I’ve heard a lot while I knit these socks. I’ve thought a lot while I knit these socks. They were a challenge, and I’m very happy with how they turned out. I don’t think they were that hard either. Sure, they demanded a certain degree of patience, sure, they demanded that I learn…. but I knit because I like to learn, I like making interesting things and I find knitting, in all it’s forms….compelling. I can’t tell you how many cool tricks or techniques I learned on the way to finished with these babies, and I feel proud. I’m going to give you my thoughts on some of the things I’ve heard about these socks…because I’ve asked myself the same things. (Note: Amanda’s feet are a lot smaller than the recipients. The right size feet will change the fit a lot, especially through the toes.)


Wouldn’t you be afraid to wear them? What if you walked holes in them?

I want them to be worn. This much of my time and energy should be on the person, not near them. I don’t mind that socks get used up. I think things are more valuable and special when you know they are temporary. Would getting gifts be the same if you got them every day? Would cashmere be thrilling if all of your yarn was cashmere? I love that these have a finite, unpredictable life span. It makes them special, exactly because they won’t be here forever. (By the way? They are actually very durable, the same as regular socks. The leaves are sewn on very securely and I washed them the same way I wash all handknit socks and then simply lay them flat to dry, without them suffering a single ill effect. They may be fragile looking, but they’re as tough as any socks.)


What the H-E – double hockey sticks would you wear them with?

Amanda’s wearing them the way I imagine the recipient will. With a bathrobe or your home pants, kicking around the house. I don’t know that I can exactly imagine the business outfit this would go with, though seriously…wouldn’t you love the thought of those gorgeous, over the top socks in all their frivolous glory worn under your pants at a meeting?


It seems hard to imagine putting that much work into something that nobody will see.

I know, but it’s really ok with me. I think of these the way I think of nice underpants. Just because nobody but you (and selected personnel) will see them is no reason not to have beautiful things if it turns your crank. These aren’t for me, but if they were, I wouldn’t think of them as something “nobody” would see, since I’m not nobody. Given that they are a gift though? It’s enough that the recipient will see ’em and figure that I must love them a whole lot.


I can’t believe you fixed the ribbing when you can’t even see the ribbing.

Yeah. I know. I wondered myself about that one. The issue was really more that I had worked so freakin’ hard on these that it seemed stupid to compromise at that point. It would have always bothered me that I knit 34 perfect wee leaves and an inlaid toe, but I screwed up the ribbing and left it. As it is, now I can look at these and think about how they are just as close to perfect as I can make them…and that gives me a great feeling of pride.

About yesterday:

There were many interesting comments, and many, many comments that weren’t quite what I was looking for. I wasn’t looking for the people who left the negative comments to be insulted, hurt or demonized, and I think that in places the comments approached (despite my own articulation that I didn’t think they were bad, nasty or unwelcome) the level of unthinking that started the thing in the first place. The whole time this has been going on, I keep thinking ” Seriously? All I did was knit a pair of socks you don’t like and that’s it? Somebody can get insulting?” (Then the part of me that is an adult kicks in and says ” and all they did is insult a sock (or a designer) and you’re goint to lose it? Nice maturity there Steph.”)

I admit, that while I wasn’t hurt myself, believing the comments to be more thoughtless than cruel, I did feel more than a pang for the designer. I know her. She’s nice, and she reads this blog and I thought that it was disrespectful to her to counter her 32 page, absolutely perfectly clear pattern which must have taken her so much time and energy with only “It’s ugly”. One investment (even if you don’t like it) deserves another, doesn’t it? Amy (a reader) left a great comment:

As you said, I enjoy debate – I love listening to reasonable, rational, argument. However, calling someone’s knitting “ugly” sounds like the old “you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny.” There’s no art in it. It’s not debate, it’s not argument, it’s just insult.

There is is. My point exactly. If the negative comments had offered any more at all than a drive-by insult, I wouldn’t have worried. I get negative comments right left and centre. Doesn’t keep me awake at all, as long as it serves a purpose – or has a goal. I know for a fact (as I said yesterday) that nobody who called these socks ugly was out to hurt me – or the designer. I know they aren’t bad people, and they don’t deserve insult. However, they did make a comment without thinking, and I’ve always found pointless communication frustrating. I spend hours wondering what the point of pure opinion without reason is, or what exactly is wrong with society that “I’m just being honest” or “I have a right to an opinion” isn’t countered with “Why would you share that with me?” If the answer is “because I believe that something will change as a result of our interaction”, that’s good enough for me. it doesn’t have to be nice, but if there’s no answer, or no reason, then I just can’t get behind it. The rule on this blog is not “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” That wouldn’t invite conversation or debate. The rule here is “If you wouldn’t say it if you were in my living room, then don’t say it.”

Sandra offered a wonderful comment that actually did speak to motive and was exactly the sort of thinking I was hoping to hear:

Maybe this person was surprised that there were so many raves about these socks – no one had really said they didn’t like them but this person didn’t and maybe wondered what was wrong with his/her judgement? Maybe the person needed someone else to agree with him/her before he/she felt that their opinion was valid. Prehaps they thought that someone else might agree in the comments and then he/she could say – well, I WAS right. This kind of approval seeking can blind one to what is said – i.e. it was a poor choice of words if one did not mean to be hurtful – and perhaps he/she didn’t.

I think she’s probably bang on. We all want approval for our opinions, and there’s nothing wrong with that. All I ask for is a little thoughtfulness when forming negative comments. If there is something you don’t like, don’t like it with some literate skill. Tell me why you don’t like it. Talk about the items or the work in a way that could inspire change or insight. Give constructive criticism. Make it good. Have a reason beyond pure opinion.

Then take a deep breath, and knit.

556 thoughts on “Stet

  1. Bravo to Lisa for the insanely intricate design, and bravo to Steph for the insane dedication to their knitting.
    To anyone who doesn’t like them: it’s OK not to like them. And it’s OK to have your own opinion about them. If you’d like to debate whether they’re ugly or beautiful, why not raise the question politely in your OWN virtual living room? I hate when Steph has to stop knitting to clean up someone’s muddy “footprints” on her carpet.

  2. Lovely!
    Just keep knitting … just keep knitting … breathe … and when in doubt, just keep telling yourself, “It’s only a movie.”

  3. I think that the range of comments that are on your blog always demonstrate what a diverse community of knitters there are. Everyone has their own opinion in this world, but need to remember that even if shared, it is only their own.
    IMO, I love fancy socks.

  4. OH my gosh! I’m number two!
    I think the socks are freaking awesome and love the notion of wearing them under your dress slacks at a meeting. I’ll have to remember that when I move back into the corporate world. A little colorful sanity in an insane world.
    Missed the whole debate. I’ll have to read the comments this weekend.

  5. They are really an impressive knit. I hope the recipient enjoys them as much as you enjoyed knitting them

  6. beautiful socks! and I think they make fabulous housesocks.
    And all this talk of socks made me knit a pair. Well, 1 so I’m hoping to start the second one tomorrow.
    More pics of your beautiful city and snow please. Here in MN ( well my part of it) our snow is well, icky. Melty and drive on and played in. just used up looking.

  7. Hey Stephanie, I figured since I was the only post so far that you might actully see this! I’ve just started reading your blog a few months ago and it is truly the highlight of my day. I leave the site minimized at the bottom of my screen and keep checking to see when a new post is up. I love what you knit and I love how you write about it. And I love that I learn from you and that we can all share what we love. I am working on a shawl that had a number of errors in the pattern and was tearing my hair out, since I’ve never done anything like this before. I even posted on some blogs for help, but alas, no help. So I slogged on through it, reversed instructions from side to side, and actually fixed the pattern mistakes all by my lonesome self!! Kind of the same thing you did with the socks…it was an opprtunity to learn and I find myself a much more experienced knitter with alot more confidence in myself than if it had all been perfectly easy. So hats (or should I says socks and shawl) off to us both for being so mature about it!! Keep on posting…I love it!

  8. I know how I’d wear them. We live in a snowy climate. The done thing when you go to a casual party at some one’s house is to take off your boots and spend the evening in your socks. So, we all need party socks. I’d wear my black slacks with the narrow ankles and pull the socks on over them. Maybe I should order that kit.

  9. They are lovely! What an accomplishment. I’d wear them everywhere, and they wouldn’t be hidden, because I’d be so busy pulling up my pant legs and showing them off to everyone, even strangers on the street!

  10. Wow, this is the first time I haven’t had to read 100+ comments before posting my own.
    These socks inspire me to finish my first pair of 1×1 ribbing followed by plain stockinette socks so that I can get better and someday get to the point where I am crazy enough to make these socks. And I totally agree with the fact that I would wear them under a perfectly legitimate business suit. They are like the fancy, uber sexy, lace underwear for your feet. No one else knows you are wearing them, but you do and you can know the difference.

  11. Wow, this is the first time I haven’t had to read 100+ comments before posting my own.
    These socks inspire me to finish my first pair of 1×1 ribbing followed by plain stockinette socks so that I can get better and someday get to the point where I am crazy enough to make these socks. And I totally agree with the fact that I would wear them under a perfectly legitimate business suit. They are like the fancy, uber sexy, lace underwear for your feet. No one else knows you are wearing them, but you do and you know the difference.

  12. The socks remind me of ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ by Shakespeare. Just enjoying the moment. As in art, it doesn’t always have to BE something of great utilitarian use. Very excited that the recipient is going to enjoy them for what they are, and glad you enjoyed and learned something during the ride (knit). Three cheers, Steph! They are a marvel.

  13. Those are Robin Hood and Maid Marian swashbuckling socks. Knitting that makes you take a walk through the woods on a beautiful day–pure art.

  14. loved what you said about the negative comments. my feeelings exactly, if you’re going to be critical of my work, tell me why, and offer a better solution (if applicable), to say it’s “X”, and not say why is well, stupid and pointless. i think the photos of the finished product modeled makes a huge differenct, btw.

  15. loved what you said about the negative comments. my feeelings exactly, if you’re going to be critical of my work, tell me why, and offer a better solution (if applicable), to say it’s “X”, and not say why is well, stupid and pointless. i think the photos of the finished product modeled makes a huge differenct, btw.

  16. Hmm. when I talk about something I don’t like so much (leaving a comment on a blog, or something like that), I’ll usually start out saying something like “well, they’re not my style, but..” and them go on to appreciate the work involved, or find something else POSITIVE to say. Or if it’s a point of technical criticism (and that must be asked for!), I’ll say “there’s *this*; have you thought of trying *this*?” I say those things in person, too.
    But then, I compliment people randomly in the street if I see something about them that strikes me.
    For the record, those socks aren’t my usual style, but I sure as heck wanna make ’em anyway! Maybe in a different colorway though…

  17. I’ve never knit a pair of socks. I’m stuck on the “scarf and things that don’t require a swatch” treadmill.
    I could never imagine knitting such an intricate project. I’m amazed that such socks can be knit.
    I like them. Not on me. But I imagine my mom, aunt, mother-in-law, and grandmother would all love them.
    They are the perfect “gift knit”.
    Impressive knitting. Great site. Could not knit without your site and books.
    Keep it going.

  18. P.S. I would wear those socks to my “corperate” job the same reason I wear undies made of fabric with muppets pictures to work. It’s my way of stickin’ to the man. And also my way of simply amusing myself during the workday.

  19. The socks are stunning. What a lucky recipient! I would never in a million years put that much work into a pair of socks. If they were mine I would wear them (and nothing else) out the front door every day to pick up my paper so the whole world could appreciate them.

  20. “It’s because people suck. Pure and simple. Not all of them, but a lot of them.” That was the first comment on yesterday’s blog. Holy smoke! Get a grip. I appreciated your final sentence today. Indeed, we should all take a deep breath, and knit.

  21. The pictures I’ve been waiting to enjoy! Ahhhhh!
    Congratulations! Will the recipient (the lucky lucky well-loved recipient) someday share a photo of the socks on the Chosen Feet?
    Oh, and now that you’ve really got this design all figured out, do you have any desire to make the Merlot? Just for fun? 🙂

  22. On the “where would you wear them” question: I can totally picture them with a corduroy skirt that hits about mid-calf, so that the cool cuff detail shows a bit, and a pair of brown leather clogs. I even have the skirt and clogs. Want my address in case you need to knit another pair?

  23. the socks are still lovely, in my view. so lovely, that i have bought a kit, in a different colourway, for myself, even though i am terrified of the time they will take out of my already overstuffed schedule.
    even better is your well-worded consideration of the negative reactions you have received. i do believe, sadly, that there is evidence that we in the western world ARE becoming careless of the effect our words can have, or worse, downright desirous of their destructive effect. perhaps the creativity that emanates from your work and the work of others like you, and knitters generally, can help to counteract that tendency. so for my sake at least, keep up the good work. and i do hope you celebrated with at least one, preferably several glasses of chablis! In fact, i’m starting my sox that way! ;)))

  24. As a lurker (and not a terribly great knitter… lol), I usually don’t comment but I think that this situation in particular calls for me to say something!!!
    I whole heartedly agree with you and Amy! The people who criticize for the sake of criticizing (its “ugly”) are really, in my opinion, just falling down the rabbit hole of 8-year-old insults.
    The design is truly beautiful and incredibly complicated – as we can see from the days and days that you have put into it – and needs to be recognized as such. Yes, there might be quite a few people who wouldn’t wear a pair of socks that are that intricate – but that doesn’t make the design ugly, nor does it mean that the designer is stupid.
    There are a lot of things that I would never wear that I think of as absolutely beautiful – ie, quite of a few of the dresses shown during Fall 2008 Fashion week in New York. It just wouldn’t be practical for me to wear them to the office. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t appreciate the amount of time and effort put into these beautiful designs.
    And thats what I think needs to be recognized – that this particular designer put hours and hours of effort into something that she (and many others obviously!) thought was beautiful.
    So, I guess what I’m saying is… thank you for knitting (and for your friend designing) these socks!! They are truly beautiful and I enjoyed watching them come to life!
    And now I’m going to get off my lurker soap box and attempt to go back to work. 🙂 And then get on the train and knit on my way home… (*deep breath*)

  25. I always pictured someone wearing these with a skirt and birkenstocks. After I knit my first pair of socks I bought new shoes to show them off and I think it would be unfair to wear those socks with anything that would cover up that toe!
    A 32 page pattern!!! Wowza!

  26. ps.: do you ever come to London – i’m dying to meet you, and you can stay at my place, it’s central, i knit, drink wine, and have a lovely husband, and a daughter who is studying knitting textile design at central st martin’s – now you can’t do much better than that, can you? this offer is genuine, btw. ;))

  27. The socks are BEAUTIFUL! Though I have yet to knit super fancy socks, your point that they are like super fancy undies makes me think I should go start a pair today. =]
    When it comes to the intended uses of these particular socks, I love all the ones that you mentioned, but I think it’s important that the following option be considered as well:
    these socks can be worn as part of the coolest bacchus costume EVER!
    Think about it…everyone loves wine, and if they don’t love wine they love mythology, and if they don’t love mythology they love togas, and if they don’t love togas they love grapes, and if they don’t love grapes they probably wouldn’t love these socks, so the beauty of the socks are already lost on them.
    (The suggestion of the socks as part of a costume is not at all meant to hint that they’re only appropriate for a costume, or that they’re not beautiful art or anything like that…it’s just meant to hint that they’d make a super awesome costume for my favorite mythological dude. =] )

  28. While I would not wear those socks in that colourway, you are the man for knitting them in less than the year it would probably take me, and the designer is a knitting demi-goddess.
    If I saw someone with those on, I would think they were zany, but owning their zaniness. If a friend pulled up her trouser leg to show them to me after our terminally boring sales meeting, she would be my new hero (especially if she had on sock suspenders as well!!)
    I may not agree with what you are knitting, but I would defend with all my stash your right to knit it.

  29. These socks are a work of art, a labour of love, and exquisite eye candy, although, as Steph says, where would you wear them? Beautiful. Lovely. Stunning. Never mind what anyone else says.

