Guns and Roses

You know what this means, right? RIGHT?

Right. It means the pattern and all accompanying materials are FINISHED and UPLOADED and BEING PRINTED.

I still have a little work left to do on Tsuspense Part II, so I’m not out of Pattern Purdah yet – but the Tsuspense Project is a separate issue, and it sure ain’t gonna stop me showing you my new baby.

It is of course a stylized tribute to the Wars of the Roses. Somewhere in here is the inspiration for at least four of Shakespeare’s plays and the source of countless romantic/historic/literary images. The winter of our discontent (”the winter of our Discount Tent,” my cousin used to say); the princes in the Tower; the Old Pretender; the Young Pretender*; not quite half a century of fascinatingly sordid dynastic squabbles. And all because one day Jennifer showed me a skein of subtly-shaded rose-red yarn.

The socks are negative mirror images of each other – the white rose of York on a red ground…

… and the red rose of Lancaster on a white ground:

The roses appear on both sides of the ankle:

– under a crenellated battlement of a cuff.

They’re worked in “festive” intarsia, with floats woven at every other stitch. I didn’t use to bother much with weaving, but now I’ve fallen pretty severely in love with it, and I particularly love the neat appearance it makes on the back.

The roses also appear in miniature as an optional detail on the toe:

Here they’re done in almost-normal intarsia, the toe being worked from a provisional cast-on for just that purpose.

So – obviously – toe-up.

The fabric of the sock, on the instep and wherever the roses aren’t, is a version of the old Heraldic Pattern –

– pikes and pennons in stockinette and twists, over a garter ground.

Apparently I have some sort of idée fixe about English themes, especially if they have architectural elements: in my mind they are indelibly associated with a flap and gusset heel.

In this case, the reverse flap heel I was grousing about the other day –

– and the part that was so mercilessly kicking my butt at the time was the formula for working the flap in pattern…

…so it would meet and match with the pattern at the instep. An optional feature, no less! but a highly characteristic one for me. (And when I think how simple it would be to accomplish if one were working cuff-down… oh, never mind. Too late. That way madness lies.)

This is not quite ready to ship – there’s still some yarn to dye, some printing to finish, and the packages to assemble – but it’s going out Real Soon Now. So ack – I’d better fly round and finish up that Tsuspense thing. I’ll tell you more about that once it’s done.

Back to work. Purdah, here I come.

* I am wrong about this. Wrong, wrong, out of the hunt and wrong. Pay no attention to the egg on my face, but please see tomorrow’s post for the correction.