Sunday, July 13, 2008

On Socks - Part Three

Ariel Socks
The thing that most fascinates me most about knitting is:  strip everything else away and there's really only one stitch - Knit. All other results, especially stitch patterns, are generated by manipulating and combining the knit stitch.  That's magical.

For a long time I had been admiring a stitch pattern titled Fish-Scale Lace in the perpetual calendar '365 Knitting Stitches a Year' (May 31).
Last Fall I bought a very lovely skein of J. Knits and chose to use this stitch pattern for a pair of socks. I always admire sock patterns that offer something a bit unusual and I worked the lace pattern into the heel. My friend Candy really admired my socks and suggested that the pattern ought to be published.

So I went to visit Sheri at the Loopy Ewe (those of us who live near the Loopy Ewe and can go there in person are so lucky - are we not?) to see if she thought this would be a marketable pattern.  Sheri said they looked great, but wait - isn't this the same stitch pattern as 'the Monkey Socks' from Knitty?  

I had heard of the Monkey Socks but wasn't really familiar with the pattern.  It turned out that Sheri was correct - it was the same stitch pattern.  It's a weird phenomenon that seems to repeatedly happen... knit designers coming up with strikingly similar designs.

Back to the drawing board.  Still loved the stitch pattern and the back of the heel treatment.  What if I used the stitch pattern in a panel format rather than an all over design?  Place twisted ribs at the sides for stretchiness, turn the panel the opposite direction for the front/instep to lead into the toe, maybe try that box toe shaping I found on the internet, use the pretty J. Knits SuperwashMe Light that I bought while at Loopy Ewe - hmmm.......

.....and thus we have ARIEL SOCKS (fish scale lace --> mermaid ---> Ariel - get it?):

and Back..... 

Ariel socks are a lot of fun to knit. They seem to go quickly - completing each repeat of the 14 row stitch pattern keeps it moving along. The one/one twisted rib cuff is 2.25" deep which not only looks really nice but provides enough stretchy rib to keep the sock from sliding on the leg. The box toe looks good too and is comfortable to wear. I love, love, love the SuperwashMe Light yarn - there are 550 yards per skein - plenty there to make a much longer sock. Although any light-ish weight sock yarn will work (i.e. Opal, Trekking, etc.). Also subtle color changes will look best (i.e. stripes would be too busy for the stitch pattern).

The color 'Iowa' is actually more of a cinnamon and very pretty, but after photographing these socks in several different sessions I never could get my camera to pick up the color properly - they really are not as orange as they look in the photos.

My friend Barb was the first to knit a pair - she wrote:

    "The pattern is fun.
     They are fun to make but not so hard you can't remember the pattern.
     I thought about giving these as a gift but I like them too much!"

'Ariel' will soon be available for purchase from The Loopy Ewe and is also currently available in the St. Louis area at:

Chris' Needlecraft Supply

Hearthstone Knits (
Kirkwood Knittery (
Knit Escape (
Knit N Caboodle (
The Weaving Department at Myers House (

UPDATE 09/24/2008:

    The Ariel sock pattern is now also available in my Ravelry Pattern Store, or by clicking the link on the righthand side of this page.

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