  30. This is my first time posting here. It is such a blessing to have seen the progress on these socks. While you were knitting them I thought many times “I’ll never knit those” mostly because I know myself and my problem with sticktoitiveness. I also thought a time or two, “I can’t imagine ever wearing those socks.” For 2 reasons I think, because I have very little imagination to begin with, and because I would want them to be noticed, not covered in pants and shoes.
    But now that you have the pictures with the robe, I feel myself becoming much more imaginative. Dreaming of a long soak in a tub on a weekend, donning the socks and robe/jammies. Sipping hot chocolate in front of a fire. Throw a little knitting in the mix. Perfection. Maybe I should consider this pattern.
    Thank you for your way with words and sharing your life with us.

  31. Just want to say that if you don’t get “Best Blog” I will be amazed. You deal with so many things outside of knitting and yarn and in such an honest, thoughtful, insightful (and hilarious!) way that I get a great deal of pleasure out of reading the result. Thank you!

  32. well said. (of course)
    So.. the socks…. if I didn’t have the legs of a tree trunk… I could see the leaves peeking out from the tops of a great pair of boots… worn over tights and under a longish skirt…. (if I had really great legs a short skirt- just for extra show.
    Or- of course- as a cold footed michigander who’s husband is sick to death of my icy feet being placed between his legs in the middle of the night.. I could think of no more luxurious way to warm your tootsies in bed.
    I recant my earlier statement of “if you don’t have anything nice to say, say nothing at all” I like Harlot rules better.
    But I still say :”Play nice”

  33. When I knit my first pair of socks, I stuck to the pattern, was at times confused by the pattern, but with help from friends, finished those socks and learned a lot in the process. Now I find myself knitting my fourth pair, looking at the leftover mini-balls of sock yarn, and designing a new pair in my head, combining colors I might never have dared to do before, using my own ideas. Stray from a pattern?? Gasp! Who would have thought I’d reach this place as a knitter? But Stephanie, with your spirit of adventure and lovely artistic creations, your ‘fearless knitter’ attitude has spilled over onto a lot of us, and I thank you.
    ~ Dar

  34. They take my breath away, they are so beautiful. I would absolutely wear them around the house – perfect with a robe, as they would keep peeking out at me. We wear beautiful things because they make us feel beautiful. When they get worn, darn them! Remember those wooden darning things? My Mom had one, and really used to darn Dad’s socks. Now I would never do that for my husband -in the garbage they go. But for socks like this, I would be borrowing the darning thing from Mom asap. And I would be asking you if you had any leftover yarn I could use. And I would darn them until there was nothing left to darn. Some things are meant to be held on to. Like these socks. So come on, who is getting them? She has to be pretty darn special to deserve these. If she doesn’t know now how special she is, she will after she receives them!!
    So lovely….

  35. I think they are wicked wonderful, but I love socks. All socks. I would wear them, proudly, in public and surely would be the envy of all sock lovers.

  36. I am so torn. I commented earlier that as much as I love them, I would never have the patience. But now that I see the finished product…. and I think of my sister, the wine importer….I can see myself caving in to the yearning.
    If I order now, they might be finished for next Christmas!

  37. Well, mea culpa. I was a little harsh because I think offensiveness in the name of “honesty” is a cop-out. I do think some people turn off that filter between brain and mouth when the “mouth” is online, because of the feeling that you’re just talking to yourself, when in fact, you’re talking to the whole world. Mostly, I think it’s a question of tact. I can say that I’m not that enchanted with the colors of your pair of socks (primarily because those colors make me look as if I’ve been ill for a long time) without being rude or offensive. Can’t I? I must add, though, the socks themselves are a work of art. The recipient will be thrilled!

  38. Holy crap- 32 pages of intructions! They model really well- the grapes look more like a bunch when worn. Very cool!!

  39. “BE PROUD”—these socks are a work of ART–
    I love them and are amazed by them!! They deserve to be worn NAKED with nothing else as a distraction!!!!
    Congratulations to you and the designer:):):):)

  40. I love the socks & think they should be worn for all to see the great effort that went into them, both in the design & the knitting.

  41. Hmmmm one further point:
    (then I’ll shut up- for now)
    I do a bit of public speaking, and am honest to say- that out of a group of around 500 I’ll have evaluations turned in at the end by say 100- and of that 100- 2-3 will be negative, in the not constructive way… general statements like “Never have this speaker again” stuff like that.
    You know- the other 97-98 can be glowing with love… but it’s the 2 negative ones I remember. Designers- writers- speakers- etc… we’re all in the same boat, not sure if I’ll ever develop a thick enough skin to not have it bother me (nor would I really want to- I’m having wrinkle issues already;)
    But I think the reminder that designers, writers, speakers etc are real people with feelings is a good one. As is the reminder that “drive-bys” are inevitable, and not really valuable for making anything better, including knitting;)

  42. The only “problem” I have with the socks is that I want to knit them too! I am trying so hard to
    “be good” and remind myself that I have an enormous stash of yarn and zero hours in the day
    (tis the highschool musical season and one does need to have costumes…) but I will say it again–I want to knit those socks! In all three colorways. You and the Tsock Tsarina rock!
    And–the world will always have rude people. My mother would say “Just ignore them.”

  43. I still think they’re amazing and those leaves are to die-for. What I like best about what you wrote today is that you captured for me why I do any type of handmade gift–it doesn’t how much time it takes, what it looks like, whether it is temporary or permanent, it’s a gift of yourself and your time and there is nothing more valuable or meaningful to both offer and receive. I’d love to get the pattern kit to both have the yarn but make the leaves and then use them in some funky way in my home…those leaves are just too cool. Your friend is so lucky! And we are even luckier to be able to read a bit of Stephanie every day!

  44. You know, when I first saw that you were going to start knitting the socks, I thought to myself, “Those are cool looking and will probably be very interesting to construct…but I would never wear them.” And I think that’s fine. There is so much in the knitting world that is cool looking and looks rather fun to make, but wouldn’t actually be something I would want.
    And they ARE cool looking, and the journey seemed interesting…isn’t that what a hobby is for? And if someone went to the trouble to knit up a pair of socks for me…I would wear them where/when I thought they were appropriate. It is too cool when people go to extreme efforts to show that you are special to them!
    I think I’m just rambling…but it bothers me when people just go around saying that things are ugly when appearance isn’t the only factor. And they aren’t ugly…they simply didn’t appeal to that person’s taste. (And when did one person’s opinion ever decide the whole of beautiful and ugly?)
    Good job on the socks, they’re really cute.
    (And I have had a lady stand in my living room and criticize the way I decorate, saying that she needed to take me to her favorite store and help me out…some people don’t care or are just too thick-skulled to realize that some things are just better left unsaid, no matter what admiration there is for being honest!)

  45. I love the socks even though I would not wear them myself, I know a few people who would turn cartwheels to have a pair. As for the comments, I was under the apparently mistaken impression that gamers were more prone to such behavior and thus I point you to John Gabriel’s Internet Dickwad theory which goes thusly:
    Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Dickwad
    For insights into gaming culture and interesting tidbits from two fantastic comics see, and yes they are just as community driven as knitters, and these two guys are just as adament about the importance of community and respect as Ms Harlot.
    Keep it up Steph

  46. I happen to really like them, however, that said, they would not be something I would knit for myself, maybe as a gift
    kudos to the designer!!!

  47. Well, I will say that I wasn’t in love with the socks– but LOVED hearing about them and I think I would have enjoyed the project– at least as much as I could bring myself to do of them. But now that they’re done and are actually on feet, I have to say I’m kinda in love with them. It makes me wish I had the kind of follow through you apparently have so that I could finish a pair of socks like that.

  48. Now that I see a nice, clear shot of the finished socks, I have to say that the artistry and skill involved in this project is really inspiring. They are (whether to be worn or not to be worn) a thing of beauty. And a thing of beauty, as we know, is a joy forever!
    I would love to see a pic of the lucky recipient with her socks!

  49. You know, I kind of though they would be knee-socks. They turned out great, but what would you wear them with?

  50. I’m surprised that you actually got the socks back from Amanda after she modeled them. If my mom knit socks like that and then asked me to model them for a photo I would refuse to take them off.
    They’re not just a work of art Steph, they’re also pretty freaking cool.

  51. You knit socks like I knit dishcloths. It’s all about the process, want to try a new stitch make a useful thing out of it. Sure you can buy dishcloths at the dollar store, but why?
    Can hardly wait to see what you are doing next!

  52. *hugs* if you like them. Wish the brouhaha hadn’t happened to annoy you so. Hopefully it won’t happen again for at least a year. 😉
    The socks are gorgeous; I completely get the ‘lovlieness for its own sake’ of them. In a New England winter, they look beautifully warm, too! (must knit DH’s socks faster… he needs love and warm feet as well.) They’re really so nice that your model may not want to give them up!
    I really hope the future recipient is as thrilled as I would be receiving something so lovely and expertly made.

  53. the socks are a work of art
    wearable art as it is called
    just lovely breakfast in bed socks
    as for past comments i guess
    sometimes when we are dressing
    in the dark we get our pants
    on backwards then when
    we step out in the world
    its pardon me but did you know
    you have a fine liveing room
    gets a little dusty now and then
    but nothing i can really complain
    about tis a lovely room
    my birthday was the 7th and you did
    send me a card and i am still
    speaking to you we knitters are
    very forgiveing people

  54. The socks are truly art to be worn. Maybe with some type of peek a boo toes to show off all their intricate parts. You just can’t cover up the toes in some clogs. That would never do them justice, even with the nicest skirt. Maybe a nice sandal…

  55. What an amazing pattern! It looks incredible, and I’m sure the recipient will be honoured to wear something you put so much of yourself into.

  56. Gorgeous socks – and a wonderful design. I’m glad you want them to be worn not preserved. Even if the heels wear out, the glory of all those leaves will survive. 🙂
    I think it’s amazing and wonderful that the pattern, all 32 pages, was clear and error-free!
    If they were given to me (I wouldn’t have the patience to knit and finish all the leaves), I would wear them proudly with open-toe sandals and shorts – or maybe even a skirt. They’d be perfect for a wine tasting or special party – or just for kicking back on the couch and admiring them while thinking of the person who put so much time and love into them.

  57. I was amazed and saddened to read that someone had been ‘ugly’ about these socks or ugly at all in commenting…what’s the point?
    Frankly, I look at them and say ‘she’s CRAZY’ but crazy in a good way, a knitterly way, a way that I understand totally. The socks turned out BEAUTIFULLY! Congratulations on a wonderful job!

  58. I think the socks are gorgeous.Who’s the lucky recipient?
    I would be thrilled if someone would knit me anything half as beautiful.
    It feels so good to finish a gift for someone you know will appreciate it. I knit a very plain blue wool scarf for a friend who has told me repeatedly how much he likes it, and I’ve seen him wear it. No one ever knit anything for him before.

  59. I would definitely wear these socks. They are fabulous and fun and entirely capture the feeling of fall for me (which is my favorite season). I’m a very new knitter and only aspire to such amazing aptitude in knitting. I haven’t even made my first pair of socks yet, though I have bought the yarn. Hope this kit is still available by the time I get good enough to actually make it.
    Thanks for the terrific blog, it not only provides great humor but inspiration as well. I appreciate it greatly, as I see many others do to. Thank you again.

  60. Love the socks, love the blog. My 11 year old boybarian walked by looked at them and said, “cool, Tarzan socks”. Be well.

  61. Well, the socks are just wonderful. They’re truly art. And even wearing them around the house, wouldn’t you and the recipient feel fabulous just knowing they’re on your feet and taking a look at them every so often. Wonderful things are meant to be used otherwise what’s the point of having them. Bravo to your tenacity and perseverance in knitting them. You done good.

  62. I have been watching the progrss of the socks with facination. I am not sure I would knit them myself but that is not relevant. I have lots of pattern books and booklets that have things I would never knit. But I love them. I have patterns for doll furniture that is knit. I stare in facination at the knitted grandfather clock and shake my head. I am amazed at the creativity that is involved in the creation of such a pattern. There is a book I desperately want. A friend of mine has a copy. It is the Royal Crown Jewels and other accoutrements of royalty all knitted. I have heard many comments such as they are ugly or stupid but I love to look at them and marvel at the designer. I can see the humour and whimsey in the designs. These socks are like that for me.

  63. While the socks are just not my style, I LOVE LOVE LOVE the leaves. I love their shape and colour and want to knit a whole bunch of leaves JUST BECAUSE. And in terms of wearing something like this outside the house to work, I would do it without thinking twice about it. I buy the funny patterned socks and wear them every day – it’s just my little thing that I do and have never thought about it. I was absolutely delighted when my friend and co-worker came over and kicked off her boots to see that she also wears the “kids” socks.

  64. “There is no beauty without strangeness in proportion” Francis Bacon
    Those socks are a little strange, and do evoke a strong response in some… I agree the strangeness does not excuse “unthinking” behaviour. I think I fall alongside the Harlot and Sandra in my belief that when a person doesn’t know how to interpret a strong feeling or new experience, it may seem logical to sound it out and seek validation. Why it was done in this public forum is a question only the commentor(s) can answer for themselves.
    Personally, I love the socks. Would I knit them? Probably not. That said, my missing desire to knit up a pair does not detract from the respect I have for designer and knitter. You 2 have amazing tenacity and skill.
    I’d just rather drink a vintage than knit it. 😉

  65. Interesting, and quite valid. You’re right, you don’t get discussion without differing opinions being stated. Insults, however, are something else…Anyway, I thought the socks were fun!

  66. The Vintage socks are not my cup of tea. I prefer simpler designs. That being said, they are definitely a work of love and like all works of love, deserve to be admired as such. I hope your recipient likes them and wears them out.

  67. Wow!! The socks are so impressive. Beautiful work by the designer and the knitter! What a lucky recipient that will be!
    And thank you for your words about blogging and kindness. I always appreciate what you have to share about blogging, writing, knitting…and well, whatever else you want to say for that matter. 😉
    Have a lovely weekend!

  68. I could see the socks being worn with a skirt and clogs as well as being the fanciest houseslippers I’ve ever seen. You did a great job.

  69. So, does the leaf on the toe feel a bit strange, or is it an initial awareness that quickly goes away? I honestly think it would drive me up a wall to have the knit pull slightly differently across the toe. I have really sensitive feet.
    Because of that, I would, if I were the beloved receipient, display them in a shadow box with a beautiful bottle of chablis, as the absolute art they are.

  70. Wow! These look really great on the foot. While not exactly my cup of tea, they sure look like interesting knitting. I kind of wish I had a person in my life that would love them like the one in yours.

  71. >>However, they did make a comment without thinking, and I’ve always found pointless communication frustrating. I spend hours wondering what the point of pure opinion without reason is.
    Me, too; and the older I get, the more frequently I seem to encounter apparently thoughtless expression/behavior for the sake of venting, almost always on someone unrelated to people’s issues. I know they don’t know they’re doing it, but if they subject me (or others) to it, I tend to feel I (or others) have a right to know what’s behind it, so we can take it in context. Usually, it seems like deeper personal issues are driving inconsiderate behavior toward me or others. That, combined with the settings or situations in which I usually encounter this type of nonsense, means I hardly ever get to ask for answers.
    It doesn’t really help that the few times I’ve tried (with people who aren’t good friends and haven’t, therefore, been “screened” for ability to have this kind of dialogue ;)), I’ve gotten denial and rudeness that the other person would have to notice, even if only subconsciously. Erk. So I try not to ask. Even if I really really want to know what the heck is behind people’s thoughtless strangeness.
    >>it doesn’t have to be nice, but if there’s no answer, or no reason, then I just can’t get behind it.
    (Reason for this comment: Babbling to potentially connect for a nanosecond with someone like me, on an established sub-subject? Human commonality conversation impulse? ;))

  72. I’ve really enjoyed watching you knit these socks. Thank you for sharing that process with us. Since I started reading knit blogs such as yours I have become much more willing to take chances as a knitter. I think these socks look like great fun and I’ve ordered a kit for these socks even though I am pretty sure that they are past (way way past) my current skill level. But I do intend to make the attempt. So thank you for helping me to extend my boundaries.

  73. What I don’t understand is the conceit that someone would think that, just because something is not to their taste, it is ugly. Personally, I think that those socks are absolutely gorgeous but they are not to my taste. I tend to prefer rather plain garments. That doesn’t mean that fancier garments are ugly – they are just not something I would normally wear. It would never occur to me to describe them as ugly.

  74. The socks look amazing. Part of me thinks it’s great she’s wearing them, and part of me thinks that socks like these could also work as an art installation (which, I suppose, would get around the issue of no one else seeing them in person).
    Hats off to the designer too–the concept is really cool.

