For today’s Sockpocalypse update, we have a whole lot of purple.
My friend Kirsten from high school, the personification of a ray of sunshine, chose this gorgeous skein for her own during this Sockpocalypse Summer experiment, and I couldn’t have been happier to make it into something lovely for her.
The yarn is Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering Kettle Dye in Goddess. (And, miracle of miracles, it isn’t discontinued! You can actually buy it! Go get your hands on some of this goddess goodness.) It has multiple shades of royal purple, fuchsia, and lavender, giving the whole thing this wonderful depth without so much variation that you can’t get some stitch patterns in there.
Also, as we already know, dark purple socks are impossible to photograph perfectly, so these socks look like a bajillion different colors in these pictures. The picture of the skein by itself is the truest to life, if you are a stickler about these things.
In fact, this yarn was so dark and difficult to see when I was working with it, that Dan had to rig up a little extra lighting for me so that I could tell what the hell I was doing. I needed an overhead floor lamp, plus my usual over-the-shoulder lamp, plus I had to use some lighter bamboo and rosewood needles because I couldn’t see anything with my fancy-pants green variegated ones.
The pattern is Cookie A.‘s Angee socks from her fantastic book, Sock Innovation. They are a perfect distillation of the Cookie A. sock playbook. If you are an adventurous knitter, you’ll know exactly what I mean. First of all, the pattern itself looks like cables, right?
Nope! It’s actually a cleverly-disguised lace panel pattern, with the texture coming from strategically-placed decreases. I made these while having a resurgence of watching numerous favorite detective shows like Sherlock, Endeavour, and Monk (I guess I’ve got a thing for prickly detectives…), so the Shadow Braid name for these seemed appropriate. They look like they are full of depth and shadow, but it’s all an illusion. (ooooooooo…imagine I just waved my hands around like a magician when I said that.)
Secondly, there’s an odd number of repeats of this lace panel, five to be exact, which is definitely not typical. Most sock patterns with a panel-type structure either have three, four, six, or eight repeats spread out over the cuff of the sock. This makes it so that you can use only 3 or 4 double-pointed needles in the process and not have to worry about trying to use stitch markers to keep track on such teeny tiny needles. (Not that I haven’t had to do that before for a Cookie A. pattern, but she’s definitely not the norm.) Instead, for this pattern, we have to figure out how to keep track of five repeats, so…five needles it is! It felt like reaching into a bag of porcupines every time I had to start a needle, but it did make this fun little pentagram shape for summoning friendly sock-loving spirits.
And thirdly, in true Cookie A. fashion, there were three different charts to keep track of as the pattern transitioned from cuff to heel to instep, and that stuff just pleases me to no end. The fiddilier, the better. Cookie A. sees every single stitch pattern through to the end with these really pleasing and harmonious designs, and making them, although mentally-taxing at times, is truly a delight.
Plus, this week I had some really cute nail polish going on, and I couldn’t stop ogling it next to that purple. I felt like a mermaid.
One note about the Hawthorne, just in case you jump on that Kettle Dyed Goddess train with me. These kettle dye variants often feel very…crunchy when you first wind them up and knit with them. I’m not sure why it happens so often with kettle-dyed and tonal variant yarns, but I imagine it has something to do with the dyeing process. They tend to have a lot of residual dye sitting on the surface, which leads to that crunchy and plasticky feeling, and will also tend to stain your fingertips and nails if you work with the yarn for extended periods of time. However, with this particular brand, when you block the yarn, that extra dye washes out easily, leaving the rinse water bright pink but the yarn now very soft with a light brushed halo around the strand, not sacrificing the base color you fell in love with. But, if you combined this yarn with something lighter, like with stripes, you definitely run the risk of bleeding and staining occurring, so just keep that in mind.
I sent these off today to Kirsten in Florida, sending all my love with them. It was hard to part with their jewel-tone loveliness, but I hope she’ll love them just as much as I do. We all need a little bit of extra love right now.