Monday, May 04, 2009

Villette: A lacy new sock pattern for spring (and a great novel, too)!

Permit me to introduce Villette, my latest sock pattern, now available as a Shalimar Yarns exclusive. Created especially for the Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival, Villette features a ribbed cuff that flows into a gorgeous rippling lace, reminiscent of the flowing lines so popular during the Belle Epoque.

In my opinion, a special sock deserves a special heel. In this case, the lace melts into a delicately braided pattern framed with garter stitch, which mimics the ridges in the leg pattern...
A simple Dutch heel is easy to turn and creates a slim line along the ankle and foot. From there, the knitter returns to the lace pattern--centered along the instep and set off with purl and twisted stitches--down to a traditional wedge toe with two finishing options.

Shamelessly, I must admit that I LOVE this sock! It speaks to me in the language of a bygone era, one which I often wish I could have experienced--as a Vanderbilt or Astor, of course ;-)

The name I borrowed from the title of the lovely, melancholy Charlotte Brontë novel, in which an independent young woman beset by grief and financial woes begins anew in the French town of Villette.

An aside: If you are unfamiliar with Bronte's work (beyond Jane Eyre, of course), please do yourself a favor and pick up Villette. If you love English Lit, you'll may find, as I did, that it's a page-turner. Honestly--it kept me up late at night, wanting to know what would happen next!

The specs

  • Height: 9 inches from floor to cuff
  • Circumference: Approx. 8.5 – 9.0 inches around foot (lace pattern is quite stretchy) Gauge: 8 sts x 10 rnds = 1” in stockinette stitch
  • Needles: US #1 / 2.5 mm 32” circular needles (or DPNs or any other method you prefer)
  • Yarn: Shalimar Yarns Zoe Sock (100% Superwash Merino Wool; 100g / 450 yds); one skein in “Passion Fruit”
This is a Shalimar Yarns pattern. Which means all you need to do to order it is to contact Kristi (yarn-dyer extraordinaire) at or on Ravelry, where her user name is KnitorDie.

In other news

Another Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival has come and gone. Saturday dawned rainy and gray, but by 11 a.m. or so the skies had cleared. Sunday, on the other hand, was truly dark and wet.

But reports were positive, and a good time was had by all--especially my husband, who ate lamb while I wandered through the barns, finding some great bargains among the smaller yarn dyers (like Shalimar and Three Irish Girls, to name two favorites), fiber farmers, and wool vendors.

Despite the fact that their spinning fiber and yarn is often breathtakingly beautiful, many of these so-called "mom-and-pop businesses" and small start-ups don't have Web presences and don't offer their wares in "real stores." Discovering these treasures are, to me, what this is what fiber festivals are all about.

After all, I can always order Cascade, Blue Moon Fiber Arts, and Interweave Press books online right?

PS. We've been experiencing some problems with our Internet connectivity, so my posts may be a bit sporadic for a few more weeks. Thanks for bearing with me!


1 comment:

bobbi said...

that is a nice looking sock!