Not enough coffee in the world

Last night, I sat down (for maybe the third time over the last two days) to finish the Vintage socks, and I discovered a big problem. It is not a knitting problem, per se, but an emotional problem which has a knitting effect.

I am done with these socks. This wouldn’t be a problem at all, except that I am not done these socks. To put it bluntly.. I’m sick of them. Its been an engaging knit, and a super fun one, and boy…have I learned some cool stuff, but I’m down to the madness that is the fiddly, all consuming time suck that is the business of attaching all the leaves, doing the embroidery and dealing with the ends. It is taking forever. Time stops while you do it. I keep thinking this time that I sit down to work on them they will be done…and then I work and work and work, and they aren’t done. Up until this morning (when I sat down to finish the socks and once again…didn’t finish the socks) I was actually starting to believe that these socks were some sort of sick time loop. That maybe they just can’t be finished. Maybe there’s always something more to do and you just can’t finish them. Maybe there’s some twisted reverse shoemakers-elf thing going on while I’m not with them, I don’t know. If I don’t finish today, I shall surely never be the same.

Here’s how you finish the socks. (I think. they are not finished, so I’m not sure.)

Step one of the leaf phase. Ignore instruction to place first eight leaves. Decide to make the second eight leaves the first eight leaves because it seems less fiddly. (Laugh to self, because the whole thing is so fiddly that “less fiddly is a meaningless comparative term. Wonder if laughing at knitting is a sign of declining mental health. Laugh again.)


Decide where the first eight of the leaves you are integrating should go. Rearrange stitches to incorporate new order.


Finish that. Note that grey hair has fallen from your head and is going to be incorporated. Wonder absently if you had this much grey hair before these leaves, or if hair loss is normal at this point.

Step two. Work integrated i-cord, while noting that you did not leave ends long enough to fully integrate in the manner the instructions suggest. Pen brief letter to the designer. Delete letter to designer who is actually a nice person and can’t really be held accountable for your failure to follow her thorough guide. Sigh. Drink coffee. Integrate i-cord.


Step three. Finish i-cord. Feel superior. Note that there are 24 more leaves to deal with. Feel woozy. Drink coffee.


Step Four. Begin sewing on second tier of leaves. Confirm that you have in fact made a decision to put the leaves on backwards – stockinette side out, as opposed to the purl side out that pattern “suggests”. Feel sure that this cannot matter, try to remember if you gave the designer your address. Remember she is not over-controlling freak who cares how you sew leaves on socks. Make more coffee….first whole pot is gone.


Step Five. Figure out that it makes really good sense to run yarn along back of leaves rather than back of sock while sewing multitude of leaf points down.


(Decide to tell blog that you did indeed do it the other way first, but then discovered that you had entirely compromised elasticity of damnable ribbing, thus defeating purpose of socks, since if you can’t put them on, you can’t wear them. Decline offer of husband to take pictures of you weeping as you remove leaves, since it is humiliating enough without a permanent record).

Step Six. Wonder if you have had too much coffee, considering that your heart is beating like a hummingbird. Look at socks. Pour next cup.

Step Seven:


Finish sewing on first sixteen leaves. Invent short interpretative dance of joy. Perform for cat.


Step eight. Begin to do funky decorative attached i-cord stem. Stop drinking coffee when caffeine shake interferes with ability to be intricate and fiddly. Switch to calming herbal tea.


Step Nine: Begin embroidery. Wonder how knitting turned into embroidery and feel pang of idiocy for knowing it was coming all along and failing to gird self.

Finish. Feel the warmth of completion and the joy of stick-to-it-iveness. Congratulate self for having the wherewithal to stick with the whole thing. Remember that there are great rewards for those who persevere. Feel the happiness that only comes from approaching things with the tenacity of a pit bull. Lift head high. Sigh with satisfaction. Look down at knitting basket. Sigh with …..something else.

Step 10. Begin to repeat for second sock. Contemplate how early in the day is too early to switch from coffee to scotch.


Right this minute, the only thing keeping me going is the knowledge that the taste of bliss I had with the first sock can only be doubled when I do the other one. That, and I know that if I stop, I’ll never finish. Toronto is getting another big storm today,


and I’m going to take advantage of another crippling snow day by finishing. Really finishing these socks, before they finish me. Mercy.

334 thoughts on “Not enough coffee in the world

  1. There is probably some kind of medication for you! But I am too busy laughing to think of it. ROFLOL

  2. Absolutely exquisite. And leaves at a time the trees don’t have any, to balance out with the season. Beautiful. They just need a little snow.

  3. Not enough patience (or money) in the world for me to attempt those socks. You should make a little shrine for them when you are done. I don’t think I would be able to actually wear them after all that work.

  4. If you can finish those socks, I can finish the 3 other UFO’s I’ve got going that I’m “done with” too! Thanks for the inspiration, and the socks are incredibly beautiful to boot!

  5. Stephanie, I love you and your stick-to-it-ivness…but my 12 year old daughter (who recently learned how to knit herself) now has decided that she wants a pair of these socks. Is it too late to rethink my decision on having children?

  6. Good luck! You can do it!
    Last year I (ahem) crocheted (forgive me, it was cute) a horse for my niece for Christmas. When I started it was the cutest, easiest thing in the entire world. By the time I had to purchase buttons, accidentally stained my white yarn, went to the yarn shop three times for different needles including a special impaling seven inch doll makers needle to sew on the legs, stabbed myself repeatedly with the same, and I got to sewing on the mane. . I was completely done.
    And after my husband had practically chained me to a chair to finish the gift, my niece carries it around with her everywhere, even to the doctor’s office where her pediatrician (once upon a time, my pediatrician) requested me to make another one for his office.
    I sympathize. I really do.

  7. Framed. On the wall. Find good wine to drink when finished with second sock…after all, it’s appropriate…..

  8. Well, they are the most beautiful socks! Don’t know how you had the patience. Sure know I wouldn’t be able to make them. Can’t wait to see a pic of you wearing them.

  9. Well, I must say I admire your patience with these impossible tricky adorable neat socks. Just a little picky, just a little close to a nervous breakdown, but you did it. And you come out a stronger Steph, off to the next tricky adorable neat project. Photos for us, please.

  10. I was thinking of these socks yesterday, probably more than was warranted considering that I will never knit/own/wear them. And that last, the wearing, was what so engaged my musing. Really it’d be a shame to wear them under jeans, as no one would see those all those fabulous little leaves. On the other hand, unless I was dressing for a bachanal, I can’t imagine that I’d want to wear them so that the public could see all those little dancing leaves. I finally concluded that I’d have to frame them! I mean, there’s no doubt that they’re art. And I’d want to die if I wore out the lovely inlaid toe, or the hourglass heel.
    Well, I don’t know what all that means, but I think I’m going to go put on a nice pair of tube socks.
    keep on purlin’

  11. Ah. The sock equivalent of the black hole of knitting. Keep going, it only seems endless. It WILL end at some point (which, I suppose ‘endless’ also might, just really, really far down the road. Sorry. That wasn’t helpful?).
    Was the interpretive dance anything like the Meposian Dance of Joy? I miss Balki…

  12. They are amazing socks. and all those of us who know we will never embark on a project that complex are sharing the vicarious thrill of watching you achieve the glorious end result. We believe in you!
    Anytime after noon is not too early for scotch, if you like scotch. I would have wine. White not red, because red wine if spilled might make the socks too authentically vintage.

  13. Sometimes drinking is really the only solution. I once sewed together 60+ counterpane triangles for a sweater that I’d made. I spun the yarn, I knit the triangles on #3 needles over 3 years, and …it’s a masterpiece, even if it’s too big for me– but I only got there by drinking while sewing. There’s a reason that us creative types might be known to struggle a little with the sauce. My imagination can never keep up with reality… Just sayin…

  14. They will be such a treasured gift – keep it up, the finish line is within your sights!

  15. Well, they are the most beautiful socks! Don’t know how you had the patience. Sure know I wouldn’t be able to make them. Can’t wait to see a pic of you wearing them.

  16. And you’re giving these away?
    I feel a sudden urge to knit a pair of socks in worsted weight yarn, in a plain color. . .

  17. I am in awe of your tenacity. If it were me, given my somewhat loose and fluid relationship with non-work deadlines, I probably would have stuffed the socks and leaves in the back of one of my yarn drawers, knit up something pretty and non-frustrating (Monkey socks come to mind) for the occasion, and dug out the Vintage socks to finish in six months when the guilt became overwhelming.
    You definitely deserve a good stiff drink when you finish! Having it *before* you finish is probably not a good idea.
    They are really beautiful socks, though!

  18. Those are gorgeous, and worth every nanosecond, worth every grey hair.
    Jenny@2:59: no, no reconsideration necessary on your part. Your daughter must knit her OWN set of these socks, that’s all!

