Serpentine

An adaptation of a pattern from a much loved sock book. “Serpentine” is from “Socks from the Toe Up” by Wendy D. Johnson,  and is one of my favorite patterns in the book, as well as one of my favorite sock patterns. I’ve made these before for a friend and they aren’t overly complicated or finicky; knitting them is soothing and I’m always struck by how the simple yo’s, k2tog’s and ssk’s move the yarn in different directions to create a pleasing texture.

The original pattern has two extra purls on each side of the lace pattern, but because the yarn I used is thicker it doesn’t match gauge (my gauge rarely ever matches pattern gauge, so I am constantly adapting pattern. It’s more fun that way!) The yarn is hohenloher wolle “limbo” (which I can’t find a link to anywhere) which I found in a tiny yarn store in Korea, and loved so much because of the color gradations, the tweediness of it, and how it feels on my feet, that before leaving I picked up several different colors, but haven’t used any of them until now.

“Socks from the Toe Up” is one of my favorite knitting books. Socks used to scare me. They seemed so intimidating with all of the DPNs to keep track of, the thin yarns, the construction seemed so complicated: cuff, leg, gusset, foot, toe, ahhhhh! But socks were something that I very much wanted to be able to knit, both following patterns and constructing my own designs. After a little digging around, I found the toe-up method, which makes much more intuitive sense to me than constructing and knitting a sock from the top-down (similar to how knitting hats, tops, and skirts from the top-down makes more intuitive sense than knitting them from the hem up) and I found this book.  Wendy’s introduction is charming and I connected to what she was saying about sock knitting.  The way she explains everything needed to know about knitting from the toe up, from needle choices to construction techniques to yarn choices, is clear and easy to follow. As a result, I feel so comfortable knitting any toe-up sock pattern, adapting it to suit what I need, and to even design my own. All of my socks are knit on two circulars, instead of on 4 or 5 DPNs (which I would probably lose while knitting).  It doesn’t hurt that every pattern in the book is lovely.

Enough rambling. Here are my “Serpentine” socks.

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