not new when he bought it. Your socks are great too!

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  22. Beautiful socks and beautiful rug. It is great to have something that lasting and strong to remind you of your vows and love.

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  23. Wendy in CA9:29 PM

    Love, love, LOVE those socks! I know I'm poaching here, but they totally ROCK!!! And they look great on your rug. Loved your rug story. I'm here to say that my persian rug has taken a beating (kids going crazy on it, cat pulling on it (!!!)) and yet it still looks fabulous. Worth every penny.

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  24. that's a stunning rug and yes, I love the green accent too! YOu might enjoy "Reading Lolita in Tehran"--an eye opening account of how women's lives were dramatically altered after they lost democracy.

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  25. I love those socks and am feeling the need to make some for myself! What was your gauge?

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  26. I'm not sure what I love more, the socks or your carpet story.

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