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.