  19. Perhaps you could justify drinking a little wine while finishing the second sock? I don’t think there are any rules about not drinking wine before a certain hour. Perhaps a glass or two of chablis? Smmething about it just seems RIGHT. Then, you could finish off the bottle when you get it done. Be sure to get someone (I’m sure the girls would be willing…) to make a video for the Blog of the happy dance.

  20. Now I read that whole thing and I wonder if it is completely abnormal that I just had to tell you that the stockinette side was the RIGHT CHOICE. And, oh my good gravy! Those socks are absolutely gorgeous and I had my doubts about them from time to time (I don’t mind telling you).
    Won’t you die laughing when the first person says “would you make me a pair?” Oh I just made myself laugh.

  21. Never in a million years would I make those socks. I think that you should find some little mannequin feet, put the socks on those, and place them in a nice deep shadow box frame so that the leafy toe and the wine glass heel might both be seen and admired.
    And someone is actually going to wear these and make holes in them?!
    This is why I don’t knit socks.
    Go have yourself a glass or three of WHITE wine.

  22. They’re lovely–and once they’re done, you can wear them and gloat with much smugness. You’ll have finished a project that puts us all in awe of your leafy ability. And puts NYS Farms in a very very busy spot of much dyeing. And started how many other knitters frantically trying to recreate your awesomeness.
    I won’t be joining the frantic chaos, I will just admire from here and say wow…your leaves rock.

  23. Great job. I have just experienced that feeling of “I won, I beat the knitting” when I finished a sweater that was started Sept. 19 2007. NEVER let the pattern or the yarn win.
    ( I will Never do those socks)

  24. What an experience with the socks! They are beautiful. (I wonder if the cat fully appreciated your interpretive dance?) The socks are so beautiful!

  25. You can do it!!! And next time, can Joe videotape your interpretive dance of joy? The blog would like to see it! Good luck with the fiddly-ness! =)

  26. Those maddening, intricate-leaf socks are beautiful. But, are you sure you really want to WEAR them? Think . . . shadowbox framed socks and how they will never fray or fade or . . . conspire against you when you are too old to remember who knitted them!
    Still, they are entirely beautiful. Inspiring! Just not enough to attempt such a feat for the feet.

  27. The socks are absolutely beautiful. But the leaves cover up the whole matching ribbing thing!

  28. You need an anthem right now. Go to iTunes and download “I Will Survive”. And not the happy disco version either; Cake’s swear-filled ode to over-coming all that is wrong in the world.
    Always made me feel like I could do anything.

  29. Just keep knitting!! You can do it. They will be wonderful and the person getting them with love them. Drink what ever makes you feel better. (I am glad I didn’t really buy the kit)

  30. Thise socks are absolutelky Beautiful! I wont be making them either, am having a hard enough time with the socks I’m supposed to finish and a case of Startitis that is threatening to engulf me.

  31. I can think of more than one difficult, definitely un-fun situation in my life that was a result of my ‘failing to gird myself.’ Well put, Stephanie. Perhaps this will be a reminder for me when the next one looms on the horizon.
    Or perhaps not.
    ~ Dar

  32. Oh, my. Back in September, 2006, I started a quilt. I took a class and everything. I sewed and Sewed and SEWED and finally completed all the quilt blocks. Then I sewed some more and got them all joined together. The borders were next, which involved allot of measuring, cutting of fabric, and, of course, SEWING. I had bought a big hunk of fabric for the back, and after a few seasons had passed and the local quit shops had several clearance sales to get rid of “old” stock, I realized I didn’t have enough. Determined to finish this $#%^& thing, I started cutting pieces from the scraps I had left over from the front so I could piece them together for the back. I’m STILL dogging away on this thing. It has been named “The Quilt That Will Not Be Finished. Ever.” I will be retiring in nine years, so if I’m still working on it then, maybe I’ll finally have enough time to actually complete it.

  33. They look gorgeous. And you just described, in minute detail, exactly why – even though they’re gorgeous – there is NO WAY IN HELL I WILL EVER DO THOSE SOCKS.
    Scotch is good. Scotch is very very good. Who cares what the clock says?

  34. I could tell you just why I “suggested” putting the leaves wrong-side out, but I won’t, because (A) I bet you already know and (B) I don’t want to make you cry again. (C: if anyone else is masochistic enough to want to know, there is an explanation on my blog – January 13th.)
    But I *do* know where you live.
    Damn, though – I’m sorry you’re suffering for it so dreadfully, but I have to say you sure are doing a lovely job on the socks.

  35. Oh Stephanie! I admire your tenacity at continuing to work on these socks. I think I may have thrown them across the room and then pretended they didn’t exists from that point on when I first got to the toe and it’s inset leaf(that is assuming the leaf knitting didn’t drive me mad first.)
    They look beautiful done and should bring you such joy of accomplishment when they’re done. I’m cheering you on!

  36. If Anyone ever made me such a pair of socks (which is highly unlikely), I would be afraid to wear them and further afraid to wash them. Can you imagine if a leaf fell off? Feet should never touch such things of beauty.

  37. I see you’re wearing your sunrise circle … that, too, had a lot of finishing. I’m glad you’re making them instead of me!

  38. I said something similar in my blog last night after I realized I ripped a tonne of work out only to discover I was right all along:
    To continue knitting is a testament to how much I love this craft.

  39. You have won (and earned) THE PERCY AWARD!!
    TA DAAAAA!! for demonstrating beyond belief
    perseverence on these vintage socks. I think
    the real reason they are called vintage socks
    is because, for most knitters, (excluding you, of course) they will be vintage before they are finished. Congratulations. Marlyce in Windsor, Ontario

  40. You’re a better man than I, Gunga Din. The reasons you listed are precisely why I put down this kit at Rhinebeck & walked away with the Fiber Festival Socks instead.
    They are gorgeous, though!

  41. I laughed out loud.
    But I felt really guilty about it, so that makes it okay, right?
    If you don’t finish them today, maybe you should just leave them out for the squirrel to take. He’s probably freezing his hiney off right about now and then you’d have an excuse for not finishing them. Because Steph? I’m not trying to start anything here but it’s just kind of hard to imagine anyone WEARING those socks.
    Don’t kill me! I’m from Texas. We don’t wear socks much anyway so the fact that I’m a sock knitter is WAY more crazy than those leaves…

  42. I like the idea that they are magic socks, what wonderful things they could do for you….what would you what for them to be…other than done?
    If they reverse being done, maybe they could make your feet un-tired…but I am afraid they most they will do for you is make your feet un-cold.
    a truly artistic challenge met. They have been a fun journey to follow.

  43. I like the idea that they are magic socks, what wonderful things they could do for you….what would you what for them to be…other than done?
    If they reverse being done, maybe they could make your feet un-tired…but I am afraid they most they will do for you is make your feet un-cold.
    a truly artistic challenge met. They have been a fun journey to follow.

  44. So these socks are the knitter’s version of Groundhog Day, eh? I hope you wake up tomorrow and it’s a new knit.

  45. They sure are beautiful. Fiddly things often are. And knitting these beats knitting a mile of garter 4″ wide, mustard yellow and acrylic!

  46. This is clearly one of those projects that looks like a big honking question mark until the moment when it just-almost-done and then suddenly it all makes sense. I have been wanting to know how the leaves all get attached! it looks beautiful of course. Knitting really does grant perseverance as well as patience!
    (And maybe switch to – white – wine after the herbal tea doesn’t do it anymore)

  47. Balvenie is a wonderful scotch and I recommend the double barrel one. Beautiful work, Steph. Please video the interpretive dance and post for all of us to watch. Can’t wait to see the finished product!

  48. I shouldn’t laugh at your pain…except I’ve had similar pain, I know I have, so maybe it’s a sympathetic, Goddess-y, we’re-all-connected-in-the- circle-of-fiber sort of laugh.
    Or maybe the wool fumes have rendered us all completely insane.
    It does look fantabulous–does that help?

  49. You can do it!!! You are almost there!!
    I also agree with ^Kim, garter stitch will be the cure!

  50. Time saver that I have employed:
    Rather than “Invent short interpretative dance of joy. Perform for cat.” take inspiration from sports fans, go straight to the performance, minus the invention, as in, “Waggle [bottom] at cat, chanting sporty slogans like ‘In yo face, designer of fiddly leaves!'” or something equally productive. Canadians may have to modify to account for inherent politeness… cat probably won’t be offended, though. Mine yawns.
    Further, knitting that morphs into sewing is underhanded and evil.

  51. Exquisite socks! Thank you so much for sharing this experience with all of us, because I can now state firmly that it is the ONLY way I will ever experience it myself!
    Go have a drink! In fact, I think we should all have a drink for you, just to make sure enough alcohol is consumed to be appropriate for the situation.

