I hinted at these socks back in March of 2010. They were designed during one of my “ribbing periods.” That’s a (short) length of time where I am obsessed with ribbing. I think that it’s the bee’s knees. I think that ribbing is misunderstood. I think that it will change the face of knitting as we know it. This usually passes when I remember that, in general, I don’t enjoy actually knitting ribbing. But, often after a complicated project, I crave the predictability of a ribbed pattern. Lucky for these socks, the ribbing period coincided with a desire to design men’s socks. I thought to myself, “What’s more classic than a ribbed dress sock?”
Then the other, bitter part of me said (in a voice like Tim Gunn), “Classic means it’s been done to death.”
With that less-than-helpful advice in my head, I tried to find a balance between interesting and “classic.” When I was first dating Lowell, he described his criteria for clothes to me. He told me that colors and bold patterns mattered less than the close-up textures- the small details that weren’t obvious from a distance. I thought about that idea while I worked on these socks. I wanted to stick with the spirit of a plain dress sock but to play around with the details. So these socks have a little caffeinated wiggle every other rib. From a distance the wiggles look like regular k2 ribs, but the texture is great up close. Fun to knit, too. And the gusset isn’t just patterned- the decreases aren’t normal either. Also, I kept the pattern going down the toes because, well, why not? Plain toes are no fun!
I had plenty of fun knitting Java, which is good, because I knit it twice! Which I suppose is really four times, since there are two socks in each pair. The men’s pair is made with String Theory Blue Stocking. I loved working with that yarn. It has great stitch definition (always a priority for me) and is still soft and lofty. They’re modeled by Lowell in our kitchen, who was a really good sport about the photo shoot. The women’s pair is made with Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock which is always a great sock yarn. The women’s size is modeled by my sister Katie and taken at 3 Cups in Chapel Hill, NC. They were really nice to let us photograph there (and they only gave us a few funny looks). Good coffee, too!
I am over the moon about this. I think Java is a great pattern and I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I did.
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Now, if you will excuse me, I am going to go drool over the rest of this issue!