Saturday, November 21, 2009

Miss Marple Mystery Sock

I have become addicted to Sock Knitters Anonymous, a group on Ravelry.  SKA has a monthly "challenge, " beginning in September:  each monthly challenge gives the knitter a choice between knitting a sock by a certain designer; or a sock using a certain technique; or, every other month, the mystery sock.
For November, the technique is mosaic knitting, and the mystery sock was designed by Star Athena.  That is the challenge I'm working on this month.

I learned about mosaic knitting early in my knitting career, which began thirty years ago.  My first knitting teacher was Barbara Walker, who wrote a book called Learn-to-Knit Afghan Book.  This is the first knitting book I ever had.  Barbara Walker is a big exponent of mosaic knitting.  It uses two colors (or more) like Fair Isle knitting, but you don't carry two colors in one row as in Fair Isle knitting; the color work results from slipping stitches from the previous row.  You knit two rows of one color, then two rows of another color, but you are slipping stitches from the row below, so it looks as if there are two colors carried in one row, sort of.

For some reason I didn't really take to mosaic knitting thirty years ago.  I didn't really like the way it looked as well as I liked the way Fair Isle knitting looked.  Mosaic knitting has a kind of angular look to it, whereas Fair Isle patterns are more organic-looking, and with Fair Isle knitting, you can knit dancing ladies or dogs or skateboarders (yes, I graphed a skateboarder once for my son's hat).

But I love Star Athena's design for this sock.  It's intricate and absorbing to knit. I'm still working on Clue # 2 (a new clue is published on Ravelry and Star Athena's blog every Sunday of November), so I'm a little behind.   The cuff had one mosaic pattern (clue #1) and the leg has two mosaic patterns that alternate, although you can only see one in this picture. When I'm further along, I'll post another picture.

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