  52. Insane, but gorgeous. I have a bog standard ribbed sock that I can’t make myself finish, so I can’t imagine having to deal with all those leaves!

  53. Knit on, my Harlotta. Get it over with so you can Stet it too. It is a beautiful sock and needs a friend.

  54. “Invent short interpretative dance of joy. Perform for cat.” — That made me crack up. Mostly because it sounds like something I’d do. πŸ˜‰
    The socks are really, really beautiful though!

  55. I applaud your tenacity. I on the other hand would never make those socks in a million years. They would push me right over the very edge that I have been barely hanging on to for years. Good Job, Harlot!

  56. Step 1: Congratulate self that self was well aware that those socks would make self completely insane.
    Step 2: Knit something else entirely with worsted weight yarn and 5mm needles.

  57. If I knit those socks, I would shellac them and put them in a place of honor, to be displayed as art.

  58. Congratulations on your tenacity!!! Holy leaping Lina’s , are you really going to part with these socks ? Shadow box frame them for poserity. Your daughters can then show them to your future granchildren and say “”See what you get when you stick to something and completly finish it “” They are REALLY something else altogether!! MERCY MERCY is right !!!! Thanks for the laugh on such a stormy day .

  59. Glad to see I am not the only who incorporates, accidentally of course, their hair into the knits.

  60. I simply cannot imagine beingcontemplting these socks — they are amazing, to be sure, but the effort involved. Hope the recipient will appreciate them1

  61. I ordered this kit the first day you had it on your blog and have been following your progress. I now wonder if I was crazy to order it. If not, will I be crazy by the time I finish (if I finish)?
    The completed sock is really beautiful, though, so I’ll have to at least start. If I don’t finish, they can join that stupid Tulip Sweater in my wip basket (got tired of weaving in the ends – why didn’t you warn us?)

  62. Easily distracted, winter-loving knitter says, “Damn, I gotta move to Toronto! [long pause] Oh, and, yeah, those socks are great!”

  63. Never in a bijillion years would I attempt such a project – well done you for sticking to it.
    And they’re just goigeous!

  64. I admire your tenacity! I find it so hard to finish a project once the love has gone. I don’t even appreciate the FO if the knitting/finishing was painful. Good luck with those leaves!!!

  65. Those socks are gorgeous. But I can no more imagine trying that pattern than I can imagine jumping to the moon in my bare feet! I am holding onto the last shreds of sanity too tightly to take on a challenge even close to that. Knitting is my therapy, and that might drive me into a straight jacket!

  66. I really loved the look of the socks , and , for just a mad , fleeting second , thought about knitting them , instead , I finished the Kitri socks that had been hanging around for xxxxxxx months ……… Life is just too short to knit masterpieces that only the washing machine and the inside of your jeans are gong to see

  67. Now about that scotch–surely you’re aware of the old saying: “Somewhere in the world, the sun is just below the yardarm.”

  68. So this ‘decision’ you made to attach the leaves in the opposite manner to the, er, suggestion made by the designer in her extraordinarily well thought out pattern; I can’t help wondering if it was a concious choice made before you began attaching the leaves, or one that became a decision after belatedly realizing you’d already attached the first 4 the wrong way?

  69. And that’s about the time you start wishing you were keeping the socks for yourself – even if they’re to be framed and put on the wall so you can remember how crazy you are πŸ™‚
    Congrats though, they look fantastic!
    Hello from the Arctic!

  70. They look absolutely amazing! I hope you’ll post a picture of your ‘over the moon’ face once they’re finished and a pic of the lucky recipient wearing them.

  71. Scotch for sure! In fact I would use the finished sock as a bottle cozy so I could admire my work and use it as inspiration. Also maybe then nobody would realize it was there… maybe.

  72. I have had to end projects that were too fussy. Projects like that definately have to leave the house! Your Vintage socks, though lovely in every aspect, have worn out their welcome!
    A friend found a tank top pattern in one of my magazines that she really wanted and asked me to make it for her. It was a cotton tank top … how long could that take?
    So I knit the front (knowing full well that I DO NOT like working with cotton & laceweight at that!) and put it up while I knit the back (shouldn’t both pieces have been in ONE project bag?), and when I needed to sew them together and BE DONE with it, I couldn’t find the front.
    Still haven’t to this very day. And I’m sure that bad karma is the reason why I can’t make any of my deadlines!
    Anyway, I have to shake off that bad memory and ask you – what’s our next project?

  73. It is just me or do those socks look like they should come with a bottle of wine in them?

  74. I am truly in awe. These socks are a work of art; they are beyond mere wearing apparel. They are a masterpiece. You should be VERY proud!! I don’t know if you will ever wear them, since that would require washing them…then what?? More blocking?! Why not give them the respect they deserve and just put them on display? I for one would pay to see them. But, then, you are my idol.

  75. Something tells me that when this kit arrives, I will be needing to purchase extra coffee. or wine. Chablis, perhaps? Oh, dear.

  76. So I’m busy congratulating myself for not giving in to the impulse to buy this kit back when you first started with the little leaves, and enjoying the feeling of “it isn’t me working in all those fiddly little ends” when you go and post the picture of that finished sock top. It is so gorgeous. I SO want to make them. They’re beautiful πŸ™‚

  77. This is why I don’t do duplicate stitch, or anything that has to be added on after I’ve “finished”. Cause when I’m finished knitting, I’m finished. I can’t bear to extend the pain with sewing on fiddly stuff. I’ll keep making my entrelac socks, and you keep making the fiddly ones, and the universe will remain in balance, k?

  78. Can not wait to see the face of the recipient of those socks!!
    Are they still a surprise?

  79. “Invent short interpretative dance of joy. Perform for cat.” Only my cats know that I do that football referee goal posts with my arms move whenever I finish the knitting of an object. (before sewing in ends and blocking)

  80. Maybe if we all kept a blog of our knitting we wouldn’t have any UFO’s. We have been eagerly waiting to see the finished project.
    I finished my daughter’s Christmas present yesterday, 48 mitred squares sewn together each done in 2 colours with 9 different shades, every square is a different combination. Four squares make 1 block, 12 blocks together make the afghan. Each block contains 8 different colours, adjacent blocks must not have colours that match or clash….it seemed like such a good thing when I started. The only thing that kept me at is was that it was a Christmas present, and my son would remind me that it was taking up room on the dining room table and ‘why are you working on something else when you aren’t finished the last project?’.
    Now what to do with the leftover yarn?
    Enjoy the snow, it is very pretty and I can’t find my camera.

  81. Thanks Steph…this makes the latest Dale of Norway sweater that I am contemplating for DGD look positively like a walk in the park…(I have bookmarked this entry for that time in about…say…four months…when I achieve the same slightly touched attitude that only knitters can experience…so I can remember that I am NOT alone…).
    Now can you imagine if you had decided to do these for the knitting Olympics??? (yes, the first Dale of Norway sweater was that for me…I am ALMOST ready to consider it a “good learning experience”)
    From the “Blog”…the recipient of those socks better damn well appreciate the work that went into them…or else there will be consequences…we got your back Steph!

  82. I LOVE doing the happy dance! I hope you will be done soon so you can dance away–in the socks if you like (but they are a gift aren’t they? so maybe not)

  83. First they are simply(haha)gorgeous! Pure Art. Secondly, THANK God it is you and not me. I am really impressed, with you for knitting them, and the designer for thinking them up.

  84. I agree with Frolicking Turtle–Knitting ought not involve sewing. But–those are really amazing socks. True textural wonders. Make sure the recipient has your URL so she can practice the proper progression of awe>wonder>adulation when she gets them ; )

  85. They are lovely, but your description of the process is the real work of art. I’m sure that reading about knitting the socks is much more fun than actually doing it!

  86. The only thing wrong with those gorgeous socks is that they are for someone else….they are WONDERFUL! I absolutely love them. Worth the fiddly, and I want to buy the kit.
    But, you are either really really good at writing foreshadowing or you are getting predictable, ….I know that set back when you remembered the second sock was coming!

  87. i am taking an inventory of the top 12 people whom you love most in the world. are any of these people the recipient of the socks? and if not… how great IS your love? phew… i can’t even imagine.
    if a loan shark’s flunky had a gun to my head, i’d still have to turn down an offer to make those socks; beautiful works of art tho they may be.
    i hope you are keeping safe and warm today.

  88. I am in awe of the fact that you not only contemplated this project AT ALL (including the 34 leaves!!!) but that you have finished one of the socks, let alone both – and in times like these I am sure there is NO time too early for scotch – it’s like steeking!

  89. Steph, the socks are very, very beautiful. I’m confident that tomorrow I’ll read your blog post about finally finishing the beasties.
    Knit something soothing after this– something made with brightly-colored, super-bulky yarn, tnat you can finish in a day. A simple hat. A scarf. A pair of wristies.