  75. Nicely said. Disagreement isn’t bad, but thoughtlessness is.
    I really appreciated what you said about why you made them, how you would wear them, etc. When I pierced my navel (some years ago) several friends were surprised because I don’t wear navel baring clothes. But I did it for me, not for others to see.
    And I really liked what you said about fixing the mistake no one would see. Last year I was knitting a blanket for a new niece and I had to rip back a few rows to fix a mistake. My husband asked why, saying “the baby won’t know” and I said “yes, but the baby’s aunt (meaning me) will know!”

  76. Those socks are beautiful! They make me want to branch out and try to make something more difficult and try new things. Oh, and congratulations on Best Blog of the Year!

  77. I could imagine wearing them at work…you could be sitting in a dreadful meeting and just smile to yourself, and think ‘I’m wearing fancy socks.’
    I’m secretly wearing slippers at work – they’re moccasins that LOOK shoe-ish, but they’re not. If I’ve got them on, and it’s a terrible day, I think about ’em and get that ‘I have a secret’ feeling and just giggle to myself. And it’s not nearly as dangerous or scandalous as, say, coming to work without your drawers on. THAT is something I could never do. Fate would conspire to involve me in some terrible expository scene that would end up with people saying ‘do you remember that time that…’ for years to come.
    But slippers? Or fancy-pants socks? That I can do.
    So, really…the socks are the safest way possible to challenge that corporate dress code.

  78. (sigh) Gee, it’s too bad you have to talk about this on a somewhat regular basis. But anyway … I think the socks are beautiful, I’m hoping I can resist to urge to order them because I know I would be utterly entranced until I had one done and then I’d never touch them again.

  79. I am always amazed at your skill and determination and when I saw the socks and all the work that went in to them I was blown away. I think they are prettier on than they were lying flat. I’m sure the recipient will be overwhelmed with your generosity of time and effort. What I’m more amazed with is the snow. I can’t get over how much of it there is. Send some of it south–we need a snow day down here (instead of a tornado day). Knit on, girlfriend.

  80. STET. The Harlot has taken the final word on this. STET everyone please. STET. STET. STET.

  81. The leaves and how they are attached and the grapes….it just begs to be made into a scarf or wrap doesn’t it? Now tell me. How did you manage to avoid the temptation to add purple to the “grapes”??? As for the negative comments. I think some people find a disconnect between comments made on a blog, almost like they figure nobody ever reads them. Words lost to the nanosphere. I am a person that WILL tell you to your face if I think something of yours is hideous, but I have a way of laughing hysterically and saying it in a clearly non-confrontational and accepting way that is not as insulting as one might think ;).
    As for the socks? Not my cup of tea. If you gave them to me I would still wear them. In the summer. With bike shorts. And my crocs. And I would laugh hysterically and say “OMG! These are the freakiest socks I have ever seen!” and show them to everybody I meet.

  82. BELLISIMA!!! They are so beautiful that they make me want a glass of wine. You deserve one too, red, or white?
    I’d totally wear those to work, but I work at an ad agency where most would appreciate them…so that’s just me. 🙂

  83. Wow! It truly amazes me when people (such as yourself) have such a vision. I don’t think I am capable of conceptualizing a pattern such as that one! It is so intricate and I was in suspense the whole time waiting to see what the end result would look like! They are a piece of fine art!

  84. Kudos to the designer for writing down such an intricate pattern, and to you for have the endurance to finish them up! Even if a pattern is not something that I would wear, I can always respect the amount of work that went in, and this is an amazing amount of work. And, there’s rarely a pattern I can find NO love for – in this case I REALLY dig the heel of these socks; it’s little sexy and so-retro. The grape texture is fun, and looks great in the solid color. And who doesn’t love tiny, life-like leaves? Am I rushing off to knit/wear them? Probably not. Am I INSPIRED? ABOSLUTELY!!! I imagining different colors in combination with that grape texture as I type. Well-done!

  85. The socks are totally fun, and I’m so happy to see them finished. I am thinking of them in the same way that I think of jewelry. I sometimes stop to look at jewelry in a case. My husband thinks this is funny. I have no interest in owning jewelry (beyond a few of the special things I have), but I like to think I can appreciate someone’s craftsmanship and the inherent beauty of the material. Your socks are great and I’m glad to know they can be made. I’m sure the recipient will love them!
    If I were in your living room I would probably say “Wow, those are wild!”

  86. The term you are looking for is “Troll” that is what people do, they trawl the internet (or troll ;p) and just insult people because they can. The internet offers anonymity to do that…have you ever heard of a forum called 4chan? It’s kind of like the devil…stay away from it.
    Basically, sometimes folks just are mean for the sake of being mean. Which is missing the point of reading your blog…with regards to the socks, sure…they’re not my thing either, but reading about you putting them together is fascinating. Maybe it’s because I’m a process knitter. Even if the end product is not my (or anyone else’s thing) it’s still really cool to watch the construction (and your prose about it ;p)
    Basically, Trolls are meant to be ignored, leave ’em under the bridge to rot.

  87. Wow. Those are so good, yummy even. They are going to be wonderful sandal socks. With pedal pushers and sandals and those socks, you’d feel like a queen even on a fat pants day.

  88. If those were mine, I’d wear them with capri pants so they could be seen by everyone! Gorgeous, and I would have fixed the ribbing too, just because knowing that they were different would have bugged me. Good for you Steph, for the great attention to detail. SO – what’s next?

  89. The socks should be worn to the Winter Garden theatre on Yonge Street. I can’t think of a place more perfect for ’em!

  90. Somehow I would want to sew leather feet thingies on the bottom of them.
    Structurally, I’m curious. So, how heavy are the socks? I’m surprised that only 2″ of ribbing keeps them up. Or does the grape area act like ribbing, too?

  91. “it seems hard to imagine putting that much work into something that nobody will see.
    I know, but it’s really ok with me. I think of these the way I think of nice underpants.”
    this is EXACTLY what i said to my mil the other day when she could not wrap her head around me knitting lace socks. some see black, some see white, and some see gray. simple as that.

  92. Normal Person + Anonymity + Audience = Total Dickwad
    AuntieBub is probably onto something there. That might also explain some of the graphic anatomical descriptions I’ve heard while driving.
    I was thinking about this, and about all the ways that someone who didn’t like the socks might say something nice without lying, such as “those really are amazing socks.” (Because even if I didn’t like them — I do, but if I didn’t — I’d have to acknowledge your spectacular feet. Er, feat.) But your point is even better: with a little thought one can say “but they don’t appeal to me because…” without resorting to name-calling. (And I notice that you address the points made by the one person who did do that.)
    I did wonder what was with the random green embroidery, but now I see: it’s a tendril. Very clever.
    And having on occasion gotten a response to comment #79 billion, I know that you see and read every single one of them.

  93. Oh Oh Oh! I forgot to add – if you happen to have a chance to whisper a subliminal message to the designer….”Inlaid acorns and oak leaves….inlaid acorns and oak leaves……..”.

  94. I can’t believe the difference when you see them on someone. The detail of the work….I am speechless.

  95. They are so fine! Thanks for posting a pic of the final/finished/modeled sock.
    How about wearing them as the outfit itself? ;o )

  96. Well, they are outstanding. Whether you or I or a knitter in Botswana would make them for ourselves is not the issue. To me, I look at those socks and see an amazing, thoughtful gift, that was crafted with exceptional skill and time for someone who will love them. Now, I think if you have leftover yarn, you should make yourself a coronet of leaves to wear while you toast a project well done.

  97. I can imagine wearing them with a casual (maybe denim?) skirt while touring/tasting at a winery. I also imagine the owners offering to buy them for a million bucks (CAD or USD wouldn’t matter, I’m sure the recipient won’t part with them for love or money!).
    I can’t imagine myself knitting & sewing all those leaves, but I’m very intrigued by the inset leaf in the toe. Just a little secret that only I (and selected personnel) know. Hmmmmm. I may have to get the kit just for those instructions.

  98. I think that todays post; The explanation of a gift of love, the pride in workmanship, and the thoughtful expression of presenting oneself in public situation is exactly why I think you are not only a nice person I would like to be friends with but also why I think you are a great mother and am glad you took the time to impart yourself and your graciousness to us as a larger audience.
    Thank you.

  99. Heh. I love the idea of wearing them to work under boring, ordinary slacks. I would totally giggle to myself all day because of my awesome socks that they had no idea about.
    Of course, I do that on days now when I wear a bright red bra under boring old work clothes, so I might be predisposed to that sort of behavior! (P.S. Boring meeting you’re dreading? Funny-colored underwear solves EVERYTHING. Except running out of coffee halfway through, with no escape in sight…)

  100. I wonder about the off-handedness with which people will throw insults around on the internet. I usually read your blog only, which is usually funny and instructive, and the comments are too. During this primary season, I’ve been going to the newspaper political blogs, and those people are nasty! If you disagree with someone, can’t you just be civil? I can’t imagine putting my opinion out there on a blog everyday, knowing that someone will think himself very clever for trashing me and my thoughts. I thank you for not being as intimidated as I would be.
    I love the leaves on the socks, by the way. Thanks for letting us knit vicariously with you.

  101. one of the pics reminds me of Baccus (is that the wine god?) with his crown of leaves. perhaps if you haven’t gotten over the leaves, it’d be a fun project.
    I suppose if you didn’t want to wear a crown of leaves you could hang it as a wreath.
    damn, now I want the pattern just to make a wreath/crown of leaves.

  102. I ADORE these socks. And I know somebody who unravels the foot of the sock only, when they have holes worn in them and just knit a new foot onto the ‘rib’ … Good for the loving knitter and good for the planet!

  103. I’ve never commented before but I just have to!! I have been watching and reading as you put so much of yourself into these socks. What a lucky person the recipient is! I wouldn’t make these as socks, for myself. But, has this designer put this idea into a scarf pattern?? I love the little leaves and the pattern in the middle of the sock. Can’t you see the leaves on the ends of the scarf and the other pattern worked through the middle?? I wish I was talented enough to just change it. I’m so jealous of such talent….both the knitter and the designer!

  104. I like the socks, but that color doesn’t do it for me….I don’t really like the Claret, either….but the gold and purples in the Pinot, _that_ sings! I wanna see that gold leaf in the purple toe!
    Every day you show this pair, I want to go place my order, and back up Jennifer just a little bit more 😉
    I think they’d look great in Birks with a denim skirt…..oh, my teenaged daughters would HATE that! I gotta do it.

  105. Last night, I had a 6PM-9PM class on speciation (the process of new species forming, great stuff) and I was wearing a pair of my own handmade socks under my cowboy boots. I took off my boots in class because I’m that way, and there were my lovely socks I made with my two hands. I don’t care whether anyone saw them, ’cause they make me happy.

  106. These socks are truly amazing! I really admire your persistence. I don’t know if I could have made it through dropping the embedded leaf and having the i-cord ravel out, or even knitting all those tiny leaves! I’m sure the recipient will be SO SURPRISED. I hope you enjoy giving them to her! 🙂

  107. I like Marcy’s idea. Everyone should have party socks. That would be awesome.
    (Incidentally, I mentioned the golden rule yesterday – IMHO, the golden rule does not apply to constructive criticism. Just to, as you said, drive-by nastiness.)
    And you STILL haven’t told us your fave knit of last year. (I wonder if these socks will hold that title for this year.)

  108. I have to disagree with the question you commented on about nobody seeing socks. Unlike underwear…socks can be seen by anyone you show them to. Had I received those particular socks, I would be shoeless at work and flashing them every chance I got. Keep knitting and perhaps…read less of the uninspired crap.

  109. I rarely comment because I know you get so many comments, but I wanted to say I was so proud of you and the commenters you quoted today. Way to encourage dialogue, compassion, thoughtfulness, and real communication! You could have been snipey or let your readers beat up on those who made negative comments, but you didn’t. You really rose to the occasion. I feel uplifted. I feel proud. Thank you.

  110. I hate knitting socks. I’ve done some, don’t like it, don’t get the allure. But- I love knitting and realize that not everyone enjoys knitting the same things. And isn’t that great? All of us knitters knitting different projects. Doing both the same and different. What a lovely paradox.
    Steph- the socks as a work of art are beautiful. You inspire me to do the best work that I possibly can, on the particular project that I am working on. Thank you.
    As to why it is that people are insensitive and rude, I don’t know. I don’t understand why people accept rudeness as a part of the regular day. I don’t understand why people are inconsiderate. What I do know, is that everyday, I work really hard not to be one of those people, and to be asserive without being rude.
    Knit on-

  111. Lisa does not call her design work “Art for the Feet” for no reason.
    Well knit, Steph!
    Anent the negative comments. I think that many people don’t understand the “living room” analogy, and think of it more as a ‘store window’. In that context, in the comments they’re talking to the person standing beside them also looking at the window, rather than the person who created the contents of the window. Therefore, to them the comments aren’t rude. How many times have you gone shopping and said to the person you’re with “I wouldn’t be caught dead in that!”
    In my opinion, however, such people (those who are into the ‘store window’ analogy) have been watching entirely too much television, and need to get a less virtual life.
    Blogs are the personal records of real people, not a commercial product!

  112. Thank you, Steph and Amanda, for the lovely pictures of The Socks. They are wonderful. Awesome, even. I have enjoyed their saga very much.

  113. Hi,
    Did you ever finish the Kauni Sweater?
    Did i spell that correctly? Or did I miss that post?

  114. Okay, I’ll be honest, I *totally* didn’t see the appeal of those socks while you were knitting them. But seeing them worn….NOW I get it! They’re so…nymph-like, I can picture them going perfectly with some ritual garb or some such. Beautiful work.

  115. All very good points that you have made! This is why I love your blog so much because it does make me think about things and knitting etc. in a constructive way. Oh and I agree that if we are going to provide constructive criticism or criticism we should back up our comments in a more thoughtful fashion. Not that I have ever critized you… I LOVE your knitting and your blog! I am truly grateful that you let us all into your living room to share whatever you deem appropriate.

  116. I love the socks. I can see myself with my comfy robe, a glass of wine, and those socks, watching a romance movie. If I had the patience to knit all those leaves, I would knit myself a pair.

  117. I have been so busy I have come into this conversation quite late, I see. I’m not sure what it is about cyberspace that allows one to neglect all that they have (hopefully) been taught and say whatever is on their mind. Maybe it’s just not having to face someone’s reaction to their comment directly. Personally, I would probably never knit these socks, but they are quite beautiful, and if they were gifted to me, I would treasure them until their little leaves fell off, hopefully forever. Keep knitting Steph, and keep designing, Lisa. Our world is a better place for it. Breathe.

  118. I am intrigued by the “whimsical nature” of the socks and in awe of the skill necessary to 1) think they were possible and 2) make them possible — both in terms of creating the design and executing the design.
    There are a LOT of knitting patterns to which my only response is, “Why?” But it is either an internal question or a question shared with only my closest friends. We have a good laugh and move on.
    And some things you knit just to prove that you can.

  119. The socks are marvelous and the recipient is very lucky!
    On the Big Question, I agree with Amy and Sandra’s responses, which you quoted. Also, I think there may be a generational difference in people’s willingness to express negative opinions for no particular purpose.
    The way I experience this generational difference is reflected, for example, in the titles of high school courses on government and politics. A long time ago, when I was in high school, the course was called Civics, and it emphasized performing the duties as well as exercising the rights of citizenship in a democracy. Without realizing it, we were being taught to be civil, literally.
    These expectations were reinforced at home and in the community. If our mother wasn’t around to wallop us into next week for saying something insulting, the neighbor might catch us by the scruff of the neck and march us home.
    When my children were in high school 40 years later, the course was called Government, and it emphasized the laws and functions of government–e.g., how government agencies work and how services are provided–but spent little attention on citizenship and participation. Government had become “them” and wasn’t seen as being “us.”
    Both schools and communities have fallen down on the job of providing the role models and requirements/opportunities to learn to be civil in public and private life. Unfortunately, we are seeing the results everywhere, from unrelentingly negative political campaigns to places like your blog.
    How to revive that shared sense of responsibility for our common life is a great conundrum, worthy (at least) of a whole blog to itself. OK, I’ll get off the soapbox now.

