Thursday, July 12, 2012


Knitting is therapy.  It is a time when my hands are moving to a well-remembered rhythm and my mind wanders at will.  Socks are the best knitting vehicle for this kind of mental meandering. 

Does anyone remember the sock blanks that I bought earlier this year?  The undyed yarn knit into flat pieces that I could paint and write on?  I have been dreaming about what I would do with them for months.  I really wanted to have the summer weather to play, though, as it could be messy mucking about with the dye pots for this kind of project.  So, coming back from one adventure, I jumped into another.

I have had this idea in my mind almost as long as I've had the yarn at home.  My dream was for sock yarn in greens and golds.  I had already named it 'Woodstocks' and decided that I would have 'words for my sole' printed on the yarn. 

The words were from Joni Mitchell's 'Woodstock' and have always resonated in my mind.  I am one of the Woodstock generation even though I never actually was there.  I so wanted to be.  The colors and the song fragments rose in my mind together.  I could not have one without the other. 

Impatient to see how the colors worked when knit up, I cast on for the first sock.  I ribbed while I thought of a design - I knew I wanted cables.  I searched the Ravelry database for socks which spoke to me of Woodstock.  None really answered my needs.  More dreaming and thinking. 

How could cables represent Woodstock?  What came to mind immediately was the long hair we all had back then.  Straight, curly, tangled.  So, I began with cables that met and twisted together three times.  I work my socks on five needles, so my imagination drifted off to the idea of all the young people arriving from the four corners of the world.  After twisting twice in the middle, the four panels will join with one twist, like a dance, and come back to their original position.  This is the whole pattern to be repeated in the socks. 

As I knit, other thoughts pop up.  My mind keeps reciting the first two lines of a Gerard Manly Hopkins poem:
    "Margaret, are you grieving
    Over Goldengrove unleaving?" 

I had to look up the title and the rest of the words. It's called Spring and Fall written in 1880.  You can find the rest of the poem here. Hopkins has always been one of my favorite poets but I confess to not really thinking much about poetry for some time. But, it's probably not surprising, given the colors, that I would think of these words which have been lying fallow in my brain.  Having looked up the poem, however, I realized just how appropriate it was to my sock theme.

It is a celebration and a mourning of the green days when we were all so young and naive.  Woodstock symbolizes the golden promise that we were going to change the world.  The poem brings us back to the fact that everything in in nature changes...from green to gold and back again.  We are just another piece of nature's puzzle.

You see, knitting is never just clicking needles and yarn. 


Rudee said...

I have some blanks, too, but haven't done anything with them. You inspire me!

deb said...

Wow! These are going to look amazing! Love too how there will be a message that you know is knit in there that no one will be able to see in the finished project.

Sassafras and Winterberry said...

You've quoted one of my favorite poems!! I love your yarn and that sock is looking mighty fine!

Cindy said...

What a wonderful post. Love your new socks and they are starting to look amazing. No, I didn't remember the dye yarn but glad I didn't miss this one. Great analogy, thanks for sharing.

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Well said, Stephanie. Well said. And, thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement yesterday. blessings and knit on Sister Golden(or not)hair ~ tanna

fabricfan said...

This is an incredible post. The colour, the poems, the sock, wonderful.

Emille said...

I like how the rib goes over into these cables! Have you thought up this pattern yourself? Also love the yellow green combi!


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