  90. Am I the only one wondering why it was necessary to reknit the cuff on the second sock to make it match the first when both cuffs are now completely covered in leafy works of art?

  91. This is not my kind of pattern AT ALL (for many reasons–embroidery usually give me fits), so I applaud your sticktoitiveness that got you here. I can’t wait to see the socks modeled, because I also can’t envision them on my feet.

  92. Ten pictures of sock hell. Ten reasons why I will never, ever, EVER make those socks. πŸ˜›
    (I don’t count the last picture, because I love snow.)

  93. Pssst: Brenda, there are people who hire out to finish quilts.
    Entrelac isn’t fiddly? One woman’s fiddle is another’s incitement to violins.

  94. I feel I’m knitting each stich with you. Thank your lucky stars I’m not, it would take even longer. This is such an epic, can you see an outline for a novel? Imagine those socks on the front cover (finished of course). Bliss!

  95. I actually have the Imbus socks (I think that’s the pattern name) from the same designer. They have been sitting in my knitting basket for almost a year because I just can’t figure out how to knit them on two DPNs without resulting in huge freakin’ ladders. But seeing your beautiful socks, maybe I’ll take them out and give them another go…

  96. The socks are turning out beautifully, but I don’t think I’d have the patience to get through all the fiddly bits. There’s a reason I don’t embroider anymore.
    Still, more power to you!
    *hoists a fine single malt in appreciation*

  97. Wow! These are turning out really beautiful! It was hard to imagine what they would look like until now. They are really spectacular. Keep up the hard work – we all appreciate what you’re doing for us. Thanks for sharing them! πŸ™‚

  98. Does the fact that the leaves completely cover the ribbing make you regret that you decided to redo the second cuff when you discovered that the two cuffs were done in different ribs?

  99. You’re describing my feeling knitting the edging for my first Pi shawl (with its 460 stitches). Although I was knitting endlessly, I seemed to hit time pockets where I was actually thrown back in time (and effort). (With second Pi shawl, I did a crochet cast off for the 1400 stitches around – didn’t think I would live through 6 months of knitted edging!)

  100. Ok, those socks are really beautiful, and really cool.
    That being said, I’d rather go bang my head on a rock than knit them.
    I think you’re a Knitting Masochist. But in a good way.

  101. Perhaps they are named Vintage Socks not for the design but for the amount of alcohol involved in making it to the end. πŸ˜‰ They are beautiful, though! Keep it up, you’ll soon be done.

  102. Somewhere in reading your blog – and when I discovered it, I went back and read it all – I got the impression that one of the reasons you liked to do socks is because you weren’t making a promise to spend a lot of time with each other. In other words – a one night stand so to speak. So, when I saw you starting on these socks, I almost commented – Whoa Stephanie!! These are not your kind. SSS is not going to be your problem. First sock syndrome is going to rear its head. Actually, I would have had a problem with second leaf syndrome. Surely, you’re not going to give these away.

  103. You are not actually going to wear them…are you?
    Put them on display, photograph them, name them, show them to your friends!
    They are a work of art!

  104. As gorgeous as they are, I can see I’d be taken away by those nice young men in their clean white coats, if I ever attempted it. There has GOT to be an easier way to get something similar! And won’t you blow a gasket when they get a hole? **faint**

  105. Thank you for providing me with the best laugh of the day (at your expense). I would have given up long ago and it gives me such a boost to read that even expert knitters are prone to having “one of those days”.

  106. *moment of silence* You are a far, far braver person than I can ever imagine being. I have to admit, I fell in love with those sock kits when you first posted them, but my self-knowledge (I am a lazy brick) slapped me around a bit, so I’ve just been watching you knit them instead… umm, and not in the psycho stalker way that sounded. They are BEAUTIFUL (if fiddly) socks and you’re doing a great job!!

  107. I have followed these socks since inception. I am a big fan of this designers work, though I personally do not have the excess of mental health to actually knit any of her designs.
    After this post, I kind of want to cry for you. I’m switching to Scotch now and I’m not even knitting these things, I will raise a toast to you and your socks from Hell!

  108. I checked the Ravelry listing of projects for these socks, and yours may be the first finished pair besides the designer’s pair…. you really ARE going to keep these for yourself, aren’t you? (And they need to escort you on the next book tour, n’est pas?

  109. I love those. They are so beautiful and I will NEVER knit them. πŸ™‚ There isn’t enough scotch in the world!

  110. I normally don’t comment because you have so many….. I’d just be one more.
    But this post was excellent. I’m at my desk at work laughing like a loon. I’ve just started my first ever pair of socks, (in Australia not many people knit socks) and I’m thrashing around with all of the needles trying not to put my eyes out.

  111. You are just really hilarious! And brilliant! And slightly addictive. I have found myself checking your blog several times a day just to see if the socks were DONE! πŸ™‚ They look lovely, REALLY gorgeous. I am a beginner at knitting, so realize that I will never hit your level – but I enjoy seeing the beautiful things you have created.

  112. I will never knit those socks. They would not bring me happiness or be good therapy for me. But I have to say they are lovely and I hope the recipient loves them and appreciates all the work you put into them. For me, a raglan baby sweater is in my comfort zone at the moment. Knit one row, purl the next… No crazy little leaves, just stripes that appear all by themselves.

  113. Snort!
    Hope you at least ended the day with a few fingers of Scotch.
    Also, thank you for posting this. Makes me feel so much better about all the times I’ve tried to convince myself that whatever I’m doing will work only to have my own gray hair drop and have to rip it out. My memory of ripping out the bottom my Einstein Coat still hurts.

  114. Wow. I mean. Wow. They are just breath taking. Well worth the fiddliness–for someone else to knit and for me to admire. Well done. πŸ™‚
    Enjoying the snow? It looks cold.

  115. So…. Ornate.
    Could be defined as fiddly, if you’d like.
    Definitely will be a testament to sticktoitiveness.
    (standard disclaimer – I didn’t read all the comments)

  116. Wow. I mean. Wow. They are just breathtaking. Well worth the fiddliness and immense effort. That is, for someone else to knit and for me to admire. Well done. πŸ™‚
    Enjoying the snow? It looks cold.

  117. Um, yeah. I knew there was a reason I would never take on that project. Of course, I’m doing a Fair Isle vest of my own design for my wedding, but that’s just stranded knitting – no embroidery, no fiddly leaves to drop and ravel, not even applied I-cord (which I actually like). And, of course, wonderful, exciting steeks.

  118. I think those socks should be on display as the work of art they are. As cool as I thought they were looking at a picture of them, I would never make them. I’m glad I could vicariously experience them through your blog.
    Time to celebrate the finishing of these socks! Please report back how the recipient loved them.
    So, what’s the next project going to be?

  119. ROTFL! Coffee anyone???
    (I’m on decaf normally and had waaaaayyy to much regular coffee today as well…)
    But really, the socks look great!

  120. This was one blog post where I really wished I’d had some formalized religious instruction, so I could pray I never want to make these socks, as well as whisper prayers of courage and strength in your direction. I did both anyway, but it may not pack a wallop. However, scotch does that nicely, so I say, celebrate when they’re done!!!

  121. Funny, this is how I feel everytime I pick up and try to read Moby Dick. Call me Ishmael. Never mind. Where’s the Danielle Steele?

  122. I totally agree, these are amazing, beautiful socks. And I agree, you should keep these and put them on display somewhere. Looking forward to pictures of the finished pair.

  123. They are beautiful socks, and once finished you can wave them in the faces of those of us too chicken to try and make them.
    As for the Scotch? The rule I learned in the catering profession is as follows: Somewhere in the world it’s five o’clock and time for happy hour — so drink up!

  124. Amazing! I cannot believe you are giving these away. They belong in a trophy case in a place of honour in your home!

  125. You convinced me to buy this pattern, knit the 34 leaves (aided by backwards knitting – leaves are pretty fast), knit the sock, scrupulously following the directions, then undo entire heel & grape construction because the sock is too short, and commence knitting again. I keep on thinking, once I get to add those leaves I’ll be fine, but I guess I won’t? I have just a few more weeks until my next Blue moon sock club package arrives and I AM going to finish these grapey socks.
    Not blaming you, of course, you’re only the sock enabler.

  126. Steph really, under such circumstances is there truly such a thing as ‘too early to start drinking scotch’? I think not!

  127. Now you know why I have no plans of ever knitting those socks. I’d be in a straight jacket by now. Your tenacity however is inspiring. I’m going to sit down and finish the sleeve on a baby sweater that I’ve been working on since forever, maybe longer.

