The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

Danu July 7, 2010

Filed under: patterns — Cailyn @ 1:20 pm
Tags: , , ,

Last summer, I dug myself out of a dangerous twisted stitch sock addiction by designing a pair of socks.  (It may seem like an odd cure, but I’ve found it to be effective.)  Since Alpine socks take so much concentration, I wanted these new socks to be kind of mindless but not boring.  Interesting, but easy.  What I came up with was…


Danu, a classy cable-rib sock with easy cables and moss stitch accents.


Danu 1


These socks were inspired by stories of the Tuatha Dé Dannan (“people of the goddess Danu”) who ruled Ireland until they were driven to the Otherworld by the Gaelic Celts. Worked top-down, the socks feature bold cables, for the warriors, and subtle moss stitch columns, for the tricksters.  At the heel, two of the cables split and continue down the side of the foot, merging the patterned instep with the plain sole. The gusset decreases are placed at the bottom of the heel flap instead of the top so that the side cables can use the gusset stitches in their twists. With an easy-to-memorize pattern and slightly unusual construction, these socks may even have some of the magic of the Tuatha Dé Dannan still in them.

102_4474    Danu 3


At the time I designed these, I was reading a book by Juliet Marillier whose writing I adore.  She specializes in historical fiction with a healthy dose of ancient folklore/fantasy.  Reading a story set just after the Tuatha Dé Dannan’s withdrawal to the Otherworld might have influenced the name of the pattern.  Maybe.


Danu 2    Danu 4


Danu was picked up by Yarn Forward for publication last fall and I’m happy to announce that the socks have finally found their home in issue #26!  (On newsstands now!) 




I’m pretty excited that Danu is one of the pictured patterns in the table of contents.  The contract Yarn Forward has with their photographer doesn’t allow for third-parties to post their pictures, so you’ll have to look at the magazine to see it and the other great photos.    The ones above are pictures that I took at a stream near my house for the submission.  My camera doesn’t have a remote, so these were taken (like the Arthurian Anklets) by setting the self-timer and dashing into a pose while trying not to get any detritus on the socks.  Actually, these were taken just down the path from the pictures of the Anklets.  That park is wonderful for “wild” sock pictures.  When they send the socks back, I’ll take some more (read: better) photos with Lowell.




3 Responses to “Danu”

  1. gugelhupf Says:

    Congratulations! I got this issue a few weeks ago, and was excited to see your great design in print.

  2. martha Says:

    Dear Designer of Danu,
    You are an amazing knitter!!! I am an intermediate knitter…maybe just….and fell for your sock pattern mostly because I wanted to do a cable. That part was really fun, and I really like the moss stitch. Well, I had trouble with those 8 extra stitches and have now knit myself into a big problem. Do I have to rip out all of the fantastic heel flap and the others to get back to that beautiful cable pattern? HELP me if you can. Martha

  3. Cailyn Says:

    If I understand, you forgot to work the first 8 stitches of the round before the heel flap? If that’s the case, then the cables won’t line up when you start the instep instructions. You can follow the “leg pattern” instead of the “instep pattern” stitches, which should line up the cables, but won’t have the centered, symmetrical look with the cable down the center. I can’t think of a way to line them up (centered, etc) without ripping back the heel flap and setting it up according to the instructions. Having to rip back happens to us all- it’s a law of the universe, I think.

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