  120. Firstly, the socks are stunning. If I ever in my life could come up with a design like that, I wouldn’t begin to know how to bring it off the page and into real life. That you persevered and actually finished them after the, er, setbacks is pretty awesome too. They’d be back as balls of wool in my house by now! Well done. And after all that, you’re going to give them away?!!!
    As for the comments (which I didn’t see). I was brought up not to make personal remarks, which “took” to such an extent that it can severely hamper my small talk, as I find it hard to even ask basic questions of new acquaintances like “What’s your name?” “Are you married?” “Do you have any children?” “Do you work?” “What do you do?” &c.
    I have found even in real life that others were not brought up the same way, but as you point out the internet does seem to make some people feel free to be a bit too frank in expressing their views. It can take the more reserved amongst by surprise, to say the least.

  121. *sheathing DPNS and putting away the Horn of Gondor*
    Ok, ok… Violence is not the answer.
    While I don’t think that the socks are ugly, I know that they aren’t my style. IF, however, I was a wine afficionado, I know that I would totally geek out over those socks. I DO admire the work that has gone into them, and the awesome way they are constructed.
    I have discovered that, as an “adult” who carries around a tiny green knitted monster called “Henry”, I no longer feel qualified to question or insult another person’s knitting or their passions. It’s actually quite freeing to be ok with the fact that what floats your boat may not float mine.
    Perhaps Henry is the answer to world or knitterly peace.

  122. I must to confess to not having read the comments either yesterday or today. (Sorry, you just get too many!!) But I have found your posts thought-provoking, and forgive me if this is a point many others have made.
    I actually think many people somehow miss that you (or the designer, for that matter) actually read the comments. This may seem silly (OK, it may BE silly), but since you are not actually writing in the comments, I think it can feel like a conversation among the commenters, and thus not like your living room, or a living room that you are in. Probably if they thought about it, they would realize it was silly, but as you said, people are generally more thoughtless than mean. Just a theory!

  123. *gasp* These have to be the most breathtaking socks I have ever seen!
    I picked up the Vintage kit at Rhinebeck and had them in the queue. Then I followed the trials-and-tribulations of making these socks and thought, “Um, maybe not. Maybe don’t do the inlaid leaf in the toe? Maybe do less leaves? Maybe don’t do the embroidery? maybemaybemaybe?”
    But seeing them in all their glory? Look out Sock World, here I come! They are absolutely spectacular and I MUST HAVE A PAIR!!! And I want all the fiddly leaves and everything!
    Lisa should really post your pictures on her web site for this kit. They really do the socks justice. Actually, all of Lisa’s kits are delightful and the instructions only look intimidating until you realize that they are holding your hand and preventing you from wandering lost. I was in her Sock Club last year and signed up again this year. Can’t wait for the next shipment.
    And I’m one of those Corporate folks who always wears funky socks to work. I would wear these in a heartbeat … and will! 🙂
    Great work!
    Barbara L in MA

  124. OK I am making a public commitment. When I get my Flock Sock club sock stuff in the mail and knit’em up, I hereby commit to wearing at least one pair of my delightful Tsarina socks in a business suit to an important meeting. Maybe next year’s dreaded Budget Meeting, always the worst day of my year. They won’t be the Vintage socks (though I may still order those … mercy!). But they’ll be gorgeous, I know.
    I have a suit job and usually wear stockings under my suits, btw … after all, control hose take 5 or 10 lbs. off your figure or something. But I understand that Spanx have much the same effect.

  125. I have never posted here before but thoroughly enjoy your blog. I identified so much with your leaf fetish as I have made about a million leaves and flowers to go on tea cozies and purses. I got to where I was making up all sorts of different flowers and leaves, blending colors to spin yarns just for this or that flower or leaf. Even though I wouldn’t wear something that was covered with these, I can’t tell you the satisfaction of seeing them on top of a fantastic tea cozy and the joy of the recipient as she received one as a gift. Thanks for sharing your gift of knitting and especially for sharing your gift of writing as it brings us all so much enjoyment. My knitter mom is 83 and sometimes I copy your blog and send them to her. She especially loved the squirrel sequence. Hope to meet you next week at Madrona in Tacoma.

  126. I think they are lovely. For all of the folks that like the socks, but can’t imagine when to where them or are concerned about them not showing….in August, Renaissance festival season will begin again in Maryland. August leads to September and the weather cools off (hopefully)and I will have my Pinot colorway vintage socks on. They are perfect for the RenFest and I can’t wait. (my kit came yesterday)

  127. Wow. Now that they’re finished, just — wow. They were impressive before, and now — damn, those are beautiful socks.
    My office mate says to tell you the best place to wear them would be touring Sonoma and its vineyards.
    Oh, dear. Please tell the designer, for me, that her designs have inspired me to try something more complicated in a sock pattern, now that I’ve made a pair without holes in the toes. I’m planning on the swan ones!

  128. These are amazing! One of the things that I really enjoy reading on blogs is the process of making a hand-knit gift for someone you care about that you know they will love. These socks are beautiful!

  129. Wear those socks with a bathrobe? Don’t you have Renaissance Faires in your world? I can picture those socks exactly, with a fluffy, mid-calf length skirt matching the color of the body of the sock, and multiple petticoats in the colors of the leaves, with a tight bodice in one of the leaf colors as well. In fact, that’s the only way I can see wearing these socks. My ideal Renaissance-bacchante picture would be capped with a headband with those same charming leaves, and a pewter goblet full of the beverage of the model’s choice.

  130. If I had these socks, made by someone who obviously cares deeply, I would be not afraid to wear them.
    I would wear them with or without clothes, but most probably with a denim skirt on weekends or with a trouser suit to meetings where I’m the only woman in a sea of white, starched shirts. Someone seated next to me might spot these socks sprouting from patent leather oxfords and be rightly entertained. If they are a nice person, they’d maybe get to see the leaves . . . .

  131. I would love to see the tops of these socks poking out from the top of a pair of boots worn with a skirt or something. Wouldn’t that be a great surprise? A flash of leaves as someone walks by. That would totally make my day.
    I think the only reason I wouldn’t wear socks like this is because I’d be absolutely heart broken if they got ruined somehow. All that work!

  132. That’s it! I didn’t comment on the socks until the last post because I had no reason for disliking them other than pure opinion. And, now that I’ve seen them on Amanda’s feet, they are way prettier than the pictures for the kit (not that those were bad…just yours seem to show the work better).
    I admire your willingness to take on such a challenge too! (Of course I still think you’re crazy in a most delightful way.)

  133. Beautiful knitting, stunning pictures, thoughtful wrap-up. Thank you, Stephanie.
    I do indeed read this blog very faithfully – I don’t always read all the comments, though. Oddly enough, it doesn’t bother me much when some people call my work ugly – nowhere near as much as it delights me when others love it and/or “get it.” I know very well that my designs are not for everyone, and can’t be expected to appeal to everyone. (Hey, I’m a jeans-and-sweats kind of girl myself, and am usually barefoot around the house. Go figure.) If the expression is unnecessarily belligerent, I suppose that doesn’t make the opinion the less valid, as such. The comments I’m glad not to read are more those that clearly show that the writer has not been paying attention. You put so much care into documenting your knitting experience – it seems to me that the least that all the rest of us can do is actually READ what you say before responding.
    Sorry – off the soapbox, NOW. I would really love not only to see a picture of them on the recipient’s feet but to hear what she has to say about comfort and wearability. Leaves, schmeaves – well, OK, of course I love the leaves, but what I’m actually proudest of in this sock is the foot-hugging-ness, the engineering of shape and fit. The rest is just… gravy.
    And like many others I am *dying* to know – car or snow?
    P.S. to dancesingarden: no need to be subliminal. Message received and understood. Watch my blog for leaf updates….

  134. OK, someone (beth) said knee sock, and right now I have to say, I really want knee socks with leaves. No grapes just leaves. Maybe a cabled tree….. sigh.

  135. Amy’s quoted comment is exactly how I am trying to deal with my mouthy teenager.
    If he is creative, articulate or more than just mean, he can ‘insult’ things. If it’s lame but he tried, I help ‘insult’ whatever it is (even if it’s me). If it’s just mean, he’s in trouble…..
    Don’t know how this will work out, but I appreciate wit and communication over mean and silence, so we’ll see……
    (I would be in the talk about the socks in the car on the way home camp if anyone cares.)

  136. Whether you like the socks or not doesn’t really matter. What matters is the hours and hours of love and knitting that was poured into them and the fact that the recipient will know that and love them. I would love to make them for the challenge of it all, regardless of whether anyone wore them anywhere other than their home. Hats off, Steph, for finishing them and doing such a wonderful job! (Modeling wasn’t bad either!)

  137. Have you worn the socks yourself? I am wondering how the leafy cuff feel on the feet … becuase it seems to be very thick with all the layers of leaves put on. Or Amanda can tell us. 😉
    I was seriously tempted to get the kit myself … but I do know I won’t have the patience to finish it. I have searched Ravelry and it seems yours is the only finished pair! Bravo!

  138. I’ll admit…I had my doubts about those socks. “That’s a crazy cool pattern, but not to my taste”, thought I. “Why not use those wacky little leaves somewhere where people will see and appreciate them?”
    But now, now that I see them all finished…I’d steal them off your kid’s feet and run home to put them on. They’re awesome. The truth is that non-knitters just wouldn’t understand the wee leaves no matter where you put them, and knitters see nothing odd about crawling on the ground to get a better look at someone’s mad-crazy handknit socks. It all works out just fine…except that I haven’t got the time to make my own leafy socks 🙁

  139. Didn’t read yesterday’s comments, didn’t read today’s so I hope I’m not repeating.
    I do think that with such a multitude of comments they tend to take on a life of their own and become a conversation within themselves sometimes. Maybe it’s not so much about your post any more or the socks but some fancy verbal footwork to engage those who comment. But maybe I’m wrong.
    Btw, I think that if you’re wearing pants and no shoes, that little leaf at the toe would get people thinking.

  140. I have to admit that, as socks, they are what my grandfather would have called “interesting.” In other words, I understand the work that went into them, and that someone else might find them appealing, but they’re just not doing it _for me_.
    I think your point about the “drive-by” negative comment is a good one; too often people just blab out whatever comes to mind online, and don’t have the negative feedback of their target making an unhappy or angry face to remind them that they are, in fact, talking to a live human being out there.
    I agree too that comments are best when they are “constructive” – when the person has a specific goal and point to get across, rather than just popping off random ideas.
    However, I do wonder whether this is limited to negative ideas. Certainly, I find in my own blogging that the mindless _positive_ comment is just as deadly, when it comes to sustaining a real online community. When there’s no thought behind a compliment, it’s just as unhelpful, if not as hurtful, as a thoughtless negative comment.
    (“Nice post!” is the epitome of this sort of thing.)
    I like the living room analogy, because it works with the positive but thoughtless comments too. I’ve had random strangers tell me “good” things in public (like one man who felt compelled to tell me that he thought I had a “nice spirit”). Every time, I felt less complimented than puzzled or even disturbed: who are you, random person, and why do you feel compelled to comment on me to my face, when I’m just minding my own business?
    Well, I’m rambling… is this just a wordy way of saying “Nice post”? I hope not!

  141. I also have not read the comments completely. I also cannot see myself wearing the socks, but I can visualize them on a couple of people I know. However, they are not people I would knit for.
    I did find, however, that I like the leaf idea. I can see myself using and wearing the leaves in some other applications. I am also very curious about the heel style. I like the way it looks and the way it appears to fit. Is this style of heel unique to this particular designer/design, or is it just one I’ve missed somewhere?
    Great job, Stephanie! And (I know–it’s a conjuction) great job making us think about how we treat each other.

  142. Oh I am so tempted to knit these socks. They are not only a work of art but they have a sense of humour too, I have visions of myself at “elder yoga” wearing these. People need to nuture the sense of whimsy and fun; there’s just far too much distress in the world these days.
    Janet MF up in Yellowknife (minus 51 right now!!!)

  143. These socks are one of those things that you really can’t appreciate until you see them finished on feet. They really are gorgeous.

  144. I was a little uncertain of the socks myself, but they look great finished and worn. I do love the idea someone else had of knitting a tree. I would totally knit and wear tree socks. With clogs, so I could casually kick them off and wait for people to admire my socks.
    Dear designer, would you please do us the honour?

  145. I do wear my hand knit socks to work. Mostly the socks have been “normal”. However, soon I should have completed a really outrageous pair to be worn NEXT week. These are the “ornate” socks from Vogue sock knitting book in bright, bright colors.
    Everyday, when I arrive at work, I pull my “emergency knitting” from my purse and set it on my desk just because it makes me feel good to have my knitting nearby.

  146. Long time lurker, first time commenter.
    I, too, do not care much for the socks either, but that’s just my tastes and absolutely nothing against the designer.
    See, trolls? See how easy it is to express a contrary opinion without looking like a jerk or an idiot?
    I get this all the time on deviantart(admittedly, a hotbed of rather thoughtless teenagers who just don’t know any better). A significant portion of the Internet clearly believe that good manners don’t apply online, much as the rest of us wish it did. You just have to ignore people who are too stupid to think before they type.
    The socks are still works of art and it was very interesting reading about their process, thank you 🙂

  147. If someone put that much work into knitting me those socks just because she loved me and knew they were to my taste, I’d wear them with a jean skirt and a green sweater whenever I was having a bad day. Then every time I looked down, I’d know that someone cared! Want a new friend? :))))

  148. I love them and I love that they are beyond my skill at this point in my knitting because I have much more to learn, must walk before we can run type of thing. I loved watching you knit them and I think they are one of the most clever designs I have seen. I would wear them with a nice denim skirt.

  149. I wear fancy socks ALL THE TIME. My husband bought me a Cafépress tshirt that has a little monster wearing stripey socks on it and it says, “I think better when I’m wearing my favorite socks.” I do, I really do.
    You inspired me to knit socks, and your blog is my home page. You are freaking awesome.
    Just sayin’.

  150. okay so when you first started this project, all i could think was – wow. those are difficult and fiddly and look really fun to knit but I WOULD NEVER WEAR THAT. and then (in my head, because i lurk) i had this whole rant about how i love knitting, but really prefer plain, clean stockinette in my clothing, so end up knitting boring (okay. not boring. soothing. meditative. simple and clean) knit one row purl one row all the time. and i feel this way about most patterns i come across, especially embellished ones – that they are gorgeous but unwearable (for me.)
    now that i’m seeing them, live and on a person, I’m thinking… i would wear that. think about it.. those socks (the darker ones, i think) with some black flats and a simple dress, maybe a sweater the same color (this looks funky and cool in my head. my head is an interesting place).
    i think that maybe the discussion of “ugly” knitting is in part also about frustration: why can’t i find the ideal fun-to-knit, unique, amazing, and infinitely wearable garment? Why can’t ALL knitting be like that?
    (this is why i should just quit my life and be a designer. except for the math)
    stephanie, as usual, you are a mensch. and the socks are lovely.

  151. So was there a car under that hugh pile of Snow???
    and as for the socks, I am sooo glad you did them and not me. I would be forever doing them.
    you did a VERY NICE JOB!!!

  152. The socks are a work of art and I’m sure the recipient will appreciate all the work that you put into them.

  153. I always lurk, read and truly enjoy, but the leaf socks thread really makes me want to comment, so here goes. They are truly eye catching, and not necessarily something I would want, but did make me want to go and admire other designs by this designer. Would I wear them, probably not, buy I sure would like to knit them!!! They are gorgeous and way beyond anything that would have been designed by my weak little mind. I am a New Hampshire girl transplanted to Kentucky, so also thank you for the snow pictures. I love it, and I love it even more from here…beautiful to see, makes me home sick, but….I am not shoveling it either.

  154. Wow – miss one post and look what happens?!
    I get exactly where you are coming from and I wonder the same thing. Some comments left at other blogs I’ve visited have been utterly shocking personal attacks.
    I don’t understand. I don’t think I ever will.
    I would like to think it will stop and that people will make one of two choices: 1) Click away from the page WITHOUT commenting or 2) Offer a valid critique in a manner that induces reflection
    And not just reflection on what kind of a world are you creating with your negativity!

  155. I think knitters tend to be protective people, esp of those we consider our friends, even if we never really meet each other. So when one of ‘our own’ has been perceived to being treated poorly…. well you know the rest. I think you could count on support and protection from thousands =)
    The socks look cool.

