Saturday, 5 January 2008

Do you want to know a secret?

The sharp eyed amongst you may remember that back in November I mentioned that I was working on a very exciting secret project. Well, I'm pleased to say that now I can reveal what I have been doing. It is with quite a lot of pride that I introduce you to the Karenina sock which is the inaugural design for the Socktopus Sock Club. Now everyone has their parcel I feel I can mention it without spoiling any one's surprise.

Alice, the person behind Socktopus and I met early last year on a spinning class and we still laugh about the fact that we bonded as sock knitters as I recognised her Rockin' Sock Club socks! We have stayed in touch ever since and I was really honoured when she asked me if I would design for her new sock club. I am very touched and at the time a great deal nervous at Alice's faith in me by asking me to do her inaugural design. This was a big moment for both of us!

Anyway,back to the sock. One of the exciting things about this commission was that I was able to work with a yarn designer and develop a hand painted yarn for the pattern.I chose to work with Daphne at the Knittery as I have used and love her yarns. There was also the mention of that little word 'cashmere...'

I wanted to do something appropriate to the festive season but not too obvious so red and green and Santa and reindeer were out. I took as my inspiration a vintage purple and gold glass tree ornament. Daphne sent yarns that completely captured the essence of what I was trying to achieve, two beautiful semi solids with just the right amount of movement. We knew we were taking a bit of a risk with the gold as people can be a bit wary of yellow but a sock club is about coming out of your comfort zone a little so we pressed on. The yarn is a cashmere and merino blend which is a real sensual pleasure to knit with.

I also wanted to use slip stitch pattern to show that colour work on socks is much easier than you might think and doesn't involve lots of stranding and worrying about tight floats and other alarming concepts.

As I was finishing the design I also discovered the joy of audio books and was absorbed in listening to Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Now this is a long book which I had tried and failed to read in its printed form. However, with the spoken word lending life and characterisation to the story I was completely caught up in it and realised that the socks also had something of the opulence of Russian style as exemplified by Faberge eggs about them so the Karenina socks were thus named.


Now the sock club parcels have arrived, beautifully presented by Alice with her style and attention to detail they seem to be going very well. It's very exciting to see Karenina socks popping up here and there on people's blogs and Ravelry. I am very grateful to have been given this opportunity and very pleased that people have been so kind about them. Thank you.

14 comments:

Squiblet said...

Wow! they are amazing and I love knowing where the names for designs come from. I love all the colourwork you do, especially the mittens and it's really inspiring.
Libby

picperfic said...

I have one sock that looks amazingly like one of these and I am working on the second one as I type! I love them, the fit is perfect! Clever you!

stitchwort said...

Excellent sock!
Fair Isle style knitting makes socks too thick and inflexible for normal wear, but your idea of slipped stitch patterning avoids the extra thickness - brilliant.

Lucy said...

Wow Jane - beautiful socks - I can only aspire!! I left a comment on my blog in reply to yours(thanks!) - I'll be in touch!!

AnnaT said...

I'm enjoying the sock and the audio book - just need to plug myself into my iPod today and try and get the first sock done. Then I can set off for the second. I can't wait to wear them!

LittleBerry said...

Congratulations Jane.... the pattern is a credit to you... you're quite right about people not liking yellow/gold but with that purple it's Ohhhh I must have.... Your designing is going from strength to strength :o) I always look forward to reading your blog

Queen of the froggers said...

When I saw the Soctopus club stuff , with these, on a blog I really kicked myself that I had not joined. they are lovely.

stash haus said...

The socks are really lovely. Congrats on your designing opportunities!

K. said...

Great socks! You are such an enabler. I am in full mitten knitting mode!

Needlewoman said...

Jane -- congratulations on having your pattern included in the sock club. They look like a great pair of socks.

Jenny

KnittingJenny said...

Jane, what a beautiful sock pattern! The colors and the design are just great!

yogicknitter said...

They have been a pleasure to knit. I have nearly finished my first one. I haven't made quite as much progress with the book yet but I'm working on it.

Anni said...

Wow, they're gorgoeus, Jane. Absolutely fantastic. Gorgeous colours too. Congratulations.

gilraen said...

Jane I for one am over the moon with your pattern I just hope I'm up to knitting them :)

Georgeous and inspired!!