  128. Great socks!!! All that anguish paid off!! I am using Wisconsin’s snow day to continue the finishing a Dale sweater. Talk about fiddling–steek, knitting in the sleeves, sewing down the facings, weaving in many ends. etc. etc. Now, I have to pick up stitches around the neck. Makes the socks seem easy somehow–maybe it’s because YOU are doing the socks and I’m doing the Dale sweater!!

  129. Holy cow stephanie I would have been taken away by the men with the huggy coats long before i finished those if i were to try.
    Ps. they are amazingly beautiful however

  130. Stephanie:
    I have to drink large glasses of wine just to get through your posts about these socks. I’m a fairly compulsive, detail-oriented person but knitting those socks is an exercise in masochism. Those socks make an Alice Starmore project look like a beginner’s garter stitch scarf. Let’s hear it for garter stitch scarves!

  131. Wow, that’s some pretty hefty lookin’ footwear you’ve got in progress. I’ve been interested in seeing how these would turn out.
    I can’t wait to see the finished product!

  132. They are truly beautiful – a good project to finish on a snowy day with all that leafiness. I also wanted to share that yesterday I was going over proofs for an article I wrote for a British publisher – and they “briticized” me – all my favorites became favourites. So I guess it works both ways. Looking forward to seeing the finished socks!

  133. Good God Girl.
    Fiddly doesn’t BEGIN to describe what those socks are…
    Now don’t get me wrong. They are pretty.
    But… Good God Girl! There’s a limit. I think you reached it.

  134. I have to admit – I don’t get it. The socks really don’t appeal to me (please don’t throw any rotten tomatoes my way) and . . . well . . . the leaves seem kind of annoying! Will they (the socks) really be comfortable to wear?
    On the other hand – your stories about the socks crack me up – and remind me of other areas of my life where others feel I truly do need some help

  135. Psychiatrists used to say that the definition of insanity is the “seeming inability to learn from experience.” I believe, however, that we have now a better definition: insanity is starting these socks.
    See you next week!

  136. I don’t mean any disrespect, but it seems like an awful lot of work for something you’re going to cover up with shoes and pants anyway.

  137. It’s hard to define what time is appropriate to switch to scotch…but I think that if you were to add the scotch to the coffee, no one would be the wiser πŸ˜‰
    And although it’s a lot of work, the transformation that sock undergoes from Step 1 to Step 9 is truly miraculous. Just remember to make another pot before Step 10.

  138. no, it is not too early to switch to Scotch, it is well after 5pm in Scotland….
    i expect you will be building a shrine to the socks? because i shudder to think what would happen if anyone wore them and .. damaged a leaf.

  139. They’re gorgeous, they really are…and I don’t think I’d ever want to knit those myself. But they definitely are gorgeous!

  140. They are absolutely works of art. Congratulations. You are truly a mistress of the craft.

  141. They are beautiful!
    Thank goodness you did not give up coffee for Lent! What would you have done then???

  142. That finished sock is just shockingly beautiful! My jaw dropped when I scrolled down and saw the finished cuff. Good luck with the second one!
    The colour of those needles is pretty too; what are they?

  143. You are a much, much better woman than I. The socks are beyond incredible, but if I had to make them, there would’ve been a massacre of huge proportions here in Western Mass. I barely even read your post and I am completely stressed out.
    We are expecting snow tonight and tomorrow. If there is a snow day – a no school day – I am preparing my Malabrigo blankie and a box of tissues for the inevitable. Me.Blankie.Tissues.QuietCorner.Sobbing. . . .

  144. I had to laugh at the first comment. Old Joke: Do you know about the new headache medication that the Geritol people came out with……It’s called Damnitol….(pronouced damn-it-all). You take 2 and then you just don’t care about leaves anymore…..if only it existed……

  145. Bless your heart. Almost makes my problems with my sister’s sock not to bad. Although if you were here, I think I’d switch, if only just for a while. I wonder, would a beer help? Then again, is there anything a beer doesn’t help? Or maybe chocolate? I know, I need some new yarn. Or champagne diamonds. They help anything. And they’re good for self esteem. I know, some of those gemstone-healing sites out there say that there are other gemstones out there that promote higher self esteem. I don’t believe them.

  146. I was wondering if the novelty of the socks would wear thin. You have done and amazing job with them, and I have cursed along with you, while reading the story of these socks. I wonder if the receiver will know all of the hard work you have put into these socks.
    I am totally loving your wheel in the background of your photo. ( who took your pictures today? would they like to take a trip to sunny Florida where it was 85 degrees, where there was no clouds in the sky and did I mention I am less then 5 minutes from the beach) anywho, would the picture taker like to come visit to take my WIP pictures? Heck forget them, Will you come and visit? Think of it Jacksonville, Florida. Sun, beach, no snow, lovely yarn stores, and tons of gals here who would hang onto your everyword.
    But I digress,
    Thank you for sharing the next Chapter of the Never Ending Socks with us. I look forward to seeing the finished picture of them, as I am certain there will be alcohol involved.
    May be force be with you!
    ( not a stalker I swear! )

  147. I have to say, Steph, that they are absolutely beautiful. Definitely worth all the work. They’re stunning.

  148. I’m a nurse, I can help you. Fill the following!
    2 oz vodka
    2 oz cranberry juice
    1 oz Triple Sec
    2 tsp lime juice.
    Pour into coctail shaker, shake with ice. Strain into martini glass. Drink! Repeat as necessary!
    That oughta do it! Take two of these and call me tomorrow if you don’t feel better.
    PS I ordered one of these kits for my daughter. You don’t think this will cause her to drop out of college do you?

  149. Hell, I would worry about measuring amounts of liquor, I’d just start filling a large tumbler and drink until it is gone, then refill and repeat!

  150. These leaf me breathless. I cannot conceive of any reason to subject any rational human being to this exercise in futility.I.e. I’d roast and eat my cats (whom I love dearly) before taking on something of this magnitude.
    do you have mental health benefits? congrats!!
    I truly am astounded…I hope they get worn.

  151. Hang in. You can do it. The weather will help. It is too cold and icy to walk.
    You will know if you are trapped in a time loop: are you eating Fruit Loops for breakfast?

  152. This is definitely the sort of project that is meant to be done at a knitting group get together. That is the only place and time that I have found things like running in ends and sewing up to be the least bit enjoyable.
    I noticed that nowhere did you mention that the socks were so cool that you were going to make yourself a pair soon. They are extremely cool, and I feel like I have come close enough just by reading about your experience. If you can get a photo of the recipient wearing them and post that, my life will definitely be complete and I will feel no need whatsoever to make a pair myself.
    That doesn’t mean I won’t succumb in some future weak moment; I just love the leaves! Could I attach them with staples or superglue, do you think?

  153. If ever you don’t have scotch, might I suggest brandy? πŸ˜‰
    But still, the socks are beautiful to an extreme. I really like them.

  154. You are out of your mind. And I thank you. I feel so much better today for having seen a deeper insanity than I am experiencing. It is very generous of you to share your exploits and thus relieve me of the craven fear that I am alone amidst several dozen tiny leaves and yarn.

  155. …watches the Yarn Harlot climb painfully out of the Knitter’s Black Hole, clutching a rumpled sock and a handful of leaves…
    I hear that alcohol is a depressant. Maybe you should pour a moderate (moderate, do you hear!) glass of wine to counteract the coffee.

  156. Lovely socks. I’m curious — what outfit will you wear so others might admire your fiddly work?

  157. Socks to be you.
    (And for someone I thought was supposed to be a pagan, that’s some hefty Lenten penance you’ve assumed there. At Notre Dame today the weather was so filthy that the ashes were washing right off the kids’ foreheads.)

  158. And you’re giving these away? I can’t think of who would be a worthy enough recipient, unless Elizabeth Zimmermann has returned from the dead.

  159. um i guess you don’t want to hear that the leaves should be knit on reverse stocking knit stitch up.. so that when they curl (and they will the will curl under and hug the cuff.
    they are prettier stocking knit side out…

  160. I, too am a nurse….the only way I would attempt these socks is after downing a pitcher of the afore prescribed drinks. While I agree the socks are absolutely stunning, I wonder why anyone would spend so much time on something that will never come out of the drawer. I would be terrified to wear them!

  161. You have for more patience than I, that’s for sure. I would never make it through those socks. Ever. Far too fiddly.
    Also, I’m pretty sure the cats would make off with the leaves. Kudos to you for those–that takes some serious commitment.

  162. I pointed out your statement about doing the interpretative dance for the cat to my 13 yr old son, a fellow dancer, & he’d like to know the music you chose for the performance. Kids!

  163. Bought this kit months ago for a rainy day (maybe snow would be better) in a friend’s colors and planed to make them for her birthday. Watching you do them has actually whetted my appetite but has made me contemplate keeping them myself. I am going to look at the pattern again and if the leaves are the same size for all socks–perhaps i will start with the leaves and then decide whether to make them my size or your size—-Are you really going to give these away?

