Tuesday, January 17, 2012
After working my way through that club, I moved on to Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I love this book. After walking through the very basic steps of sock construction through others' patterns, this book lets you leap off into the deep end of your own ideas.
And in comes Inglenook. Cat teaches us that our gusset increases can go just about anywhere they want to go, and I know that lace is made up of paired increases and decreases. So what happens if you leave out the decreases?
What you get is a pattern that grows on its own in a very natural manner. And you get a sock that grows without an obvious gusset.
Inglenook grew from one of my favorite lace patterns. Each motif reminds me of the licking tongue of a flame. These flamelets grow down your leg from a spiky picot edge and then turn under the heel in a cushy slip-stitch reinforced sole. The socks are wonderfully comfortable in open-back clogs.
Toes were something else that came to mind when knitting from other patterns. Knitting is wonderful in that it stretches and conforms. If you give it a shape reasonably close to what you want it to be, it will accommodate small differences. But you can also shape it to be exactly as you want.
Traditional toes decrease equally on the left and right side. But if you look at your foot, the big toe extends straight out from the body of the foot. I really like this sock's shaped toe to fit the line of the foot more naturally, and it's not that much of a stretch from a normal wedge-shaped toe.
And then, we have yarn...
KnitGlobal Pollika sock yarn. This 4-ply yarn is fantastic for socks. It is a wool/nylon blend with a really firm twist. The four plies make the stitches just pop (and I'd imagine it would knit into some really amazing cables and twisted-stitch patterns) and it has a lovely, deep color. It knits up into a smooth fabric that I couldn't wait to put on my own feet (and did quite a few times before giving these babies their final careful wash and block to send them off). It's a real treat to have been able to knit with it.
All in all, Inglenook takes a whole bunch of individual design elements I really like and combines them into a cohesive whole. And in them my toes are just as toasty and warm as they would be if tucked up close to the flames dancing in my fireplace.
The pattern for Inglenook is available from the Twist Collective in the Winter 2011 issue.