Thursday, April 26, 2012

Embers Socks

While working on my shawl design, I wanted something mindless to knit on. I pulled some Knit Picks Stroll out of my stash and began one of my usual striped toe-up socks. The grey (Basalt Heather) actually has a bit of red heathered through it, but that's not so obvious when it's next to the red (Firecracker Heather) yarn. They knit up fairly quickly (mostly since I've been enjoying the simplicity of knitting them more than I've been enjoying the complications of charting out a lace shawl.)

I did an afterthought heel on them, since that makes them as mindless as possible, and the regular stripe pattern makes it easy to make the two socks match - the heels went on the 20th stripe up from the toe. Simple. I also did a three-needle bind-off on the end of the heel; it's a bit less fussy than kitchener and adds a sort of cool-looking 3-D design element.  Or maybe I'm just telling myself that.

I used almost every inch of the grey yarn, making them nice and tall, but I had a fair bit of the red left over. I could make the toes longer or make a longer ribbed cuff, if I really wanted to use up all of both colours. Even now, this pair is taller than my usual socks, so I am very happy with them. The colours, like burning coals, will surely help to keep my feet warm on a cool cloudy spring day.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Kanye Says

"People who watch The Hunger Games movie don't care about black people."

Seriously, People of the World, I thought we were past this kind of bullshit.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Lady Arya

I'm sure it's seemed quiet to those of you who follow the blog, but in fact, I've been a busy bee, working on two new knitting designs. Today I finally finished polishing up the first one and it's now live on Ravelry!

If you're a fan of George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones novels (as I am) then you know that one of the most beloved characters is a little tomboy named Arya. She is a spunky little girl, with lofty ambitions that definitely don't include being a proper lady, as befits her birth. Her journey through the books is a difficult one, full of danger and drama, and I wanted to design something that would reflect that.

As the second season of the HBO series begins, I'm preparing to watch this leg of her journey. She is forced, at this point, to disguise herself as a lowborn boy, to keep herself safe, but there is much more danger and excitement to come.

The design of this sock is a fairly simple one to knit and memorize, consisting mostly of two motifs: ropes and chains, to reflect not only physical bondage, but also the mental prison of being forced to hide her true identity. Just as all men must die, so must all types of bondage eventually come to an end: the ropes and chains trail off into nothing, both in the heel flap and also as the pattern nears the toe. Despite being a simple pattern to memorize, the socks do present a bit of challenge, if you're up to it - the left sock has a small Braavosi coin hidden in the inner gusset, and the right sock has a column of stitches on the back leg that marks a perfect spot to conceal a small knife in your boot, in case you can't access Needle when you need it.

The yarn I used for the sample pair is some Hazel Knits Entice MCN in the colourway Arroyo, a perfect colour for a little girl disguised as a lowborn boy named Arry, or a Weasel, or even a Cat. Although the colourway may look muddy, don't be fooled: this yarn secretly contains soft luxurious cashmere, suitable for a highborn lady. I actually bought this yarn at the Sock Summit, last summer, with exactly this project in mind. I saw it sitting there in the Hazel Knits booth and I thought: that is perfect for Arya! I was actually reading the second book while I was in Portland, and with the second series starting on HBO now, the timing of these is perfect in a number of ways.

If you're interested, you can buy them here, for $5.00: