After long deliberation, I have chosen for myself a quest. It is a quest of long duration, requiring many stitches and much patience.
Meet Nancy Bush. She’s the perfect blend of two studies I love the most – knitting and anthropology. Her pattern books are full of well-written, historically accurate, but still wearable projects. None of this “Classic styles, Updated to be Modern!” which usually means taking a perfectly good shape and making it outlandish for the sake of a novel “sillhouette.” Nope. With Nancy, you are knitting The Real Stuff. I’ve knitted a couple of things out of Knitted Lace of Estonia, and they are brilliant; I’m quite proud of them.
I own two of her sock books, which I’ve heard nothing but rave reviews about – but I’ve not knitted anything out of them. This is a real tragedy, as there is not a single pattern in there that I don’t want to try. Which gave me a brilliant idea.
You’ve probably heard of Sock Clubs. Usually started by yarn companies, you sign up and get a brand new pattern and yarn pairing for the duration of the club, getting new socks at a decent rate. The Yarn Harlot expanded on this idea by creating a “self-imposed sock club”, where she paired twelve yarns with twelve patterns, put them in baggies, and each month pulls one at random out of a bag and knits it before the month is out.
My brilliant version of this idea is to have my own Nancy Bush Sock Club. I want to knit all of these socks, and have been subconsciously collecting the yarn for them ever since I got Folk Socks. So, I’ll start with the first pattern in her first book, and see where it goes from there.
A club, even if it only has one member, has to have a few rules, to keep the membership in line. So here are mine.
1. Go in order. First pair from first book and on from there.
1. a. Skip the basic sock patterns at the front of each book, Rebecca. I know you thought about doing them too but you are not that anal. Really.
2. One pair of socks a month is the goal. But if the socks go past the knee, one sock a month is acceptable, as those things are, let’s face it – ridiculously long. (they are not all kneesocks. I am not a masochist.)
3. My goal is not at all to perfectly replicate what is in her books – I am not a sycophant, and this is me making something with my own two hands – it ought to be unique! Heck, I have a bad habit of changing things in perfectly good patterns just to make them my own. This is good, but I accept that Nancy has a lot to teach me, so I will pay attention and try to learn things I don’t understand. But my socks will be my very own take on Nancy’s work.
4. I am allowed to stop whenever I get sick of this loony endeavor.
5. It is my club. I can change the rules whenever I feel like it.
With that settled, I have my yarn – Pace, by Universal Yarns, 4 balls in a cream color – and my needles – size US 0 (gulp) at the ready for the first pair of socks (or single sock – these suckers are long) for the month of June: “Stockings with Clocks” from Folk Socks.