Tuesday Mewsday: Damian, the Poet-Philosopher

Besides having exceptional computer de-programming skills, Damian is also a bit of a thinker, as you can see from this photo. (All those heavy thoughts—he needs help holding his head up.)

Damian resting his chin

What is he thinking? Probaby something really deep, like, “If I had a flock of chickens would it be better to teach them to play baseball and go barnstorming—or to just whip them up into one monumental souffle?”

Knitting Along, Sock-Wise and a Request

As part of our personal summer of socks, Chris and I are both knitting up Rivendell from Janel Laidman’s The Eclectic Sole (that’s a Ravelry link; you can also see a thumbnail of this sock on the designer’s web site).
Eclectic Sole
Chris is making hers in a gorgeous bright pink (color 25) of Happy Feet from Plymouth. I’m going with Dream in Color’s Smooshy in the Strange Harvest colorway. On their web page this color looks bright, but it’s more of a deep poison green with some gold and orange running through it.

The top of the sock has clusters of wrapped stitches, which require a fair bit of fiddling, but once you get past those they fly along.

I would definitely recommend this book to other sock knitters, though it probably wouldn’t be a good choice for beginners. The patterns have some errors in them, so one has to stop and puzzle a bit to get things to work smoothly. That said, the designs are interesting and varied and involve a variety of construction techniques (top-down, toe-up, sideways).

Janel Laidmen has another book coming out this fall that Chris and I are both looking forward to: The Enchanted Soul. The patterns from this book are currently for individual sale, but we want the whole lot. If you’re on Ravelry, you can check them out, as she’s been posting them one or two at a time.


I spent a few hours this evening reworking the Pangea Shawl pattern into a single document. Melissa will work her layout magic on it, and I should have it posted before long. We’re also doing a new photo shoot of the blue version using the Curious Creek yarn, as we just don’t feel it’s been done justice yet.


As for the request—

I’m wondering if there’s anyone out there who has a copy of my Sandia Hat pattern that appeared on MagKnits, oh, so long ago. I have lost the original, the pattern has been unavailable on-line since MagKnits folded, and I regularly get requests for it that I’m unable to satisfy. If someone out there has it, I’d love to get a copy back, so I can post it here. I’d be glad to sweeten the deal by sending you a little something in return.

I’m Baaaaaack… and Knitting Socks

I hadn’t actually intended to take a month-long hiatus—it just sort of happened. I was bent out of shape by the Supreme Court ruling, and then crashed headlong into the concrete barrier that is the end of the academic year. And after that I did have a bit of a vacation.

While I haven’t been blogging, I have been knitting. I’d mentioned that my friend Chris was insisting that I knit a few socks in preparation for Sock Summit, which we’d been thinking of attending. We ultimately decided that driving a full day each way to meet up with other sock knitters was less appealing than the notion of hanging out with each other knitting socks in our backyards, so we made a pact that each of us would try writing up a sock pattern. We set our project up this way:

• We each agreed to write up our pattern without any test knitting or swatching.
• Once our patterns were written, we’d give them to each other.
• Each of us would knit the first sock from the other’s pattern.
• After that, the pattern writer would be given the first sock and would have to knit up the second herself.

Originally, we’d planned to do our sock swap in August when Sock Summit would be in session, but we both got going early. Chris has already knitted up her sock from my pattern, and I’m most of the way through the second one that I’m knitting myself. I’ve also finished up everything but the toe of the sock that Chris designed.

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you know I’ve been deeply ambivalent about sock knitting. I’m not much of a sock-wearer, and I’m very fussy about fit, so hand-knit socks always seemed like a lot of effort for a product I might not even like.

Breaking News: I am no longer ambivalent about socks.

I love them. Well, I don’t necessarily plan to start wearing them all the time, but I am absolutely addicted to designing them. They allow all sorts of wonderful opportunities for combining stitch patterns and for playing with those stitches to shape them around the various surfaces of the sock. I’m trying to be inventive with heel flaps, looking for ways to keep the slipped stitches that make them dense, but to arrange these so they echo the stitch patterns in the rest of the sock. I’ve also discovered that socks are great for using every-row lace patterns, which are miserable to work with on shawls or other pieces that are worked back and forth.

In fact, today over lunch with Melissa I found myself saying, “I want to write a book of sock patterns.”

Such a book is probably years away, but I am hoping to find homes for some of my new patterns in on-line magazines (and I am convinced that that book will come into being eventually). I also have one sock pattern I’ll be publishing for free later this summer, once I give it another revision.

Pictures soon—and I promise to try to be better about posting regularly and offering worthwhile tidbits of fun and wisdom, knitterly or otherwise.