  164. I suffer from what Nancy McRay at Woven Arts in East Lansing , Michigan has termed AFPAS. Almost Finished Project Anxiety Sydrome. She is also a sufferer-maybe a carrier.
    I have been working on a cream colored Maternity sweater for my daughter-in-law. I am sick of cream-I am sick of the sweater-but since it is a maternity sweater and she is almost 6 mos. into it I have to finish it and soon. It is the Baby Bump sweater from L.Harding’s Knitting for the Natural Baby(I hope that’s the correct title).
    I was so excited at first(you know the feeling-A Baby-Oh, what can I knit)then I moved on to I want to work on this shawl-no a baby sweater-you get the idea. I am almost finished and if I wasn’t reading blogs and making comments I would be done sooner.
    Anyway, all this means-I know how you feel about the socks.

  165. OK – (why is it I always have to write first and then read my precessors’ comments?) They are more beautiful than almost anything I’ve ever seen in my whole natural-born life, those socks (and I have seen the Unicorn Tapestries!). Also – I feel downright worshipful and awed and respectful and can say now, with humility, that I’m glad to be able to knit my earnest little toques. Yarn Harlot, those are SOOOO worth it, and your accounting (from the oopsie leaf on) is absolutely the coolest thing E-VER.

  166. Wow I don’t know how you have not short circuited on these socks. I just short circuited on some pretty simple mittens and now I am shaking in the corner knitting garter stitch rectangles.
    Kudos to you!

  167. I never do such complicated objects, so you have my utmost admiration. Sad in a way tho, my sister imports wine. I was thinking of knitting her a pair. But given that I only finish basic socks, I think not. It’s the thought that counts, right?
    They are so gorgeous!!!! It’s like cashmere socks… you save them for special occasions!

  168. Glorious socks. PIA, but glorious none the less. The only thing better is your ability to write about the experience. Thank you for sharing….
    Single malts, anyone?

  169. Dear Harlot,
    I feel as though I owe you an apology, for in fact I believe that I am responsible for the time warp of your socks. You see, I started a Lady Eleanor wrap not too long ago, and all of a sudden last night I looked up and it was done. I don’t really remember knitting it, but there it is, fringe and all. I can only conclude that the time sucked into your socks has been channeled into my knitting. So…perhaps you could put a lot of extra time-sucking blogging in (and ironing, do you iron), because I’m way behind in that department too. Thanks!

  170. YOU CAN DO IT!! anyone who can finish a book or two or three can surely finish a sock, no matter how mindbogglingly (is that word?) fiddly the pattern may be! GO!GO!GO!

  171. “Decline offer of husband to take pictures of you weeping as you remove leaves.” Awww, that Joe. What a doll. (Why is he ducking?)

  172. Beautiful socks!! Vintage ???? Who wore socks with dangly leaves in times gone by? Perhaps someone stuck in a Canadian winter.

  173. I LOVE you, Stephanie! I read your books before I started knitting and they are what started me. I saw you in Burlington, MA and fell totally in love with you (in a platonic sort of way). I want to BE you. But…
    Hate the socks. Ugleeee. Fugly even. Sorry.

  174. So these are socks, right? Socks, to put on under your shoes, to cover with the legs of your slacks, perhaps then to put inside boots? Who’s going to see the cunning leaf inserted with agonizing care in the toe? Who will appreciate the dozens of leaves icorded somehow above the puffy grapey leg? And is there a chance that all this might be a little lumpy?
    These are not to wear. Hang them on the mantel on Bacchus’ birthday and hope to find a modest Chateauneuf du pape in one. Or the house plonk.

  175. Well, you give the rest of us courage to try things and that’s some reward I suppose! You’re like Canada’s Version of “Rocky”! (I can hear the music as you brace yourself for more leaves & embroidery).
    I kind of like the Claret ones but I’d never go there, if YOU had this type of “where’s the scotch?” moment, I’d never survive. They’re more “art” than socks IMO. I’d frame them rather than give them up! πŸ™‚

  176. I’m glad you’re nearly done. I looked at those and thought how beautiful they were… and thought how I’d drive myself totally mad if I ever attempted them. They’re beautiful, tho.

  177. Are you implying that most people don’t have a good stiff belt of scotch with their oatmeal before attempting something as complicated as those socks?

  178. The first thing I thought of when I started to read your post was the movie “Groundhog’s Day” and that feeling of deja vu…
    The socks are just incredible. You truly are an inspiration! Good luck. I know you can finish them!!

  179. Completely, utterly beautiful…and you and the Tsarina are both completely mad. But in a nice way. Congratulations on (almost) finishing! And in what color would you like your straitjacket?

  180. Oh. I kind of wish I’d read this entry before I actually purchased the socks. (Oh, yeah, right, like I was going to wait!) OK, I’ll just start with the scotch first. (Lovely socks, though.)

  181. The designer of those socks is totally twisted. And you doubly so for taking them on. After all, just because something can be knit, doesn’t mean it’s worth that many hours of your life (and the grey hair) to go through with it.
    Enjoy your post-knitting drink.

  182. I had the same “time loop” experience when I was “almost finished” knitting the edging to a shawl. But just like your socks, when I finished the result was glorious.

  183. Beautiful! Daunting but maybe I’ll do a pair one day. I think you should take the advice found in the theme of the sock and have a glass of wine (save the scotch for the gansey πŸ™‚ ).

  184. Here’s a devilish idea: how about another version of the socks with little leaves embossed all up and down the cuffs? Just kidding, don’t really mean to give you nightmares! πŸ™‚ They look very pretty.

  185. O
    And I was sighing over the less than 50 ends I just wove in.
    I salute you!
    You are insane, but the tenacity with which you cling to your reality construct is highly admirable.

  186. i wish i hadn’t read this becos – readers, i bought those sox!!! and so far, all i have done is turned the tiniest skein into a ball, and decided to use my new wooden knitpick dpns. so i have all this to come, and in February, too …
    well done, they are beautiful, and your odyssey too! thanks a million.

  187. Great socks! I will be ordering the kit asap.
    I think, that to really enjoy them, you must share them with a nice glass of wine or other – may take a ‘wee bit longer’ to knit – but it’s all about the process – one stitch at a time….. or maybe it’s two forward and one back?……

  188. Only think how you’ll feel when you take the photo of these socks on your feet and know we are all swooning. Probably with jealousy.

  189. I’m sorry, but this is terribly encouraging. I’m rather a novice knitter. I’m always in awe of you masterful knitters who improvise complex sweaters out of hand-painted yarn, or look at something like these socks and say, “Yeah, sure,” not, “Maybe 20 years from now I will think about setting aside an entire year to attempt this kind of thing.”
    I struggle with felted purses and simple scarves; I’ve just bought yarn for my first pair of socks, and I think I’m crazy.
    Not to be rude, but it’s so encouraging to hear that even the superknitters have struggles.

  190. If you look carefully at the Tsarinas examples of the colourways of the socks, you can see ONE finished sock, ONE toe of another and just the yarn of the third colourway. Maybe Steph has (will soon have)the only PAIR of these socks.

  191. The socks are indeed lovely but you know you are in trouble when you start referring to the whole process as “work”.

  192. I would love to know what you will wear these socks with, as they appear to have to be worn with your Eve’s costume (unless off course you’re knitting them for a man, in which case it’s his Adam’s costume) as any item of clothing would be far too distracting; then again, walking around naked but for the socks may be slightly distracting too…

  193. The socks are quite awesome. They will be stunning in the way sunsets are stunning. I am in no slight amount of awe at your perseverance.
    Having said all that, I will never attempt them. Just watching you do it is making my head hurt.

  194. Just wondering if your trouser legs will go over all those leaves or were you always planning to shop naked except for the socks? Lets face it after all that work you want them to be noticed right, even if your photo does end up on the front of the local paper!

  195. Watching your progress has satisfied any urge I had to make these myself!! They are outstanding, but don’t think I will live long enough to knit them!! You deserve a medal!

  196. Steph, I can’t help but notice (please don’t ban me from your blog!) :), you frogged the ribbing on one of the socks because it wasn’t the same as the other, but _you can’t see the ribbing_ when the socks are done!
    You are insane, but now I want to knit those socks, so what does that make me?
    PS I just finished reading “Yarn Harlot”. I loved it, it made me laugh and cry (and not just about the knitting). πŸ™‚

  197. Dare I point out, that this post seems to be in sharp contrast to the happy post about knitting all those leaves in the first place? LOL!

  198. I knew I was making the right move in choosing to experience this vicariously. Thanks for taking on this character-building and being-driven-to-drink project for all the rest of us.

  199. The socks are beautiful. Kind of a shame to “hide” them under pants. Hopefully you’ll have a great skirt to wear them with so people can actually see the beauty.

