with Hope, that flew beside*

Published on Wednesday October 14th, 2009

Once in a while a knitter comes upon a happy confluence of yarn and design that’s irresistible. So it was for me with Lenore—that huckleberry yarn, that Gothic lace cuff: I knew we were meant to be. Except that when Marika requested another pair of socks because she loved her Hibiscus for Hope pair so much, I realized nothing in my stash and nothing in several yarns stores reminded me of her the way this yarn and this pattern did, so really I was only meant to be the middle man in the relationship.

It took me ten months to cast on, though. (No snorting: I do have one or two scruples about starting new projects when I’ve got so many old ones unfinished.) And by that time I’d taken Meg Swansen’s and Amy Detjen’s Arch-Shaped Stockings class at Sock Summit. And I was possessed by the beauty of the arch-shaped foot to the extent that I was ready to slap it on every pair of socks. I like to think Stephanie Pearl-McPhee would be honored rather than offended to have her already-lovely pattern Swansenized… because that’s exactly what I did.



You’ll have to forgive the fact that they’re a bit small on me. Marika’s feet are two sizes littler, so I hope these will be just right on her.



For some reason, the first of the pair came off as smoothly and beautifully as you could wish, while the second gave me fits. I ripped out the whole foot because I discovered—after I grafted the toe—that my tension had gone inexplicably slack and the sock was nearly an inch longer than the first. There was some ugly pooling going on, too. I actually wondered if I had somehow picked up a larger set of needles (which has happened before, but only on occasions when I slacked off for a year or more between socks and Ravelry hadn’t been invented yet to remind me what needles I’d been using in the first place). I hadn’t. And I wanted to get these socks right, so I missed Marika’s birthday in favor of doing them justice.


They’re off and away. I hope they keep my beautiful sister’s toes cozy this winter.

*Stephanie’s socks were inspired by Poe’s “The Raven,” but the lost Lenore has an earlier eponymous poem, too. The text is here.

13 Comments to “with Hope, that flew beside*”

  1. Kristen Comment Says:

    Those are gorgeous! Enough to make me think of picking up my poor languishing socks and finishing them. I love the Lenore yarn as well as the pretty pattern, and your arch modification is wonderful!

  2. Sandy Comment Says:

    So gorgeous! I can’t wait until my skills are strong enough to learn how to make socks. I’m getting there. I’m getting there!

  3. Julie Comment Says:

    gorgeous socks!! and that yarn is amazing, the colours are perfect.

  4. Denise Comment Says:

    Absolutely gorgeous!!! You never cease to inspire me. After I’m finished knitting my Ellington Socks I think I’ll give the Arch-Shaped a go.

  5. Seanna Lea Comment Says:

    I love these socks. I’ll have to try the arch shaped socks on my next plain knit socks. All of my pairs in progress are a little more complicated than I would want to try out a new technique with.

  6. Angie Comment Says:

    Bravo! They are beautiful.

  7. Mick Comment Says:

    Gorgeous! The arch shaping is incredible. I have to learn that technique!

  8. Ann of Coral Gables Comment Says:

    Smashing socks! Now I want to learn the Arch.

    I wish I had tracked you down at SS’09 to heap praise on you for your inspiring, fun blog.

    I’m looking forward to more bike pictures. The weather might cool off in S. Florida in the next couple of months and I’m looking forward to being on the bike again.

  9. Lynn Comment Says:

    Wow. Love the color, love the socks, *love* that arch shaping. I have crazy arches; will have to learn that technique.

  10. the Lady Comment Says:

    They’re really lovely. Worth the wait! And I love the added arch-shaping, I think it’s an improvement of excitement upon the original pattern concept.

  11. Anne Comment Says:

    I do love what you’ve unvented with the marriage of two design concepts here! They look perfect to wear in terms of fit!

    And I’m also very happy that you’ve decided to go with a themed design group – I cannot wait to see what beauties you come up with!!

  12. Ariel Comment Says:

    Hi Sarah,
    I’d just like to say that over the past few weeks I’ve been your blog. I happened upon it while looking for arm warmer patterns and I’ve been so delighted with your writing style and wonderful knits that I went back and read through all of your archives.
    I’m just getting back into knitting at the moment (cast on my first big project, a cardigan) and reading your blog has really kept me inspired, it makes me want to rush off and knit things everytime I read it! It’s great to know that there are innovative people out there in the world of knitting.
    Thanks so much for creating this blog and (inadvertantly) keeping my love of knitting alive, especially from so far away (I’m in Australia).
    Keep up the great work! I can’t wait to see what’s next on the sticks 🙂

  13. Cheryl Comment Says:

    Oh my Goodness! I am fresh off of my first pair of sock, and after looking at the construction of these ones I can happily say I can’t wait to cast on another. Surprising how addicting it is… especially when you’re traveling; no better project to stuff in your bag! Do you have any pattern / title recommendations for someone who would like to try the arch shaped stocking but didn’t make it to the class?