Saturday, December 6, 2008
Ode to Muk Luks
It takes a long time before it begins to feel like winter here in the Phoenix area. The changes are there, but they are subtle. Then finally, one day, you realize the house is starting to feel chilly. The nights are colder and the sun, though it tries, it cannot quite warm things all the way back up again. We switched our heat on about three days ago, but for a VA girl, it seems amazing to get all the way into December before doing so.
Being new to the southwest and embracing the change, we put our Christmas tree under our porch out back. We string up lights and I have this funny candelabra that I dress with moss and long red tapers. We also have a gas fire pit that the previous owners were creative enough to install. I arrange my furniture so that I can take in the tree and twinkle lights, the candles and fire all at once. Huddled with a fleece throw and a glass of wine and I feel like I'm in holiday heaven.
I know this doesn't sound much like an ode to muk luks so far, but I'm getting there. You see, for most of the year here, I forget about things like toasty socks, but tonight I came in from the back porch and was looking for something soft and warm and there they were. I have this crazy sort of furry pair of muk luks I crocheted for myself a few years ago. The first time I put them on each winter, they make me so happy. They're absolutely perfect. The pair I wear are the style in this picture, but mine are the color of wine and the accent squares are made from a wild novelty yarn. I love the geometric shapes and angles and how they are more boot-like than sockish (I'm making up words now).
I fell in love with muk luks the first time I encountered them. I was young and probably in some bohemian shop in Georgetown. They were most likely displayed as you normally find them, in a huge pile on a table or in a bin. Normally they are knit in the same basic pattern and in two colors. You see a lot of brown and white or red and natural, that kind of thing. So if all this time you were picturing something fashioned from leather and fur that you would trudge through Canada in, I'm not talking about that Muk Luk. I'm talking about the hippie knit version that you buy off a vendor at a street fair.
A few years ago when my store bought, knit muk luks were falling apart, I got the idea to design a crocheted version. If I love them so much, why not make them? They were pretty complicated to design and even more to assemble, but it was a labor of love. I even made several pairs both tall and short to sell at craft shows. People often admired them, but no one ever bought a pair. Well, maybe one or two pairs sold, but not many. It became clear to me that my love of muk luks what not shared by the masses. That's ok, It doesn't change my feelings for them. I look forward to the coming December nights when my muk luks and I will curl up together out on my back porch. We'll drink wine or the mead my husband brews and listen to the night noises as we gaze at the Christmas tree. That's what we'll do, my muk luks and I.