  200. I would be lying if I said I liked the socks, but I admire your tenacity!! In fact I would probably make them just for the challenge… if I hadn’t already experienced the highs and lows vicariously through you!

  201. So. I signed up for her Sock Flock, and I’m getting a bit woosey thinking of how she is going to pull off the Firebird pattern. I’m all excited to do it, but I’m working on a garter stitch blanket to reserve my ‘difficult knitting’ brain power until they arrive in the mailbox. In less than 3 weeks.

  202. Go, Stephanie, GO, Go, Stephanie, GO,Go-oooooo, Stephanie, *GO*
    You can do it. (in bad mexican accent of course)
    By the way, Thanks for the storm, we have today what looks like you had yesterday.
    Now to knit my sister’s wedding shawl, argh

  203. Now those socks are a labor of love. The recipient is one lucky lucky ducky individual.
    It probably would be tacky for you to compile all the posts and accompanying pictures about this project to present along with the socks but, a casual comment about how your readers have been enjoying the socks as much as you might lead them to it.
    Actually, I don’t know if those socks should ever be worn but hung in a rotating frame from the center of your ceiling with a little sign below it detailing all the nuances of the project. It’s history, the artist’s looming or projected madness, etc. They are art!

  204. The socks are beautiful!! My question is, between the coffee and the herbal tea, how many bathroom breaks??? πŸ™‚

  205. you can do it! thank you for sharing the insanity… the socks already look amazing. keep your head high you’re almost there πŸ˜€

  206. These are fantastic, please keep going, I can’t wait to see them when they are finished. I admire your perseverence, as well as your speed! These would take me a full year to make, even if I gave up my job and had food delivered to my house, I swear.

  207. I would wear them once. Then place them in a shadow box frame thingy. Hang it on the wall to be admired & handed down for generations to come. It would also remind you it was begun, then finished….fiddliness & all!
    They are indeed beautiful…
    (would love to have seen the dance for the cat, lolol)

  208. Wow….I mean WOW. Those socks are amazing and beautiful and stunning!
    But I am sure that I will never…ever….ever make these socks myself because if I did I feel sure I would use the DPN’s to pluck out my eyes just to stop the pain!!!
    My needles are raised in a strange Girl Guide like salute to your strength, determination and scotch drinking abilities!!

  209. God you’re good! At writing, and at knitting, ‘a course. A good example of why it’s always so fun to read your blog.
    And comparing the photos on the Vintage Sock page, I think you completely made the right choice to feature the stockinette sides of the leaves. Damn, they’re gorgeous!

  210. The socks are lovely – but certainly for someone who has entirely too much time on their hands – or who suffers from OCD!

  211. Dear Stephanie
    It is time for me to stop being such a voyeur and reveal myself. I am in a knitting slump having knitted myself crazy doing Christmas gifts. So I have been living vicariously through you until I get my mojo back.
    I am waiting expectantly for the picture of you modeling your vintage socks!
    Thank You

  212. The shrine idea mentioned earlier is a good one…I would be scared to ever wash them fearing the leaves would all shrivel up!

  213. Thanks for making me laugh (not at you but with you). Sometimes it’s either laugh or cry (or in this case both). The socks look beautiful so keep going.

  214. me and the thermal from don’t have a good relationship, either. i hate that sweater. i have the body and a sleeve and a half to go then the neckband and i can’t bring myself to touch it. it’s covered by books so i can’t even look at it. at least yours looks better than mine. it has more colors.

  215. They are so beautiful! I wasn’t really onboard with the leaves-on-socks idea at the beginning, but they are gorgeous. And Jeannette is right – it’s NEVER too early for scotch, especially if it’s craft related.

  216. How did you get the arrow on your pictures? I’ve been trying to do that, and I’ve never seemed to figure it out.
    I would frame the socks. I have a puzzle on my dining room table that I’ve been working on for about a month now, and is driving me partially mad, because it’s so tedious. When I’m done, I think I’m going to laminate and frame it so it will go up on my wall.

  217. They really are gorgeous! I, personally, would go with the scotch…as long as you’re stuck at home.

  218. I’m sorry, but I am really the ONLY ONE who thinks theses socks, although beautifully rendered, are none the less absolutely hideous?
    I love this blog, but those socks are fugly…

  219. Yarn Harlot, you are not the only one who will be glad to see the hind end of those socks. I hate to say it, but I really don’t like them. And not because they are ridiculously fiddly. Okay, that’s part of it. But seriously, who in their right mind would ever wear such a thing? And how is it even remotely comfortable to wear sock with leaves stitched on the toes and dangling from the cuff. They look like something the Friendly Giant might wear when he’s chatting with Rusty by the fireplace. That said, you’ve done a lovely job as always and I still love your blog, Vintage Socks notwithstanding.

  220. Oh My Word! The socks are incredibly gorgeous! I worship at your magnificently clad feet….

  221. Go Harlot Go!
    You can do it!
    whoohoo! Finish those socks!
    Go Harlot, Go Harlot, it’s yer birthday, Go Harlot…
    Repeat. :)K

  222. After that first sock I would realize that it is 5 o’clock somewhere and go for the scotch!

  223. If nothing else, this has provided us with a tutorial on incivility, a short list of warning signs: if someone begins “I hate to say it,” they don’t (since they love it better than being polite.)
    By the same token, being rude and ending “Sorry,” simply signals that you’re aware you’ve been offensive and are not sorry at all. If you were you’d have used the delete key.

  224. Rams – Stephanie is so lucky to have such a good friend patrolling the comments. (I wish I had been so lucky when I had a comment section.)

  225. Those socks are so adorable, especially with the leaves. I think that someone up there was snickering at all your trials and tribulations tho, just to get them done! I hope that the person that gets those socks really appreciates them. Me I think that I would frame them and hang them on a wall.

  226. you are frigging crazy. i love the socks. love. them. also have seen the abotanicity from knitty.
    game on Crazy Face…Game. On.

  227. I am not sorry at all about my comment, so on that point I agree entirely. Perhaps the term “fugly” was harsh, but I stand by my opinion. I have knitted numerous “fugly” things in my life and wore them quite proudly at the time. I think one of the aspects of this blog that has made it such a stand out among knitting blogs is it’s sense of honesty and humor. I was attempting to exhibit both those qualities in my post which strikes me as something of an homage to the style of the blog. Did I succeed? clearly you don’t think so. Could I have been subtler? LORD YES, but that is not in my nature really. Who knew the humble sock could create such ripples…BRAVA!

  228. Maybe the socks need a time-out. . . When a project gets under my skin like that, I put it on T/O. It seems to help. (Although, maybe I am actually the one on T/O!)
    Or, you could try a lovely glass of something warm and soothing—like a hot toddy. Great on a cold, snowy winter’s day. πŸ™‚

  229. I guess you won’t be trying that pattern again any time soon! Although….
    You talked about the time space continuum when you were knitting the wedding shawl too, remember? But, I admire your perseverance.
    BTW, How do you drink so much coffee when your hands are busy knitting? A straw?

  230. You could put some Irish whiskey in your coffee any time of day.
    Keep the faith. You are almost done, and we all have your back.

  231. I think that the approach that you need for these is like taking a dive off the 5 meter diving board: just close your eyes and step off and fall and fall until you hit the water. (By the by, point your toes, it keeps the shock from getting too bad.) You can totally do this.
    Also, I’d watch your coffee intake. You can give yourself a heart attack. Mix decaff and regular coffee. It helps.

  232. I was glad to read your comment about the designer, because the first time I saw these socks I had a “Who on Earth would fiddle with these socks, let alone wear them–the designer must be a sadist” moment. The last part of that moment’s thought has been softened. Actually, I guess I also know of at least one person who is/was willing to fiddle with them…now I await pictures of someone actually wearing them…in pubic….

  233. 218 out of 220 people CAN be wrong, of course, but if I were in Dan’s shoes (along with his presumptively boring socks) I would think thrice before so glibly denouncing what was obviously a labor of love (and nearly universally appreciated as such).
    “Fugly” tells us nothing intelligent about the sock and says all we need to know about Dan.

  234. This is like running a marathon, you are fabulous! Such a stunning outcome; they look more and more like some fabulous opera leggings. Yikes, leggings, 32x 64 leaves, yards or trendril. Ieeeeee..thud.
    And, I like how you hold your right hand…it looks much healthier than the stretched out painful thing I do. I’m going to save that picture.

  235. Trish left this earlier:
    “That said, you’ve done a lovely job as always and I still love your blog, Vintage Socks notwithstanding.”
    Gosh, Trish, thanks for clearing that up for me. Here I’d been thinking all along that since this is Stephanie’s blog, that s
    She gets to decide what she knits or talks about on here, and that could be based on Her interests, and Her amusement. Clearly, according to you her projects should based on Your tastes.