  156. it’s funny, but i know that although the questions/comments in your post (what if you wear holes in them? what in the hell would you wear them with? why would you spend so much time on something no one will ever see) were targeted towards your more elaborate socks… they’re questions i get about my plain jane socks all the time, too.
    people can’t understand that a sock knitter just sees worn socks as a reason to continue knitting more socks. and that we’re not making them to show them off, we’re making them because we have to make them in order for the world to continue making sense. and that we don’t care about matching outfits or stylishness. (okay, maybe the last one is just me)

  157. I haven’t read your blog in a few days so I’m just catching up with all of this, but I’d like to suggest as an answer to your question from yesterday’s post as regarding motive – that some people honestly just don’t have one. They aren’t hoping (or really even thinking, which is probably the crux of the issue) that something will result or change one way or another. They’re just expressing their own opinion as you wisely noted – opinion without reason. Sadly, I see and hear a lot of that in the world these days. Perhaps it was always there and with mass communication being what it is, well, there just seems to be all the more of it. (This instant communication stuff in the blogosphere and forums such as ravelry don’t help the situation – although it’s not their fault at all, that’s not what I’m saying; I’m just saying it only provides another quick way for thoughtless people to express their opinions quickly and to some degree ‘anonymously’.) The socks, by the way, aren’t my favorite, but I was impressed looking at the final result. All the journey through your knitting them, I figured I would never knit them, but looking at the final result made me wonder if someday I would. You did a beautiful job; I pray the recipient is blessed by them and the love knit in each stitch (and restitch 🙂

  158. I know a few people who always say, “I don’t wear my hand-knit socks very often because I don’t want to wear them out.” I just knit a co-worker a pair for his birthday, and he wore them the other day for the first time. He didn’t want to wear them out. Though I’ll feel badly when I eventually wear through a pair, I’ll a) know they were well used to be worn out and b) have a good excuse to knit another pair!

  159. Steph – I love your point about how things are more valuable and special when we know that they are temporary. It’s kind of the way I feel about the people in my life – here for a good time, if not a long one.
    Long live the Vintage Socks.

  160. Love the socks!! Anyone who can put so much time and energy into a gift is an amazing person! (or the scotch kicked in early)
    For those of you wondering how to wear these when no one would see them…well I’m in a surgical boot and they would be darling!! The only part that would be hidden would be the grapes and I would definitely remove the boot to show them off!
    I’ve just been wearing my plain ol’ knit socks that were my second project so the heel is too big and they are a little droopy but hey, they’re mine!
    Steph you rock!!

  161. Wow, those socks are really, really impressive on. I wish I had the talent/experience to knit something like that.
    On the tact question, or the WHY would you say that question, I am in the process of selling my house because we are moving to New York. We’ve had all these people through who have given feedback. Some of their feedback hasn’t been about the house but about the stuff IN the house–too much clutter, etc. It SORT-OF hurts my feelings but I think people assume when they are looking at houses, they almost have part ownership in the house as they walk through. Maybe people feel a sense of ownership of this blog and the things you knit? I’m not sure.
    But I really like the rule about not saying anything on this blog that you wouldn’t say if you were standing in Stephanie’s living room. I’m going to adopt that as my filter for leaving comments on other blogs–which, you know, is supposed to be a courtesy! “Thanks for the entertaining piece, I enjoyed it and I have a comment.”
    Guess we all forgot the courtesy part…

  162. My art professor once told me that when you choose to critique another person, you must give a reason and backup the good or bad. Not just that it’s pretty, or ugly…both don’t inspire or spark conversation.
    I think the socks are magnificent because the colors really show off the textures and paints a realistic idea of a vineyard.
    Part of me wants to cast-on right away, yet another part of me wouldn’t want to wear them. Like you mentioned…it’s the challenge.

  163. The socks are great! I live in South Florida where we go barefoot more than wear anything on our feet but while I’m far from being able to knit myself a pair of these (I’m a definite beginner), I think wearing them BOWLING would be awesome! My family went bowling a few weeks ago and there was a girl there with these little pink argyle anklets that caught my eye (she was wearing cropped pants) and it occurred to me what a great excuse I have for learning to knit socks (we’re big bowlers). How awesome would that be to have all sorts of cute/funky/fun socks to wear while bowling?!

  164. Just wanted to mention that I’ve read your sock journey from beginning to end, and am overwhelmedly (that’s a word, right?) impressed. I’m struggling through some simple cable socks, can’t seem to get past inch 3 on the bubbly curtain, and I’ve avoided the finishing on a two year old’s sweater for a month now (at least there’s still snow on the ground), but you’ve finished the most intricate project ever (Must be-and twice sort-of because that second sock motivation is definitely not as high as the first). So, congratulations and thanks for the inspiration (or maybe it’s more like inspirational goading). -S

  165. Absolutely the most interesting and lovely socks I’ve EVER seen, and they are much better on feet. Framing them would be a shame.

  166. I would wear them on Saturday mornings. In the recliner, so I could check them out during commercials.

  167. Amazing socks! And it would drive me absolutely around the bend to knit them – I’d send a year at them and probably give up sock knitting forever. But it’s certainly been interesting to see them progress.
    I think that the anonymity of the internet can let people be ruder than they would be to your face, but at the same time… sometimes you feel like you “know” people online more than you really do. You feel close to someone who is really a complete stranger to you, and some people misjudge what they say as a result.
    I’d never say “Wow! That is one ugly skirt!” to a friend, unless I’d known her for a zillion years and knew she’d not be upset by that comment… but if my own sister said that to me, we’d laugh about it and I’d say “Well, I was going to get you one just like it, but now I won’t!”
    But I don’t think those are ugly socks… just waaaaay out of my league!

  168. Your thoughts today remind me of when I was teaching. I told the students I didn’t care if they wrote about how much they didn’t like what they had to read, so long as they could point to the places in the text that bothered them and tell me why. Everyone’s tastes are different, but so long as they could tactfully (and with good supporting evidence :)) tell me why, it helped them clarify their thinking and took all confrontational wind out of their sails.
    One poster from the other day (Clair, maybe? If not, apols) handled her comments, I thought, in just that way. She didn’t diss them, just said they weren’t her cup of tea, and then asked some interesting technical questions I’d like to know the answers to as well (grin). I found it ok to read that they weren’t her preference as she didn’t seem to think less of those who did like them. As she said in a later post, that’s why there’s chocolate and vanilla.
    And I’m glad you shared your work. I think I would have taken doing those leaves over five colors at once to make a train on a hat for a 7 year old (oh who am I kidding? I’m having a blast even knowing I’m going to have to frog out and redo as his head is apparently larger than the head of the average British teenager–that will teach me to take patterns and alter them to my will). And I now have that designer’s website bookmarked. I like those socks in the deeper colorways and the Celtic knotwork ones as well.

  169. Congratulations on completing the socks. You did a beautiful job and they are a work of art!
    Constructive criticism. If only there were more of that in the feedback and comments. Case in point, someone commented about one of my patterns in an online forum and said, “the directions for the toe made no sense, so instead i used the garter stitch toe…” Bravo! Use a toe that you like, that’s exactly what you should do if you don’t like the toe in the pattern or if the instructions don’t make sense to you. But how about sending a quick note to the designer providing some constructive criticism? Certainly if the pattern makes no sense as-is, many would benefit from an edit. I didn’t intend to put out something that was nonsensical and hopefully this person knows that, but how about taking it that extra step participating in a solution? *sigh*

  170. By the time I read what you’d written yesterday, there were about 600 comments. I didn’t think I’d have much to add.
    The socks were by far the weirdest, but most creative socks I’ve ever seen. I looked at the photos and thought I would never knit those. But today, looking at the photos on Amanda’s feet made me rethink everything. Those are just plain cool. After following your adventures with knitting them, I don’t think I’d ever be up to the task. But the recipient of those socks is one lucky lady!
    As far as the drive-by comments go, I always refer to stuff like that as the anonymity of the internet. People have a tendency to say what they want and forget that there are humans behind every comment, every post, every blog. It pays to remember that.

  171. “… I wouldn’t think of them as something ‘nobody’ would see, since I’m not nobody.” Excellent point! I need this reminder every now and then.
    I feel cheerful when I’m wearing my handknit socks to work, and especially so when I know my socks don’t exactly go with what I’m wearing. Like you wrote, it turns my crank, and I feel eccentric.

  172. While I certainly would never say it, I originally thought the socks would be WAY over the top. That being said, seeing your photos – I will admit I was wrong. I love them. Really. I’m amazed, but they’re amazing. And I think that when finished they aren’t nearly as gaudy as I first thought they would be (to put this into perspective – I wear plain socks even if they’re hand knit they are simply stockinette). But I really love them.
    It almost makes me want to knit them myself (I say almost because I am realistic – I knit plain things so I can read at the same time and not pay attention).

  173. Sorry that people dissed your socks. I think they look pretty. I am amazed that people were so rude to you about the socks. If they didn’t like them there is a nice way to say it. I am not sure if I would wear the socks anywhere, but I admire the work you put into making them. It takes a lot of time to knit anything and if you felt like making the socks who cares what anyone thinks. Enjoy the work of your hands 🙂

  174. I think these socks are astonishingly beautiful, in the same way that a miniature landscape is astonishingly beautiful–you have to look at it close up to appreciate it, and then think about the mind that created it (in this case, minds–one to create, one to knit). It’s then that I realize that this is art beyond my reckoning.
    Me, I like to knit garter stitch blankets on size 11 (American) needles from beautiful handspun yarn, taking advantage of someone else’s design… but easily.
    I can’t help but admire your excellent knitting, but more importantly, the persistence! I am awed, both by the idea of a 32-page pattern, and by the effort of creating such magnificent socks.

  175. An old boss once told me, before you say something negative ask yourself; is it true? is it nice? and is it necessary? If you can’t answer yes to 2 of those 3 questions, don’t say it.
    Anyway the heel on those socks is especially cool! (ture = yes, nice = yes, necessary = probably not, but what the heck!)

  176. I’m one of the many who overloaded the seller of the kit after seeing them here.
    I am planning on wearing mine, with formal wear, to a black tie dinner at a local winery. I will get photos.

  177. Wow. Those socks are amazing. I hope you’re feeling very proud of yourself, because they’re just fabulous. You did a great job!! It was a lot of fun watching them come together.

  178. Finally the finshed product! amazing, abosolutely amazing! I bow to your knitterly skills!

  179. I’ve enjoyed watching the progress on these socks and laughed along with you at the missteps. These socks prove that knitting is not only a craft, but an art form and art interpretation can be very subjective and personal.
    You also captured beautifully why we knit socks and why they are so special to give as gifts.
    Thank you!

  180. I owe you a thank you. I’m a grad student, and at the end of last week my adviser gave me a manuscript to edit/change after the copy editor had gone through it. Thanks to you, I knew what STET meant! I’ve learned a ton about knitting from you, but I certainly didn’t intend to put copy-editing terminology on that list.
    PS: the socks are a beautiful testament to the care you have for the recipient. Thanks for sharing them with us, too.

  181. You just rock, Stephanie. I didn’t weigh in on the socks yet, but they are exquisite. I liked your comparison to other special items. The recipient is one blessed gal. I can imagine Cate Blanchett wearing them in the LOTR trilogy. Love, love LOVE them.

  182. I spent a lot of time thinking about yesterday’s post, and one thing that occured to me was that in this era of “reality TV” there is constant encouragement to be judgmental- “you’re fired” “number 23, you’re going home” “your pork dish is inferior” ” that dress is a trainwreck” etc. etc. ad nauseum. As an art school survivor, I’ve had extensive training in the art of “critique”, and I think the most important thing I learned is that of course we all have opinions, but your opinion is the WHY, not the THAT you don’t like something. Stating the ‘that’ is pretty useless without expressing the ‘why’- hurtful, but in no way constructive. Surely we all appreciate some constructive criticism, or input from another point of view to temper the praise, but just blurting out judgment without thought is, well, thoughtless. And that’s my opinion.
    Also, those socks are beautiful- a work of art and a labor of love- congratulations!

  183. Wow! I wasn’t too sure about them at first. I thought they were interesting, but now that I see them actually on feet, they look great. The recipient is very lucky to have you as a friend.

  184. Not only can I imagine wearing them under my work slacks, I’ve been known to wear my favorite socks in just that way. Throws people a bit off balance when I cross my legs and reveal some ankle.
    Wonderful job! May the recipient get many years of enjoyment out of them and may they keep her feet snug and loved.

  185. Ohhhhh… like lingerie for your feet. There you are, talking bottom lines and hostile takeovers, all the while knowing you have a sexy little secret on your feet.
    I bought a kit solely because the leaves fascinate me. I just received it, and (after reading the instructions), I’m even more excited. It’s a matter of construction for me. I want to find out HOW she did it and see if I can make other kinds of leaves…

  186. Ewe-niss was so dead on. Midsummer Night’s Socks. LOVE THEM.
    “I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
    Where ox-lips and the nodding violet grows;
    Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
    With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine.”

  187. I’ve just started reading your blog Ms Harlot and am totally enthralled. The socks are to die for.
    People do and say the oddest things without thinking.
    Keep up the good work, much appreciated.

  188. I was one of the ones who loved the sock but wondered when and where I could wear it. Well, seeing them on feet, I realize that Vintage is as wearable as any other socks I own. I suit up often in my profession (attorney) and while I probably wouldn’t wear Vintage in court, only because of the colors being sort of noticeable, it is definitely a wonderful feeling to know that I’ve got spectacular art on my feet on any given day. Certainly on office days, on casual days, and absolutely any time I need a boost, these would be as close to perfect as I can imagine. I loved seeing the finished socks on feet. I hope to order them very soon and have my very own “vintage.” Thanks!

  189. Why the socks? As the mountain climber said, “Because they are there.” Given that the process gave you pleasure and knowledge, that makes them wonderful. Given that they will immensely please someone else (and I’m sure they will because I sense the pattern and style have been chosen with much care for this person), that makes them even more fun. Yes, there is beauty and joy in transience. Balloons, soap bubbles, lightening, sparklers,– socks.

  190. Wow am I impressed. Those socks are so beautiful my eyes started to tear up! They look so amazing on feet. Imagine those with a knee-length solid-color skirt and a very subtle grey shirt (or something) so the sock would really pop. Just wear some simple matching (open-toed) shoe with them. Divine. They are a lot more subtle when shown in proportion to the foot instead of the beautiful leaf close ups. I thought there were many more leaves.
    I already show off my new handknit socks to my cubicle neighbors when I wear them to work. Imagine their surprise and awe if I showed up with those!
    I am guessing that most of the people (I hope mine is not included in this since I was trying to note the similarity to mmos and all Web chat, not that everyone is trying to be mean when they are mean) who left strong comments about calling them ugly, were so strong because they have been dissed in a hurtful way by some faceless words on the internet before. If it happens often enough to you, you can get kind of bitter. If it happens even more, you can get bored of it. Just generalizing, not speaking of anyone in particular. Except maybe me. I haven’t gotten to the bored stage yet, though.

  191. Nancy recounts this “before you say something negative ask yourself; is it true? is it nice? and is it necessary? If you can’t answer yes to 2 of those 3 questions, don’t say it. ”
    Pretty fine words to live by. However all three of those words can be very subjective to a lot of people. Necessary being the most subjective. Just today I was thinking this about a wonderful coworker of mine who tends to go into the land of overkill about some things. Lovely woman, very very overqualified for the work we give her to do, and can take anything and run with it. I will periodically try to get her to rein it back in, this never works, and she just goes right along while I am annoyed. I took myself down the hall on an errand today and gave her time to spin it out and be done because ME saying anything was not NECESSARY to anyone BUT me. So I didn’t. And I feel a little ‘nicer’ having let it go.
    As far as the socks go, they are something else! I don’t think they are ugly, I think they are a damn fine example of some intricate patterning and expert knitting. They are not to my taste. Neither is opera, but I know who sings an aria well. I loved watching the sock progress, I REALLY REALLY loved the leaves spread in neat little rows on the table (really, Steph, I think I’m going to print that out on some nice photo paper so I can look at it when I have had weeks like this one at school. I may order this pattern myself just to knit the fiddly leaves.
    I have enjoyed reading about 300 of the 700 posts in the Netiquette debate and what keeps coming back to me personally is something my grandmother said. I am 45 and she would be 108 if she were still living. Even back in the day, children were trying to be a little too frank…she would put food in front of me that I would rather not have a thing in the world to do with. I would say “I hate brussel sprouts/rutabagas/fish” She would stop, look at me and say very quietly, gently and sweetly “No…your response is ‘I don’t care for any, thank you.'” I am so glad she was around to teach me that some people actually look forward to the food I ‘hated’. I bet they are right here amongst the bloggers.

