Thursday, August 10, 2006

Over the Top Socks

Last spring, Adina Klein, the Fashion Director at Vogue Knitting asked me if I was interested in doing a pair of socks for their Fall issue. "Yes, I would love to." I had had a sock idea in my head for awhile - a completely over the top mix of colorwork, duplicate stitch, Fair Isle, embroidery, pom poms and reverse stockinette stitch ridges. It started forming back when I made a swatch that no editor ever picked up. See that swatch here from my May 23rd post.

When you do one of these "designer challenges" the editors let you do whatever you want. I love that - I can pick the yarn. Of course, I picked my yarn Julia. And I don't have to tell them what I am doing - it's all a big surprise for them. (I guess they trust me.) I wanted the socks to look great and hoped that knitters would like them. I knit and embroidered these socks in four days straight (no home cooked meals here). The Farmer kept asking when they were going to be done. Finally, they were and I shipped them off and then hoped I would like the photo.

The Vogue Knitting photo turned out better than I could have imagined. I love the dreamy quality of the model, the coat she is wearing, the sofa and the fringe trim on it. It might be a bit too moody to knit off but it sure does make me want to knit them.

I am posting one of my lousy photos here which I took before I shipped the socks. I like to refer to photos when I am spiffing up my instructions and I no longer have the garment. This photo might be a little easier to knit from - not the moodiest but it shows the socks up close and personal. (I would have tried a little harder if I had know I would be putting them on a blog but at that point, I didn't know what a blog was.)

I knit them from the ankle up so that it would be easier to adjust for the calf shaping and length. Then I picked up the cast-on edge and knit the sock down like I normally do. They could just as easily be legwarmers if you want - just don't add the bottom sock portion. I picture wearing them with a short or long skirt, clogs or boots. They're a little heavy so they are definitley warm, winter socks.

One note - you can see the rib in the photo on the VK model but not in my photo. The idea is that the rib holds the socks up and the reverse stockinette stitch ridges would fold down over the ribs to cover them up. The pom pom decorated ties also help hold them up. Have fun!

If you make them, I'd love to see a photo - send me a jpeg via my e-mail.


Sara in WI said...

What Fun! I have to make these!
Sara in WI

Alice said...

I love your socks. Your colors are always so vibrant. Now that I have overcome my fear of knitting with colors these socks will be my next project. I may have to get some help with the embroidery. Perhaps I can get my friend K to provide some guidance. I hope that you and you family have a good day on the farm. Alice

ambermoggie said...

definately my kind of socks:) Wonder if I can persuade someone to make them for my birthday? Oh maye not as its just over a week off:))
amber in scotland

kate said...

BEAUTIFUL!!! I LOVE these socks. I am a new knitter, though- so won't be doing these for awhile! My grandkids would LOVE these on their nona, though! :) Thanks, again- I LOve your colors!

Connie said...

Those socks are over the top beautiful! I may have to start them this fall.....of course that means they'll be done by summer.

maryse said...

those are beautiful socks. i'm still waiting for my VK issue to see them up close.

Dorie said...

super socks!

Chris B said...

Beautiful socks!
I was looking at the Vogue preview online and saw the photo of your socks--with no name attached. I remember thinking, "If Kristin Nicholas designed socks, they'd look exactly like these." I'm so happy to discover they are yours!
Chris B.

kneek said...

The socks are fantastic. As someone already said, if your name wasn't printed on the pattern, it wouldn't be hard to guess that they were a product of your imagination. What a signature pattern!

On your May 23 post, you asked why knitters are afraid of embroidery. I'm afraid that mistakes will ruin the knitted fabric; it is much easier to tink back your knitting than it is to undo a sloppy stitch. There is also something so regular and geometric about knitting; embroidery is much more organic, which often translates to "ugly" when I attempt it. My chain stitch looks drunk, more like an amoeba orgy than a neat, orderly line of identical interlaced loops.

Patricia said...

These are incredible. I'm just a beginning knitter but seeing something so incredible like your socks makes me want to do nothing but knit, ever!

By the way: Thanks so much for your blog, and for your book on embroidery. I've practically memorized the book--I'm completely hooked on embroider, especially on felt with crewel persian yarn. Thanks for sharing your passion and talent!

Vintage Collage & Quilts said...

Those socks are WILD! Love them.


Elizabeth said...

Those socks are amazing!