Monday, June 11, 2007
56: vog on

finished on August 27, 2006.

Let's start at the beginning, shall we?

For my 30th birthday, my mom took me out to see Hair. It was an exciting event for me: I was basically unfamiliar with the so-called storyline, but I loved some of the songs and wanted to see it all unfold. So my mom, being the theatre push-over she is, bought us some tickets and I got me an early birthday present.

In addition to the play, which was pretty awesome, we also indulged in one of our other theatre-going vices: clothes shopping (a third vice is eating, but we won’t go into that). There’s a store near the theatre called Timbuktu that’s run by an ex-hippie and filled with gorgeous exotic fabrics. Last time we were there (“Urinetown”), my mom bought a traveling suit. This time we both bought dresses. Hers was red with a flower pattern; so perfect for her that we both felt strongly that she already owned it. Mine was a blue & white layer cake of a dress, a floor-length sundress blockprinted in shades of Delft blue. Air currents want to frolic with this dress, and it’s long enough so that the world is not surprised by my nudity when the wind gets whimsical.

But as I am the type of personality that I can never be satisfied, a problem arose. To whit: I hate hate hate hate current sandal styles. So this pretty pretty dress, clearly a summer dress, would be matched with my grody flip flops, my 8-holes, or my ‘vogs. I loves my ‘vogs, but they really need socks. Therefore, I decided to knit some. All of the lacy socks I saw were way too substantial for my purpose, which was to match this confection of a dress. So I picked up a couple of skeins of my favourite Koigu PPPM, found a lace stitch on-line, and swirled in as many girly touches as I could manage.

Specs: these socks were to be super-feminine, super comfy in summer as I defied sandal fashion and stomped around in my 'vogs. I combined a picot cast-on with a simple 7-stitch, 4-row lace pattern (called Lace Wings), added an Eye of Partridge heel for the birdy implications, and then named it after my shoes. (I also watched Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy obsessively while knitting the first sock, so there's a little bit of Vogon in there too.)

I took the first one to a Drunken Knitter’s Night in July, where it was much beloved. Since drinking was involved, there came a point when I messed up the lace. I pondered tinking, but the people around me told me it didn’t matter.

”But what if I want to submit this pattern to Knitty?” I half-joked to Amy, who was sitting beside me.

”I’m sure I won’t notice,” she replied graciously.

Holy shit, I wondered, did I just pitch a design to Amy, Editrix of Knitty? Did she just say something nice instead of rejecting my lame ideas and incompetent design-work out of hand? Will I actually go through with this crazy idea? This requires much pondering.

From that point on in the summer, these were my submission socks, kept under wraps. I approached a few of my knitting friends for help with the photos, but nothing was resolved until the September Drunken Knitter’s Night, when Jacquie B. offered her sharp artistic eye and her ginchy new camera in service of the submission socks. Thrilled to be doing something before all the leaves turned, we settled on the following weekend.

The shoot itself was great fun. I’ve always wanted the glory of modelling (I am, at least technically, a Leo) but lack the traditional attributes to realize this goal (such as grace, poise, passion and beauty). Jacquie was patient with my lack of experience, and made the shoot into a big romp through Kew Gardens. If these socks look good, it’s because Jacquie made them look good.

Jacquie B's fantabulous vog on gallery

The next part of this story took place months after, as the completed socks were waiting for a seasonal submission date. Widdershins had been out there for awhile, and I found myself wondering if I had a toe-up version in me. When Michelle offered to test-knit, I knew I had to try. So I did the math, bought her some co-ordinating Koigu PPM in fire colours, and asked her if she could make my bird rise from the ashes (in this case, ashes = toes). Then we spilled tequila on the yarn. Hee!

She did a terrific job, knit them longer just for fun, and then used her mannequin feet to model. I can't help but think that her clutch-knitting is what sent us over the edge. And now, I'm a published knitwear designer! I'll try to let it go to my feet, rather than my head.

the pattern

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