  192. I would wear ’em
    in the bar
    on the car
    at the store
    through the door
    over here
    over there
    I would wear them anywhere!
    (okay, I love Dr Suess…!) I would never actually *knit* them, because they would drive me insane, but I’d be SOOOO happy to have them I’d show them off to everyone and brag on my friend who DID make them! I think if I didn’t like them, I’d say something like, they’re not my cup of tea rather than flat out say they’re ugly because one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

  193. Oh my goodness, those socks really are gorgeous.
    I hope your words today, about some of the discussion in the comments yesterday, put the matter to rest. There is another blog I read where the author has set up a forum so his readers have a place to congregate and discuss things. I wonder if that would be useful in a situation such as we had yesterday?
    I was going to say more, but I suddenly realized that I am in a funk of sorts and need to stfu!

  194. Now that’s what I wanted to see! I was having the hardest time visualizing the ribbing and how that would look and Huzzah, you can’t see it at all!
    Those are pretty splendiforous socks, and given the shoes I wear at work are open in the back (and clog-like) just so I can wear handknit socks at work, I would consider making these just so I could wear them in the lovely fancy corporate law office that is my weekday home.

  195. Great job. These are even more impressive on the feet. While I personally don’t think I would wear them they are beautiful to look at and I have been impressed by the skill set it took to knit. Amazing job!

  196. What an amazing investment of time, creativity, patience, and yarn. Once again, I have had to share your creativity with my senior Advanced Math group…which had better results than sharing your site with the 8th graders…they were in need of having your nickname ‘defined’. I am in awe of your knitting!

  197. Good God, girl, those are spectacular. Are you going to knit a sweater to match? 😉
    And by the way, there is just not enough bourbon in the world to entice me to try that pattern. I admire your tenacity.

  198. Wouldn’t you be afraid to wear them? What if you walked holes in them? – Most folks think this about ALL handknit socks, not just those with hours of fiddly work. Heck, most folks think ALL knitting is hours of fiddly work.
    They are Wrong.
    It seems hard to imagine putting that much work into something that nobody will see. – Tell that to the woman wearing red silk panties. Okay, maybe not a lot of work, but they sure cost more than the plain white cotton 6-to-a-pack undergarments. But for some reason, a whole lot of red silk panties get sold.
    And worn.
    I can’t believe you fixed the ribbing when you can’t even see the ribbing. – I’m about to frog half the back of a sweater because there’s an error only I know about. Maybe if I didn’t know…but I do. So it has to come out. I refuse to knit the rest of the sweater knowing that it started off with a boo-boo.
    I will be happier for it.

  199. On a tangental note – Just this week I ran across this comment that rings so true:
    The right to be heard does not include the right to be taken seriously.

  200. Just catching up on things after being in the “great” city of Milwaukee for a conference (at this juncture, reader from WI will most likely gasp–big snow here too). I have to say, the whole, “rude comments” thing is so startling to me. I have what some people have termed “interesting” taste and a completely unhealthy love of purple. Bearing that in mind, I would be completely hurt (and a little PO’ed) if someone felt the need to comment on something I was making or wearing. It seems like you negotiated this in a very healthy, mature way. I admire that because that SO wouldn’t be me. Cheers to you! I just wonder who’s getting the socks. I have a suspicion—

  201. Oh, Stephanie, the socks are beautiful! And I like your lingerie analogy.
    My friend who is in the US Naval Reserve and is currently in Afghanistan, says she likes to wear nice underthings under her uniform because it makes her feel pretty.

  202. Constructive criticism can really be a wonderful thing to have every so often. Let’s hope that in the future less-than-friendly-sounding comments actually have a message they’re trying to communicate.
    Socks! Finished! At last! I’ve been wondering for so long what these would look like on feet. The detail amazes me. The designer was definitely thinking outside the box when these babies were created. They truly are a work of art for the feet. Congratulations on a(nother) job well done!

  203. While you were knitting the socks, I was in awe of them. But seeing them in their full glory on feet is even better. Kudos to the designer, and to you. I can’t wait to see what you make next.

  204. I have been watching your socks grow since the day you cast on… and I have to say that I have been alternating between thinking they are the most godawful things on earth… or the most intricate, delicate things on earth. On the whole, I have enjoyed having somebody else’s project toy with my emotions!
    I think if I got to the end of a pair of those socks, I would wear them with a skirt suit to every meeting I could think of. It would be worth it. I also think that people would be so surprised that the socks would defy comment. And if someone did comment, it would be a knitter I hadn’t met yet who would lean over and say, pattern?! where?!
    It’s not too much to hope for!

  205. I think they are stunning, and as someone who does NOT knit socks, I have bookmarked the designers page and keep looking at it. But I am overwhelmed with the idea that if I tackled such a work of art, I would want to make the “grapes” in a contrasting purple color…how cool would that look?!?! Stop me before I order the kit!!!

  206. Actually this is in response to your previous post, but dovetails on this one as well.
    I agree about not saying it outloud in type if you wouldn’t in real life. I also agree that those socks look like a very challenging and interesting knit but are completely not my style, in wearability but hooboy do I want to give them a try knitwise.
    The thing is…being fat, I’ve actually had two (not young) women follow me around a grocery store after I wouldn’t move out of THEIR way, you know, drop my own shopping and get out of their ever so busy, skinny way. They followed me around the store like a couple of hyenas circling an injured meal to be. Heckling me about if I didn’t buy so much food I’d be skinnier. I shop once a month and buy in bulk for a family of 7.
    I finally fended these two lovely women off and curled up in a ball to cry in the middle of an aisle.
    So… just because you might be lucky enough not to know someone who would say out and out that something they didn’t like is ugly in your living room or elsewhere… don’t be too sure they aren’t just lurking around the corner, waiting for a weaker victim.

  207. Wow! The socks are wonderful. The design is clever, and when the socks are on feet I realized it’s even more impressive than I understood before! Beautiful!

  208. I really enjoyed reading all your blogs as you knit these socks. A truly a pice of art. And if I had a pair I would wear them when I could and enjoy them much. Lots of love went into those.
    You know some people just have to tell the negitive side of things. They just do. They do not have one nice thing to say about much. From the hundreds of replys you get daily on your work. You are doing rather well with one or two stinkers in the bunch. And one stinker will bring out the best in the not so bad stinkers who most likely will keep quite and to themselves. Unless the one big bad stinker speaks up, gives their negitive opionion then the other stinkers feel its also ok to voice their negitive opinion. In the end makeing you feel badly.
    Dont let it bother you. They are few and have no manners what so ever. The stinkers of the bunch will either get bord with you and go away or find they no longer have a voice and just hopefully keep quite. 🙂

  209. I think that these socks are romantic and awesome. I am not sure that I would ever attempt them! Congratulations and thanks for sharing so much of the process.

  210. Boy, they *are* even more gorgeous being worn! If I didn’t wear them as Amanda is, with a robe (which looks very LOTR tunic-ish, actually), I’d go with the several who suggested RenFaire attire. Specifically, pretty ankle books in soft leather (dyed a coordinating color, perhaps?), with the leaves showing above the tops of the boots. That way I’d have both benefits – the secret leaf toe and grapes, just for me…and the in-public leaves for people to ooh and ahh over. Imagine how great they’d be for a dance troupe at a Faire, too!
    I’m not going to buy the sock kit, but I’m *definitely* hankering for Lisa to come out with the leaf pattern. I have no idea what I would do with the leaves, but who cares? I love them. I want to try knitting them. I’ll figure out what to do with them afterwards. Although– Hmm. Gee. Leaves. Beads. Oooh. ::wanders off, plotting::

  211. I agree with you about the insulting on someone’s blog.. I also would be afraid to wear those socks, as I am with any (knit) thing that there is a chance that it will become worn out… Thanks for blogging, your blog is my favourite!

  212. I love how people’s panties get in a bunch over SOCKS! Funny. Who knew knitting could be so controvertial! Wow-ee!
    I am thoroughly impressed by your skill and perservence (sp.?), while this may not be a pattern that I would personally undertake – I certainly appreciate the artistry and creativity! Kudos to you!

  213. I think your socks are great. To some they are beautiful and to some they are a hoot (in a positive funny way). Too bad some were a bit crass in their negative comments. Typically, when I knit something a bit unusual, I go through a period during which I think the item is “ugly” and a very bad idea. By the end, however, I think the item is of great beauty. The thing is, I get to call the item “ugly” not others!!

  214. Wow. I sure hope the recipient also believes in wearing them/not letting the worry of creating a hole keep her(?) from wearing them! Surely any knitter would know what efforts you went to to create these socks – I hope the recipient does as well, and can appreciate it! Congratulations on finally finishing (and I would have re-knit the ribbing, too).

  215. Wow – what a work of art (on your part to have finished them so beautifully and on the designer’s part). For some reason, these socks conjure up images of some mega theatrical magical creatures (tree nymphs?)

  216. I echo kathy’s comment…I was going to post that I can see myself wearing these socks with my camel-coloured A-line cord skirt (mid-calf length) and brown leather clogs.

  217. Incredible!
    I really admire the designer taking a glass of wine and sticks and string, using her pure imagination to come up with something so complex. These are a work of art.

  218. Fabulous beautiful socks. Not everyday wear. But, I can imagine so much joy associated with them. Knowing the effort and care that went into them. Or, can you imagine wearing them in boots under a skirt. Pulling off the boots at a friends and the look of amazement on their face (especially if they were a knitter of course.) I would definately create an outfit for that pair of socks. Pats on the back, high fives and other congratulatory kudos to you Stephanie!

  219. While I am too much of a “not too daring or odd” person on the clothes front who would never wear such socks, I think they are wildly clever and am highly impressed by the designer. Since there are tattoo parlors and body piercing shops everywhere, it is obvious that there are many people in the world who don’t share my less-than-flashy taste in appearance.
    And if it makes you feel better, I have several relatives who really would feel the need to tell you that your couch was ugly if they thought so–I think they’re just small, mean, petty people who can’t stand to see other people be happy. It takes all kinds, but luckily–one can choose which kind one associates with.
    Fabulous socks!!!!!

  220. I have the Vintage sock kit in your exact colorway. I plan to wear them (assuming I actually knit them) where other knitters will see them. Say, to my endocrinologist’s office, or at a family party. I think Lisa is a genius. It is startling what people will say. I once left a somewhat disparaging comment on someone’s blog, and the person it was about saw it. She and I discussed it by email and I apologized profusely. I think we are friends now. It was certainly a lesson to me–blogland is very large, and it is also very small.

  221. Your knitting and your philosophy inspire me. Thank you for sharing deep thoughts as well as casual ones, you make us think. I’ll be at Madrona, and am looking forward to meeting you.

  222. I would *totally* wear those to work. Shoot, I’ve worn purple socks with monkeys on them to work. And I’m generally considered fashionable. (Granted, they were with jeans…what’s your point??)

  223. I think online communication can be difficult. The “tone of voice” or accompanying facial expressions aren’t seen or heard. And, the sender often doesn’t “hear” what they (themselves) are saying.
    I don’t know what the online equivilent of “open mouth, insert foot” is, but I’ve done it myself. My most embarrassing was an official memo that I emailed to staff at work while in autopilot mode. I “signed” it: love, Jakki

  224. I’m usually silent, but today I must get down the lurking tree: the socks are fabulous! Good work!

  225. While I don’t know what I’d wear the socks with, I know where I’d wear them: the Madonna Inn.
    The pics on their site don’t do it justice – it’s a swiss chalet-style building done in carnation pink, rough-hewn stone, and tons of carved wooden grapevines. (No relation to the pop star) Over-the-top in a fun way – we used to go ballroom dancing there on weekends, in all it’s viny pink glory – definitely feels like you’re stepping into another world.
    And while I probably wouldn’t wear the socks to the office, I think a similar sock with holly and berries would make a very cool xmas stocking to hang on the mantel. 🙂

  226. I rarely comment but I have followed the sock journey from the beginning. What I got from it aside from the beauty of the socks is the great amount of patience with you the knitter, and the expertise and imagination of the designer. I could never live up to this and it tops anything I’ve ever seen. It probably is the most riveting adventure in knitting I’ve ever seen. Kudos to you both.

  227. Dude I just want to make the little leaves into a scarf or somthing…
    And don’t worry about negative comments….you know what they say about opinions and people and what they’re like…eh? EH?

  228. I know those leaves were time consuming and they do add a lot to the socks – but I LOVE the design above the ankle. (I’m not a sock knitter – yet, so I don’t know what part of the sock that is.)

  229. And anyways…don’t people know you’re like the QUEEN of process knitters…I thought those socks were so right up your alley…I mean the process was riveting to watch on your blog.

  230. Those socks are just as gorgeous as I thought they’d be! You are truly an inspiration! I’m sure the lucky recipient will just love them… Congratulations!

  231. Cool, they are done. I have to admit, after watching you knit all those tiny little leaves I want to knit some….or some shamrocks….anyone know how to knit a shamrock! While I wouldn’t knit the socks, I would wear them if gifted to me. I do like strange and unusual socks….as long as they aren’t toe socks….I can’t stand the toe socks much to my younger dd’s upset, they just creep me out….LOL toes wiggling around inside the sock but seeing them outside…heebie jeebies is what they give me. But enough about me getting grossed out by toe socks. They are interesting and I loved watching you knit them and blog about knitting them. Glad they didn’t drive you over the edge….at least not that we know about yet.
    On a side note, I was checking your Harlot on Tour schedule all excited that you were coming near Cleveland Ohio…cursing because I was going to be on vacation in FL during your said visit….about to change all the vacation plans so I could come and see you……only to realize…..the schedule is from 2007. Just thought you would get a giggle out of that.

  232. WOW. Now those are socks, I didn’t think I would like them from the in progress photos, but wowza, on someones feet they are incredible. I just couldn’t picture it I guess, for some reason I thought the leaves were larger. They are darling, really. And I would wear them everywhere!

  233. Cool socks. I’m glad you made ’em and not me, although I am imagining a sweater. . . . It would be quite different, but. . . . I like things that give me nifty ideas, even if I don’t have time to design or knit them! Thanks to you, Stephenie, and the Tsarina of Tsocks. Masterful, both of you. I loved watching.

  234. Stephanie, you are the one of the most articulate, forgiving, and understanding bloggers I’ve ever read. I teach 8th grade, and I have had some difficulty teaching the concept of “civility” to my urchins. Many of the comments previously made are correct; there is the anonymity factor, the “missing social filter” factor, the “it’s freedom of speech” factor, and the “My Space” factor. The last one? See what’s posted on some of them. The posters have not learned that “let it all show and say what you want” is not good, and there really is no privacy on the web.
    I’d like to take the last yesterday’s blog, two days of comments, print them, highlight the comments to focus on, and have my kids go at it. Then, and only then, would I give them your considered, balanced response from today. What a great teaching moment for me.
    They know I’ve found penpals from “a knitting blog.” ‘Bout time they found out where.
    Never have my students dissed any handknit item I have worn, brought in for them to see (I’m firmly committed to Operation Cast-On: get those kids knitting!), or given to them (afghans, shawls, pillows). THERE IS HOPE FOR THE FUTURE!
    I love the socks, too.
    Steph, you ROCK.

  235. The socks are just lovely! Brava!!
    I too enjoy knitting to challenge myself. I get such a ‘high’ from the challenge and success.

  236. SOCKS. ARE. FREAKING. AMAZING. You are a knitting goddess. I would gladly make them and wear them to work (geez, I just might) I could at least show them off to my co-workers and the dr’s I work for. I’d probably show them to my patients too (well the ones who can see well enough, I work for a group of ophthalmologists.
    Amazing, simply amazing, I am awed.

  237. When I look at these, I imagine that they’d be perfect if you were costuming a play where you had elves or sprites running around in stocking feet. Don’t the little leaves around the top make you think of wee frolicking whatevers?

