Has anyone seen my copy of Knitting from the Top Down?
No? Well then, I guess I should tell you about these socks instead. (This is about 3 weeks overdue- I blame the nice weather outside.)
They’re called A Skein of Geese. Did you know that a flock of geese in flight is called a skein? Me neither. Like Danu, these socks were designed last summer but didn’t find a home until recently. The pattern is up for sale at the Sanguine Gryphon (Gryphon is the one who chose the name for the pattern- it’s genius and I’m very jealous that I didn’t think of it first). [Edit 6/2012: The Sanguine Gryphon has closed down. The pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry; you do not have to have a Ravelry account to buy it.]
I had been calling them “Consummate V’s,” a reference to Strongbad’s (a web cartoon) instructions on how to draw the dragon Trogdor. You can see the cartoon here. The knit/purl chevron pattern reminded me of the “scales” on Trogdor. But that name/reference is kind of obscure and the chevrons look like geese in flight as much as they do poorly drawn dragon scales.
The socks, whatever their name, were designed for Lowell. They are man-approved! The manly chevrons flow out of the ribbing and continue uninterrupted down the foot to the toe. Yes, these socks feature a patterned toe. The V’s are separated by moss stitch panels, which start at the top of the sock, for an overall textured look. The entire sock is done with just knits and purls, which is unusual for me; that’s why I had to add in a patterned toe and heel flap.
Yes, the heel is patterned too. The heel is worked over slightly more than half of the leg stitches and the chevron/moss stitch pattern is maintained throughout the heel flap. The heel may look a little baggy while being knit but Lowell says that it fits great. Heel stitch (sl 1, k1 across) compresses the fabric vertically, so that it takes more rows to reach the standard two inch heel flap than it would in stockinette stitch. Since this is essentially a stockinette heel, even though there is patterning, there will be fewer rows on the heel flap and fewer stitches to pick up for the gusset than there would be with a heel stitch flap. I think I only picked up twelve stitches on each side for these socks!
They’re knit in Sanguine Gryphon’s Kypria, which I love. You know that I’m a sucker for a wool/bamboo sock yarn. Kypria is 70% superwash merino/20% bamboo/10% nylon and it lived up to my hopes. Soft, with good “squish” (also known as loft but that rhymes), lovely stitch definition, a bit of rayon shine, and no splitting. I’m a big fan of yarns that are “semisolid” more than variegated; I like my yarns to have just a little variation for interest but not so much that it obscures the stitch pattern. That was what attracted me to Gryphon’s yarns in the first place. The semi-solid colors are impossible for me to resist. The socks above are the colorway “Mortal Marriage” and the ones below, photos by the Sanguine Gryphon, are in “Virtuous Beauty.”