  236. Yes, I am fugly both inside and out…oh, the shame is unbearable. Give it a rest people, it’s a blog, not the f’ing Bible.

  237. Damn! I love those socks. I am probably not woman enough to wear something like them, but whoo-ee! I sure think they’re totally awesome!

  238. I have been watching your progress on these socks from day one. The thrill of witnessing the making of something that, well…like a slam dunk in basketball – not everyone can do it. (That includes me…two years into knitting and I still find myself twisting my stitches from time to time – ye gads).

  239. This is my first time posting, but I’ve been a lurker for a while. I just wanted to say that I really like these socks. They look like a lot of fun to knit – I’ll definitely be getting a kit eventually (as soon as I find space in the queue – ha!). To those who are worried about the socks being hidden under shoes and pants, I say that you do the knitting because you enjoy it, and that YOU know you’re wearing awesome socks (sort of like wearing pretty underwear even if you’re single!)!!
    Anyway, I love your blog and I love the socks and I love knitting. Rock on, Yarn Harlot, Rock on.

  240. Ok – I might have sounded rude the other day – but it was probably the way I phrased my question. If you were offended – I am sorry.
    Generally speaking my friends and I often agree – that just because something does not appeal to one of us – it doesn’t mean others won’t love it (I have one friend – when we are at MD Sheep and Wool, we look for yarn for each other. If we dislike a yarn colorway – we know the the other will love it – we never fight about yarn). So – I didn’t say the sock was ugly – I said – it did not appeal to me.
    I special ordered a yarn for my birthday – and when it came in – one woman said – this is the ugliest yarn I have ever seen. I replied – thanks – that’s my birthday present to me. The woman was a bit taken aback – and I replied – that’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla.
    I really did, however, want to know – what the leaves feel like on the sock. Would they pull the sock down – or would they stay up even with the leaves on it? Would you feel the leaves on the sock?
    Lastly – I was trying to indicate my patience level. I would never have the patience to stay on track long enough to do those socks – and it’s unlikely I would get a kick out of knitting a whole slew of little leaves. However, I do have that type of concentration for other things – and people tease me about it at times(IOW – they say I need help).
    I am sorry if anything I said was taken poorly or interpreted as being rude.
    I love reading your blog – and I’d hate to think that something I said was taken as mean spirited.

  241. No, its not the Bible But It IS Stephanie’s Blog and she is very kind to share her life and Knitting with all of us. That said, you are alowed your feelings and no one is taking that away from you but…Would you say “your— project is “fugly” like that (Jem, Trish, Dan) to her in person? The internet isnt as anonymous as you would like, you did have to put your e-mail on here to comment.

  242. Steph the socks are gorgeous, absolutely beautiful!!!! The recipient is one lucky person. The really cool thing for me in reading your blog and others is it gives me the inspiration to better my own knitting and strive for the courage to try things outside my comfort zone!!! Thanks for sharing!! bets

  243. Those socks are freakin’ gorgeous. I would wear them myself (probably only to wine tastings, but that actually does happen fairly often these days).
    You can’t drink scotch, though, with grape-themed socks. Wine, a fortified wine like port or medeira, sure. Even brandy; it comes from grapes. But not scotch. πŸ˜‰

  244. Dan-
    If anyone really thought they were ugly, wouldn’t they say it? I think they are gorgeous and you are just jealous of their gorgeousness. :b

  245. Holy lord. I had no idea the sheer mess that had exploded in these comments! I’m sorry, Steph. No one “has to say it,” and I don’t believe them to be “sorry,” either (at least not in the apologetic sense of the word.
    While I agree that blogs beget dissension, rudeness is never excused – and I’m pretty sure the people proclaiming the fug were being rude. My favorite term for those people is “asshats.” Say it. You’ll like it. ^_^

  246. WOW!!! I was so anxious to see how these came together, I just couldnt imagine where and how the leaves went and were added.
    For one that looks SOOOO complex I am sure I would have some sort of mental episode that I wouldnt recover from, they look amazing once in place though.

  247. Am I the only knitter who will wear a long skirt with silk long johns and bright hand knit socks!? I can sooo see myself sporting these around the hallways at work and having the leaves moving as I walk!
    love ’em!

  248. Glad you finished the socks. I admire all the work that went into them, even though they would not be the socks for me. It’s cool that you do know someone who they are perfect for. Can’t wait for you to come to Michigan again. Remember coming on April Fools day is probably a bad idea. Maybe you should have a knitter pick you up. I would definitely be willing to come get you in the Mom mini-van. You could sit in the front. My oldest isn’t as messy as the twins!!

  249. I think those socks are amazing and intricate and scary beautiful. I don’t think I love anyone in my life enough to make those socks for them. I really don’t.

  250. I love these socks. Personally I would have like the leaves not sewn down so they flop around when you are dancing around the house in these totally cool socks…
    Now I wish I knew how to knit, I only know how to crochet πŸ™‚

  251. I there, I too have been watching the progress of the socks. I must admit I wasn’t enthralled with them. But now? Now, they are AWESOME and you are the supreme knitter finisher-completer.
    I think they should be framed and admired by all who worship at your yarn-covered feet. (Um, any change of your jetting over the pond to the UK please? We really would like to see you. Thank you.

  252. The socks are just beautiful. I teach Third graders–as well as knit in my somewhat limited spare time and I always teach the children that you can never take back words once they are out of your mouth. Some of you said some unkind things, that cannot be taken back. Think before you write or speak something you later would be ashamed of. Stephanie, you should be so proud of those socks. They are truly an accomplishment. I just wish I could knit a sweater that turns out to be the right size, much less those wonders that you made! Have a scotch!

  253. Great job on the socks, Steph! Those have to be the most unique socks I have ever seen, and your work on them is superb.
    I’ve been trying to imagine how I would wear them if I made them, since I’m a jeans-and-Crocs kind of gal. Do you have an idea of how the recipient is going to wear them? It would be a shame to cover them up with shoes and pants.
    When she does wear them, will you tell us? Maybe take pictures and show us?

  254. i think some people here have missed one crucial point:
    people are entitled to their own opinions. just as steph can choose what she wants to knit, readers can choose whether they like a project or not.
    just because someone says these socks don’t appeal to them personally does NOT mean they’re rude. in fact, wouldn’t you consider it rude to lie?
    that being said, i do agree that there’s a tactful way to express one’s opinions. going on and on about how the socks are ugly is most certainly not tactful. saying “eh. they don’t appeal to me” is, i think, quite tactful.
    for the record- i’m not digging those socks. but i certainly appreciate how much time and effort (and patience!!) went into them, and even if they were stunning, i think the knitting process itself would still have been the most impressive aspect of it.

  255. Wow, those aren’t socks, they’re works of art! If you ever feel like making another pair I would love them.

  256. I ordered one of these kits in Claret last week. The post about being in “the zone” when you were knitting the leaves made me decide I had to have one.
    I’m probably never going to wear them, even though I think they’re fabulous. But I have been a knitter for 38 years, and have never been able to resist a knitting challenge. πŸ™‚

  257. Wow! I can’t believe how utterly rude and bold individuals are here…If you don’t like someone’s project go away and look at something different…leave your attitude and rude opinion with yourself.

  258. I personally LOVE these socks. I don’t think I’ll knit them in the next 10 years, but thats purely my own lack of patience.
    I don’t think I’d care if people couldn’t see the main work under there – I’d know, and really, it would be like having a delicious secret that makes you smile all the time. And who wouldn’t like that?

  259. WOW! And I would so totally wear them to work with my birks, toes shwoing, leaves flying. I aspire to making socks, but these…!

  260. I know I could never in a million years make these socks, but BOY, I am *so* tempted to get the kit. Just to have something so purty. Mebbe I’ll just do the leaves and the i-cord (b/c I’m idiot enough for that!) on a background of stockinette, and frame it. Hmmmm.

  261. Ummm, I say knit the sock. After all, you do have a few sweaters to wear . . .
    The Olympic colorwork sweater:
    The Rhinebeck sweater:
    (And the other, blue, cabled Rhinebeck cardi, which I can’t find a link for right now . . .)
    Sunrise Circle Jacket:
    Juno Cardi:
    Then again, if you’re tired of any of the sweaters you’ve already knit up, you could always hold charity auctions and sell them for Doctors Without Borders.
    Just a few thoughts. ;o)

  262. These socks are really cool and interesting, Stef! If I were making them myself, for myself, I would opt for some shade of light green for the leg and foot, but that’s just me. I’m half tempted to try my hand at them, but…all those leaves! All that embroidery! I know…I knit, I spin, I dye, the more complicated the Aran pattern the better, but…somehow I don’t think I would have the patience for this project. I am glad there are people who DO have the patience, and…well, as usual I am never going to say never…

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