  238. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, isn’t it?
    I think sometimes that people don’t spend enough time reading their email before they send it, to think about how they would feel if receiving that message.
    The socks are gorgeous, and I can’t wait to reurn home from my businesss trip and start mine. (The instructions looked a little daunting to take along as a “road project”.)

  239. 1. I love that socks are ephemeral. And I really love it when I see someone I knit socks for wearing them, ergo wearing them out!
    2. I strive to someday have a wardrobe where every single piece can be worn “with a bathrobe or your home pants, kicking around the house.” I love it when I put on my very favorite pair of handknit socks with my rattiest old home pants. It makes me feel special even if my knees are worn through.
    3. Sandra sounds really, really smart.
    4. Wow–I hadn’t noticed the really unusual heel on that sock before. I’m going to have to study that photo (or order the pattern) just to figure out how in the world she did that! Really elegant looking.
    P.S. The leaves on the toes were worth all the swearing and crying (and drinking?). They look really cool on.

  240. I think they are freaking awesome. I would wear them poking out of the top of a great pair of boots with my jeans rolled up to show them off. They are just flat out beautiful.

  241. An aside: STET might be used differently by various publishers, but where I work it’s used to mean “return it to the way it was”. It’s used when you want to reverse a change that was made. So in the analogy of cleaning up a room, you’d use STET after people messed up the room again, to indicate taking it back to its clean state. Does your publisher use it mean “leave it the way it is”?

  242. Incredible socks. They would not be something I would knit for myself as the design is not to my taste, however I can certainly appreciate all the work that has gone into making them. I would be proud to wear them for that reason if someone gifted them to me. 32 pages? never in a million years would I have the patience to attempt such a pattern.
    Well done.

  243. It’s all in the journey, n’est pas? I picture the very loved wearer curled up on the couch reading an engrossing mystery while sipping some nice chablis or riesling and when done turning the wine glass upside down and admiring the way the heel mimics the shape of the glass. what a beautiful path you’ve laid.

  244. What’s the line? “Everybody is entitled to my opinion.”
    I would feel so incredibly honored if someone knitted such beautiful socks for me. Far from putting them on display, I would wear them as often as possible, and think about all the love and hard work that you put into them. More than just my feet would be kept warm, and I’d think of you all the time.

  245. I love the socks and would wear them in a heart beat – and not in a subtle kind of “I have a pair of secret and cool socks on you can’t see” way. I’d wear them with a flared mid-calf-length skirt in hand dyed fabrics the color of grapes, a knit T (with a spare grape leaf sewn on) and my Berkie’s. Oh wow, I just had an epiphany, is that why customer’s come into the yarn shop and say “I need help with my sock, is the hippie lady here”?
    Heck with it! I’m old enough to qualify for being eccentric. Where can I order the pattern? ;o)

  246. Now that I think more about it, you might have created the Preemptive STET. That’s got to be useful in many situations.

  247. I’ve just discovered the Yarn Harlot and haven’t laughed so much in a long time! It is great to hear that things happens to everyone. I just in on the vintage leaf socks – they are just unbelievable – the talent and patience to do that work. RE: what to wear them with – I have a friend who would proudly wear those with a long cordoury skirt! I can see them wearing them now. Oh, send the snow down to Maryland – we don’t get much anymore.

  248. You know, I find it amazing. Through scores of amorously oozing comments, one negative, poorly executed opinion can sully the best of dispositions. It reminds me of this book I read actually. The author was talking about how her husband would constantly call her beautiful, sexy, cutie pie and so on. These of course would go through one ear and out the other. Upset that he couldn’t get her attention, he would say, “hey ugly.” as low voiced and monotone as possible. This would send her turning in a flash, tearing her away from her manuscript..”What did you say?!”
    I think, with all artists, we’re so sensitive to our craft that even the slightest hint of negativity towards our art is so hard to take. It hurts us, even though we try to put as much of a barrier between us and it and look at it ‘professionally’ and objectively. It’s not easy, because we still love what we do and it’s a part of who we are. Any offense to it is in turn an offense to ourselves as a person.
    BTW…I think your socks are beautiful! I love the little leaves myself. I actually thought of buying the kit just for them! My husband’s Canadian and I know he would love a pair of white socks with those leaves on them in red.

  249. Pam at 1:43 wrote that your post is the highlight of her day and I, also a newbie, would second every word she wrote. But I have a different point of view about blogs as invitations. Since the working metaphor is the living room I liken a blog to a real estate open house: you’ve put the sign out, you open the door and you see who comes in. Of course, in your blog you’re not selling the house, or your knitwear, or anything. But the idea of an invitation seems to me more intentional than blogging really is.
    With the door wide open, and many strangers wandering in, there will be people who arrive with a “let’s see what’s here” attitude, and they will very often say what they think, without thinking of who might be within earshot. I remember when my house was on the market and some folks walked in and couldn’t say anything good about the colors on the walls. Well, so be it. Let it go. I read a number of technology-related blogs where voices are raised and disparaging comments are made on a regular basis. It also seems on those blogs that those who persist in disparaging get little if any response; they can’t get a rise out of anyone, and they disappear. Maybe this is part of blogdom. In any case, wait for the people who come to your virtual living room and like what they see, and want to make pleasant conversation. There are plenty of those folks.
    And the socks are wonderful. Works of art. Wearable art, at that.

  250. Hello! I just found this blog and as a fellow blogger am intrigued by the “ugly sock” debate. Steph, I feel that you are right on with your statements about politeness on blogs, as well as engaging debate. I would like to know the why behind the ugly. Did they not like the baubles, the leaves, the time? Additionally if this person was to enter an art gallery would they say, “Wow that is an ugly painting!” while the artist stood right there?” Probably not. They may however say something like, “I don’t really like the use of mauve in the cat’s tail”. Anyhow, I personally love the socks. As a fellow knitter it would be difficult to give them away, or wear them. Are you sure you don’t want to just buy a frame? They truly are works of art. Kudos to you.
    Also – I live in Maine, and though our snowbanks aren’t quite as tall – on day 3 of what the weather predicts will be a 5 day snowstorm – I feel your pain.

  251. The attention to detail and effort that you put into these socks is amazing to me, as is the profound understanding the designer has of how yarn and sticks work together. While they are not at all my taste, I’m slightly in love with these socks with their wee sweet leaves and odd fussy bits – I’m glad you love your friend enough to take these on, and I’m glad you shared the process with all of us.

  252. I think your socks are a work of art….and I would never knit them =). But what people say always amazes me. I have 3 children who look exactly like me. When they were little we were all standing together in a store. A stranger walked up to me and said….Well, the girls are definately yours, but the boy must look like his father…..Right to our faces! So I said….Oh, I don’t really know…it was dark and I never got a good look at him. HA! I know this isnt’ exactly what you were going for, but people do amaze me.

  253. I’d’ve reknit the ribbing, too, even though it isn’t “seen”. Different ribbing patters have different stretch properties (as you very well know, of course) and the socks wouldn’t wear evenly in the cuff if they weren’t the same, now would they?
    It has nothing at all to do with the perfectionist bent. Nothing at all.

  254. Wearing something amazing like your leafy socks under some work clothes really appeals to me.. It reminds me of something I saw on telly once where these guys were looking up in the ceilings and behind concealled wall spaces of age-old churches and finding these never-been-seen art works and sculptures. They were put there for um.. God..I guess..for a higher purpose other than for ppl to look at. Sort of like a ‘thing’ between God and that ancient artist. Now that I’m sounding like a weirdo, I’m off. P.S. I’ve got one eyebrow up regards the neg. comments. That’s my disapproving look. It scares kids. hehe

  255. Just beautiful, makes me feel inspired to crochet a pair, I wonder if that is possible, I am a beginner, time will tell. I know what you feel about crochet thats fine. I have yet to learn knitting. I have a pair knitting needles and oodles of yarn, just need to practice, practice, practive, at the moment stitches are not linning up, its like a parabola curve and a wave most times, I will get there. I love your writtings, read them each time you blog and the beautiful knitting you create, you are truly an inspiration. Thank you. I am from Australia, Victoria.

  256. I like your entry today. I do not like people who have negative things to say without reason. I’ve not commented before on these socks – preferring a wait-and-see event before I say anything. I like these socks – actually I admire the socks. I admire the designer and all the work required to create these. I admire the work you have done to make the socks. I admire that you are giving them away and the reasons you give in response to some questions.
    Would I want a pair for myself? Probably not. To me, they are more formal than I am. I do like some of the elements of the socks, but the sock in its entirety isn’t for me. I am sure the recipient will love and enjoy them.

  257. You know, you may be right that receiving a gift every day would lessen the impact of getting gifts….but I’d be willing to make that sacrifice to find out if it’s true!

  258. Oh, dear, I hope my comment did not make you feel badly. I was joking! And I think the socks are lovely, even though I would not consider making them–the socks, yeah, the leaves, yeah, sewing the leaves on–no.

  259. Those socks are beautiful. I’ve been looking at the site that sells them since you first posted an quietly lusting for the pattern. But, I’m not sure if I know any one who would wear them. I’m going to have to think of someone.

  260. Neato.
    Well, if there is no other occasion to wear them…at least the reciprient will have mucha mucha “Earth Day” spirit when it comes around again. And Fall spirit, too, I guess.

  261. Socks are fabulous, as I knew they would be. So glad you put the “right” side of the leaves out! And CONGRATULATIONS on Best Canadian Blog of 2007, which you so richly deserve to receive!!

  262. I think it would be really ironic if you two/three met in person under good circumstances of course, and wound up truly liking each other. Anyone that’s known me in person would know I would definitely wear those socks and show everyone who’d care to look. My knitting prowess, however, is not yet up to that kind of a challenge. The socks are fabulous and controversial, what’s not to love?

  263. I think you were just going for a new record…how many comments could one post create! that was a real winner ….and I too love to learn while knitting, it seems more gratifying when I can brag that I have stretched my brain plasticity a little with a new technique…of course remembering it later is still a wee problem…..

  264. I think I like them more on a foot. I would have fixed the ribbing too. Jeez that’s a crapload of work to half ass at the last minute.

  265. I agree about the “living room” analogy. Being anonymous as a commenter makes people behave in socially unacceptable ways.
    The socks are the Mount Everest of the knitting world- you knit them because they were a challenge and they were there. How dull it would be if we all liked the same things.

  266. I showed yesterdays posts to my husband, who reads a lot of blogs, mostly political and music. He did not quite understand the fuss and when I explained it, he said something along the lines of how knitting blogs were rare since generally the comments are positive. I think this reflects well on the knitting population (although the ravelry boards get a bit rougher, but that is more like a bar than your living room).
    We love you and your projects!

  267. Love the way the little leaves look at the toe! They look really nice on. I think your friend will love them.

  268. “The Pre-emptive Stet” (Laura at 8:22) — isn’t that what Austin Powers’s Dr.Evil did with his son, merely substituting “Zippit” for “Stet?”

  269. Sorry to hear some folks have been snarky. I’d anticipate better of knitters. I can think of three oenophiles off the top of my head who would likely *kill* for those socks (but they prefer red wine so would probably have chosen one of the other colors). You have some very lucky friends – the extraordinarily talented designer, and the intended recipient. I’m still deciding if I’m a devoted enough friend to make them as a gift. . . The leafies are gorgeous – could easily work on sweaters, hats, hmmmmmmm. . .

  270. The value of a knitted piece (or anything else) is in the pleasure and interest it provides to the knitter and/or the person it’s being knitted for, as well as anyone else who happens to take an interest. Aesthetic judgements are really irrelevant: when positive and sincere, they can be nice, but when negative, no matter how elegantly or intelligently phrased, they are gratuitously wounding. Gratuitously because it doesn’t matter what you think about what I’m knitting – I’m not knitting it for you. If you don’t like it, you don’t say anything, because to do so is pointless and only subtracts from my experience. For lack of any other relevance, the gratuitous hurt is your point. Is that what you meant? I don’t think so.

  271. OMG. Those socks are gorgeous. The recipient is lucky indeed that you made them for her. I would so wear them even if no one else ever saw them — if you yourself are not worth wearing beautiful things, then who is!
    Keep knitting and showing us your wonderful work, Steph.

  272. What the H-E – double hockey sticks would you wear them with?
    Dude, I’d be wearing them with EVERYTHING. Those are the most amazing socks!

  273. I would wear them out in public with a nice pair of Keens Sandals or Birks! Maybe even with loafers(remember penny loafers) although that would hide the leaf on the toe which would be a shame.
    I think they need to go out and about. They are too intricate and delectable to be stuck in the house where only your family can see them.
    And they will show off the skills of the knitter which are way above par!!!!

  274. Hey, I’m new here, but these socks are amazing! And I’m no expert, but sometimes I think people say something negative just to be different. Out of 500 comments, we all remembered the people who said the socks were fugly. (In itself an ugly word; I constantly tell my 20-year-old daughter how awful that sounds.) Not that Dan really secretly likes the socks, but it might not be really complicated. I think the socks are really wonderful, and I agree with the underwear philosophy–wearing something sexy and special even if no one sees it. I’m a new fan of the Harlot–love the blog, love the books. My friends think I’m crazy, quoting the stories. Laughed my arse off when I read about the brain surgeon who thought she couldn’t knit. The story about the doula and the woman whose baby was “quiet” made me weep. You are a wonderful writer, Steph, and a wonderful Knitter, capital K, and you’ve inspired me in all my feeble efforts. Sorry for getting slobbery, but I’m halfway through a tall margarita! I think it’s cool we have the same name. I wish you were coming to Knit-Out at MOA here in Minnesota next week. Rats.

  275. Oh goodness gracious great balls of fire! While I away on the farm – knitting like a maniac – all heck broke loose apparently. I’m refusing to read the posts that have “ugly” words. Just refusing.
    I will say that the socks are stunning. I’m incredibly impressed with the skill and effort that they show. The recipient will surely be thrilled – I would be!
    Beautiful job Steph – on blog and socks!

  276. Stephanie at 11:01 p.m. I live in St. Paul and have heard zilch about Knit out at Mall of America next week. Will you please share the info? I want to go.

  277. Thank you for sharing your experience with these socks with us. I was so enamored with the first post I followed the link and ordered the Pinot kit (and a few other things including the sock of the month). They are so popular I’m still waiting for my turn in the dye pot. When my kit arrives I will have the benefit of your experience because you shared it. (I still think I might tether the sock to my wrist when I start that I-cord stem.)

  278. Marcy, at the Mall of America next weekend, 2/16 and 2/17, the Knit-Out. They have it each February I guess. This will be my first year. Opens at 10, half-hour workshops all day long both Saturday and Sunday starting at 11, all free I think. Fashion shows, a speed knitting contest, knitting doctors. It looks great! Sears Court is where most of it happens. I think if you google MOA and look at events, it will be there. I found it on the Lion Brand website.

  279. I agree with all the people who’ve said they’d wear them with Birkenstocks. Those babies are proof that socks and sandals CAN be stylish.

  280. Such gorgeous, amazing, awesome socks! I actually get to see (and, at times, admire) a lot of socks every day at work as a nurse practitioner, whenever someone lies down on my exam table. Some socks provide great opportunities for conversation, and I’ve met a number of local knitters that way. I’d wear those socks … but first I’d better find the time to graft the second toe of my Sweet Pea Socks and start wearing them to work. Then on to another pair…. Thanks so much for sharing your process!

  281. Y’know when someone says “whatever would you wear those with” I’d probably say “whatever I wear them with.” And I might even wear them whilst riding my bike just so’s I can tuck my pants legs into them and show them off to as many people as possible on the roads, on the footpath, in the shops… 🙂 The whackier/brighter/lairier or even just more intricate the sock, the more I like to let people see them. Quiet socks are for wimps! 😉

  282. those are some impressive socks… they would look nice walking thru the fall leaves, with a jean skirt on.

  283. sometimes people forget that comments are public – imagine you are wearing a t-shirt printed with your comment, whilst sitting on the blogger’s couch talking to her.
    I queued these socks a month ago, as soon as I saw them I knew I had to knit them for my trainee wine maker daughter, they are not my style – and probably aren’t hers, but they are delightful, and a way of saying “I love you” in the way only knitters can.
    I must admit to being a bit miffed with you for increasing their popularity while I was awaiting my order though!

