Monday, 20 April 2015

Socks For Supper - The Barter System

In my last post, I mentioned the children's storybook Socks For Supper by Jack Kent, first published in 1978.

This story was by far my favourite book as a child, and I still love it today. It's about a man and a woman who don't have much apart from a 'tumble-down house and a tiny turnip garden.' The neighbors have a cow and the couple would 'look at the cow and dream of milk and cheese'. One day they decide to trade something, and all they can find that 'isn't in pieces or tatters' is a pair of socks.

So it begins, the couple only have one pair of socks, so the wife knits more, and they continue to trade with the neighbours. It's a beautiful story, the illustrations are so sweet and it's all about being kind to one another. What's not to love?

I don't know if it's the knitting or the trading that makes this story so endearing to me. It's quite possibly that I can still hear my Dad reading the story to me when I read it to my children, lovely childhood memories.

I really like the concept of the barter system, and I think it probably works well amongst those of the handmade community. A good example is the Send a Little Love Swap I took part in February this year.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to throw off the chains of capitalism and take up my knitting needles in order to create my own Marxist utopian society, I somehow doubt the electricity company would be looking for hand knits. I just love the idea of helping someone by using your skills, and getting something handmade in return. Makes me feel all warm and fuzzy like a pair of knitted socks.

I've not tried knitting socks before, but I'd be willing to give it a crack for a nice French Brie and perhaps a bottle of craft beer... Anyone??


  1. cool idea but I couldn't post beer from NZ (cheaper than Oz beer too - boy your alcohol prices are expensive ;)... cheese I'm not sure either.. any other wishes? I'm addicted to sock knitting - always one on the go.

    1. Ha ha, thanks Kimberly! I guess you'll just have to enjoy the beer and cheese yourself while keeping your feet toasty warm ;)