Saturday, June 20, 2015

Nothing new under the sun

Recently I knit a pair of socks for myself, without the aid of any pattern other than my own understanding and acquired knowledge of how a sock is knit.  This is nothing ground-breaking or particularly clever of course. It's just simply a by-product, an accumulation, of the construction of the hundreds of patterns I have knit over the years and held within my mind and hands. Regardless of all that, it does still give one a pleasant sense of achievement, knowing it can be done.

The motivation came as I unexpectedly finished the project I'd brought into work that morning, so at lunchtime I grabbed a skein of Colinette Jitterbug in Vatican Pie (oh, that saturated red!) and some needles and cast on ready for the train commute home.

Granny's Lucky Red Longjohns
Colinette Jitterbug - colourway: Vatican Pie
To alleviate boredom I added a 1x1 garter stitch rib, which pleasantly formed a lovely snug sock that fits my foot beautifully.  It's also rather warm as garter stitch rib has a waffle-y texture similar to that used in thermal underwear amongst other things.  

I took a calculated risk and cast on many less stitches than I would normally for socks - 54 on 2.5mm needles, instead of my usual 64.  This decision was influenced by my experience of Jitterbug as a "hefty" sock yarn and the anticipation of stretch in the ribbed stitch pattern.  Turns out it was a great decision - go me!  

As I finished the first sock and started the second, I thought to myself "these are such great socks, how could it be possible that nobody else has ever written it up before?"  They are simple enough to knit whilst other things are happening like conversations, meetings, TV-watching, and I discovered they are also an excellent choice for gift knitting as the rib pattern is very accommodating when you are working with unknown foot and leg dimensions.  

Knowing that there was an excellent chance there probably was this very pattern out there, I had what I thought was quite a thorough look on Ravelry and was surprised that I couldn't find one that was quite the same. There are many patterns utilising this stitch pattern, socks included, but none in the specific combination of 1x1, gauge and yarn weight that I could see. 

a gift pair, for Mum (photo credit: Mum!)
Colinette Jitterbug - colourway: Caramel
So I got excited to share. I wrote down my notes into a more coherent format, made a couple more pairs, and was just about to upload them as a free pattern....when I started reading my copy of Sock Architecture which was given to me by a friend recently.

And lo and behold; there they were!  Strie socks, by Lara Neel.

Photo credit: Lara Neel

Reading through the patterns they are not exactly the same, but close enough to make me laugh out loud right then and there. 

As the saying goes - there's nothing new under the sun! 


rebecca said...

What a funny punchline at the end! I knew you were the right person for that book! Nonetheless, you have made an excellent pair of socks. Your wisdom to cast on less stitches is the sort of thing that just thrills me. It is the kind of acquired practical knowledge that makes me feel capable, that everything will be OK even if the zombies come!

Lisa Belfield said...

So this proves that you are creative - even if someone else had the idea first. I love your blog - thank you for sharing!

Caffeine Girl said...

That is really funny! I had not heard of the book, but now I want to get my hands on it! Great socks, by the way.

Jules said...

Haha! They are so beautiful though- would you consider releasing the pattern anyway? I'd love to make them and don't have Sock Architecture... I just bought a skein of marled Shetland/ Jacob sock wool in the highlands and this would be lovely stitch pattern for it, I think. I think I've been bitted by that deadly bug ; )