  284. Did I read that right??? THIRTY FIVE pages of directions?? You and the designer have pretty much climbed the Everest of socks. They are amazing…no matter how much scotch existed in the world, it would not have been enough to get me through the leaf attachment. My hat is off to anyone who finishes them–fantastic.
    I have two preschoolers and the attention span of a cheeto. “basic sock pattern” is about all I can handle. *grin*
    In other news, I actually DREAMED about those orangey socks. Love ’em. I’m SO buying the yarn. 🙂

  285. …the part that i’m in awe of is that in the past two days there have been eleven hundred sixty eight comments on this blog as of 11:59 p.m……..if you had time to read them all i am totally, completely awed…..:)

  286. They look incredible on the model! I have to admit that while I loved the leaves I was a bit iffy about the end product. They look wonderful! I think all they needed was a pair of feet to put the scale in it’s place and give them the air of delicacy the design demands.

  287. I’ve been waiting for the finished product picture, hoping I would like them better. Don’t get me wrong, I’m impressed you finish both socks when you knit a project (I’m working on that). I’m impressed with the complicated design (I’m working on knitting more challenging projects). I’m impressed with your perseverance of this complicated design in the face of illness, professional deadlines and dropping your needles (I’m so easily distracted when life falls on my head). These socks just don’t sing to me. It’s probably that I’m not a fall color person. My Mom is, always has been, maybe I’m still rebelling. I am, however, tempted to attempt these socks, in another colorway. Say, grapes that are grape, and leaves in greens. Or grape grapes on a golden background. Hmmm, where are those colored pencils…..

  288. I like Tracey’s motto “play nice”
    TRU – I have a nerf bat that I would be more than happy to lend you. Although they deserve worse.
    I’m glad we are moving on, but as I was reading the comments today, I didn’t see Dan’s name. I don’t know that driving someone off that made an unpopular comment says anything nice about the rest of us. Hopefully he just took a day off.
    And it was cool to see the sock designer writing her thoughts on designing and handling feedback. Brilliant Designs!
    Okay, I’ve ran the gamut of feelings about these socks, from first seeing them and wanting to impulse buy them (Steph, I swear, you are like the Oprah of knitting – you suggest, I buy), and then I backed off, intimidated by the scope of the project, but now I’m looking at them thinking wow…if I could knit those….I could be a knitter with a K! 🙂 Nothing like a challenge right? Although I would be heartbroken when they wore out. 🙂

  289. The socks are utterly amazing! I was so absorbed in watching the construction, and technical details, that I failed to notice whether I “liked” them or not. Now the finished project is in display, the design is shown in it’s spectacular beauty. Maybe we should all wear a pair to cultivate the feeling awe that they inspire. 8)

  290. job well done! what a feat (hee hee) to learn, to create, and to finally finish a work of art. i love this blog…keep on knittin on

  291. Woo Hoo! Congrats on your “major award” (said in proud tones of A Christmas Story). Best Canadian Blog! Glad to know my clicking counted. As for the socks, for some reason when you mentioned Amanda’s feet being smaller than the recipient’s, I had a mental flash of Joe wearing them and I got the giggles (which may have confirmed my husband’s opinion that I’ve slipped a cog. That’s OK though. He won’t have me committed, then he’d have to deal with the kids and the housework by himself. If there’s one thing I’ve got, it’s job security.) I blame it all on the never-ending swatching for my mystery hat. I finally got gauge, now we just have to see if the swatch holds true or turns out to be the “dirty little liar” that someone once warned me about…
    P.S. One of my favorite professors taught all my Sociology courses. Her primary rule was, “You don’t have to agree with me, you just have to be able to back up your point with reason. You may change my mind, I may change yours or we may just agree to disagree, but at least we will have had an interesting discussion.”

  292. I adore the socks and have been anxiously awaiting seeing them finished. I love them. The intricate leaves, the i-cord, the embroidery. And the grapes! Beautiful. Just looking at them makes me happy. As a process knitter and as a person who wears loud socks under conservative clothes–I love them.

  293. While I can say that I will never knit these socks for myself or anyone else, it has nothing to do with me thinking they are not nice. On the contrary, I think they are pretty dang cool. I just know that the likelihood I’d have hair left after I got done are slim to none…and I like my hair.
    My hats off to you for knitting up these fancy socks, and to the designer for not only dreaming them up but taking the time to write down the pattern.

  294. I would wear these socks if they were a color I loved. Even in a color I feel so-so about, they are STUNNING!! Any way to buy the pattern not in a kit? I don’t want all the grapes and leaves. I just want to knit that heel! I love that completely!!! Any other pattern with that heel?!! 8^)
    Love your writing and the personality that comes through. I’d love to be your neighbor/friend, but maybe in a warmer climate….

  295. Steph, you do such a wonderful job with everything I’ve seen on your blog. It doesn’t surprise me that you had to fix the cuff!
    I believe that when we quit learning we might as well pack it in and stop taking up space. Heck, I just got the sock obsession at 60 (last year)and am loving every minute of it! A question: I probably read right over it in earlier posts but what kind of heel is that on the Vintage socks? Looks intriguing.
    I think that people doing any solitary occupation (driving, web surfing, reading bogs) have forgotten that they are interacting with other people when they do this mainly solitary activity. Sometimes the personal censor that we all (mostly) have seems to be turned off.

  296. Wow! These socks are so lovely! I love how they look on the foot. They are a walking art piece. Seriously! They are so fun. I want to knit something like this, now. It’s inspiring seeing how much hard work can go into a pair of socks that are meant to be worn. That’s so fun! 🙂

  297. I’m not sure that you actually get through all of the comments for each of your posts, but I am in love with the socks (if it’s possible to have feelings like that for socks). I’ve been eagerly following your progress to finally see the product on a foot.
    I can’t knit well enough for these, but I do like to look at them and have something to aspire to someday.
    They are truly beautiful.

  298. Those socks look so amazing. It’s a testament to your skill and time and love for the giftee.
    But one of the many other reasons for reading your blog is that I enjoy the thoughtful and incisive way you examine your life, and your generosity (and bravery) and just putting it all out there. I hope you know how much you enrich all our lives.

  299. Okay, I know that I’m asking for a smackdown, but here’s my take at constructive criticism…
    I love knitting for its ability to form three dimensional structures from a single line of string. (This might be closely connected with my abhorrence/incompetence at sewing)
    So much of this construction seems to depend on sewing and embroidery, which seems to lessen the pure “knit” quality of the project.
    After saying that, I have to wonder if there could have been a way to go from the ribbing at the top into leaf stems so that they would have seemed to organically sprout rather than being appliqued? It might have been more fiddly, but it would have been knit rather than sewn fiddly.
    And I have to wonder if you could knit in the leaf on the toe using a sort of reverse shetland shawl method. Rather than picking up around the edges and knitting out, pick up around the leaf shaped hole and knit in…

  300. They are beautiful beautiful socks. I hope the recipient explodes with joy.
    I’m glad you’ve sorted the living room to your satisfaction.
    What you going to knit next?

  301. I feel very unhappy that you, the socks and the designer have been treated in such a way, all three of you have let us have a little snap shot of your creativity and personal development and to have it tainted in such a way is very upsetting. If my opinion is worth anything I think they are exquisite, I can imagine the recipiant wearing them as shown having a glass of wine on a Friday after a tough week. I applaud the designer for such an amazing piece of artwork, and you for admitting that even the very experienced Yarn Harlot can learn something new from another knitter ( I totally agree with the learning thing- I too knit to learn)- I really love the socks but for me to knit them- if i could! I would have to change the shades/ hue of the leaves- there is too much of a tonal jump from the sock to the embellishment in this particular colourway for me- but that is just me, I teach art and rarely like other peoples colours- sorry- no offense – I do love the body colour and it is definitely a Chardonnay! But they are still beautiful!

  302. Wow. Late to the party, I know, but I can’t believe a couple of comments about a pair of socks being “ugly” has triggered so much discussion.
    What ever happened to just letting something go?
    Many of the comments were over the top and effusive in their praise. Isn’t that enough?

  303. I like the “breathe” comment a lot! When I was a fledgling Technology Director, my friend and consultant used to say to me: Breathe in, breathe out. That’s the whole story. It helped me a lot in dealing with recalcitrant servers, computers and students.
    Oh, yes! The socks are absolutely scrumptious. I wish I knew a knitter that loved me that much.

  304. Okay…I stewed and stewed about the hurt-which prefaced the anger- I read about the “ugly”. I tried to figure out why one would be so hurtful and then got it.
    When people slam others…I firmly believe that when people lash out and/or attempt to be hurtful to others, they are working from their own inadequacies.
    Would I always work with your colour pallette? Naw…I am much duller than you are. But, I dream of having your skill and your tenacity [sp?].
    So, keep on knitting [like you could do otherwise] and keep on blogging! Be patient with the “uglies” in the world…they are still growing up!
    Thank you for your blog, your books, your humour, and your knitting! I am learning from you!

  305. Well, these would be perfect to wear to SOAR or Madrona or a Roc Day, where other fiber people could ooh and ahh, and you get to take your shoes off to spin, so the toes could be admired too.

  306. Ummmm… I need clarification:
    “Nice underpants…selected personnel” ?
    IN the states personnel means people who work for you… or a company… are you sayin you show you’re undies to your personnel? (Although- as technically you’re self employed- and the girls do laundry on ocassion and Joe is entitled… I guess it’s ok… but is this a Canadian thing????

  307. While the socks are not to my taste- too much embellishment for my liking, I can certainly appreciate the huge amount of work that has gone into them. You have a lot more patience than I!
    I’m not a regular reader of your blog and never comment; I think because of the whole “celebrity knitter” tag that’s been attached to you -I detest the empty, vacuous shallow world of the cult of celebrity that, especially in the U.S, too many people are so enthralled to. I see you rather as simply an obviously very accomplished knitter and a good writer who’s had well deserved success.
    I too don’t subscribe to the “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” way of thinking, which is rather facile and simplistic and doesn’t allow for constructive criticism.
    Where would the art world be without honest critique or the literary world without literary criticism?
    I do think it might have been been better to simply not publish or else delete, the indeed pointlessly rude “fugly” comment and others in that vein if you were concerned about the designer being hurt by such comments. I hope you didn’t leave the spectacle ensue that did because you wished to see how many sycophantic/supportive comments you could get? A way to stroke your ego?
    I suspect and hope not actually because you seem like that’s not your style, but the idea did occur to me. Of course it’s your blog and are as such entitled to deal with any comment in whatever way you deem appropriate. Which includes not allowing this one too of course.
    Anyway, well done finishing those socks, quite an achievement. 🙂

  308. The socks are amazing and worthy of all the time and trouble and agony it took to knit them!
    Keep up the great work!

  309. I read once that “Great art has very bad manners.”
    I think the level of controversy speaks to the level of quality of the socks, that this simple (well, not so simple with a 38 page pattern) garment has the power to move so many in such strong ways.
    Let the designer and the recipient know: These are socks of great POWER!

  310. Just curious – I have a small foot (size 34 Birks) was there enough to knit these socks as boot socks – and have the leaves show above???!!!

  311. Here’s my .02 cents worth… while I agree with what you said, that “nobody who called these socks ugly was out to hurt me – or the designer. I know they aren’t bad people, and they don’t deserve insult.”
    I read more than a hundred comments which attacked the person as being anywhere from an idiot to a troll to how this person was not raised right by their mothers (how would you feel if someone told Amanda that?), and yet, you did not address the fact that your readers did EXACTLY THE SAME THING – posted insult after insult without thinking (unless in my flu induced haze, missed that).
    You also said, “I admit, that while I wasn’t hurt myself, believing the comments to be more thoughtless than cruel, I did feel more than a pang for the designer.” I found Dan’s apology about how, as a writer for over 20 years, he didn’t think and was sorry for all the debate it caused and yet, the insults about how he was, as one person put it, an “a-hole” continued has discouraged me about some people out there who ALSO blindly and WITH thought, post negative comments in order to hurt someone’s feelings to vindicate someone they don’t even spend time with (Dan’s further comment about celebrity).
    I’m sure there are a number of designers out there who have very thick skins as they know that they are designing garments (and patterns) for a specific crowd of people, and, even those they design for CAN’T like everything. I’m (hopefully) confident the designer of these socks knew that not everyone would like them and not all comments are kind and someone out there would find them (the ‘U’ word) – so I don’t get MY head cut off.

  312. Your vintage socks look very nice, much nicer I actually expected after seeing the photos of such socks where you can get the kits. Good work, embroidery and all! I am especially glad to see the leaves the nice (right) side up. Keep up the good work, knit- and blogwise!

  313. I don’t care much for the sock. It’s pretty, but not to my taste. B
    ut I really want to knit all the little leaves. I seriously considered buying enough kits to make a sweater and covering it with little knitted leaves. I can see it in my mind. It would be lovely.
    I then decided that this was really NOT something I need to do. I need to sit down with a nice cup of something hot until the insanity passes.

  314. You wear them with leggings and open toed birks or the equivalent
    and you take them out to a party and show them off. If the owner is of the Ski persuasion you “chalet” and show them off. Pat yourself on the back they are a fine example of patience persistence and knitting craftsmanship “Well Done”

  315. I don’t think any of this is about ego-stroking. In my humble opinion, it’s about a project that someone has spent hours on and laid herself out for the public to view, and someone flat out saying, “That’s ugly.” Maybe it’s distasteful to some if all of the comments are fawning, but most of us are knitters and understandably in awe of a complicated project like this. Not your colors? Fine. Too fancy for your taste? Fine. But to just say, Ugly! Not very nice, to put it simply.

  316. If I had these socks, I would put them on, pour myself a glass of wine and curl up on the couch with a good book.

  317. I enjoyed watching the process of these socks coming together. The artistry of the sock design looks really interesting and they certainly well knit. Despite that, overall I don’t like these socks. For me, they would be terribly impractical and they don’t fit my aesthetic.
    On the practicality side inset at the toe looks like it could rub. I know it falls right where I tend to wear out my socks, so having a seam there would just exacerbate the problem and shorten the potential life of the sock. I know this isn’t an issue for everyone, but since it impacts me directly, I consider it a major design issue. Socks, to me, must be practical first and foremost. Beauty is just a bonus. (Put me solidly in the cotton undies camp, too.)
    On the aesthetic side, something seems unbalanced to me. I wonder if tone on tone would work better as a compliment to texture rather than the contrast of eggshell socks to green and gold leaves and stems which, to my eye, pulls away from the detail of the grapes so carefully knit into the sock. Maybe it’s just that I find white grapes anemic, so maybe a stronger grape color of the same intensity as the medium or dark green leaves might make the aesthetic of the sock work better to me.

  318. I just would like to throw in what my Mother told me a thousand times, “If you can’t say something nice, then say nothing at all”.

  319. I have enjoyed these socks immensely. Not really because of the pattern of the socks, or the color, or the style…but because of every entry you wrote about the socks. I logged on every other day to hear about these socks…the sock yarn…the tale of two socks…the tale of the leaves (and I don’t necessarily DO socks. Sure, I have a set on the needles, two at a time to avoid SSS, but the day I complete these socks of mine my husband may have a heart attack due to the surprise.) It was an engaging story with setbacks, successes, and humorous frustration. It was also a story with a happy ending (I love happy endings…)
    And I also enjoyed the controversy over the ugly sock comment. I enjoyed reading you trying to find your way gently through that one…because you are absolutely correct when you say we like it when people agree with our opinions…we want that kind of approval…and some of us become slaves to that wanting (and sometimes not.)
    Sometimes it is the negative comments in my life that brings me balance. If I ever want to hear the whole truth about something…then I find value in also paying attention to the negative comments as well. There is value in every thought expressed. You know exactly what that person thinks in that moment. They may not be able to explain why…but if I really want to know the truth, I ask. (Sometimes I don’t want to know the truth and feel more like stomping off in a huff.) My children still live with me…and they are pros in telling an uncomfortable truth and then remaining stone silent when I want to hear more. It’s aggravating but I work with what I get.
    You have an amazing amount of people that enjoy your blog. (I admit that it’s MY humor fix during the week. You always make me laugh.) And, the way you write, sometimes it seems as if I am right over your shoulder watching you work. So, maybe…just maybe…when you get those comments that you see as negative…it’s just one of your followers, sitting in your cyber-livingroom, sharing their truth with you and trusting that you’ll know what to do with it. (And even if that’s not the case, obviously you were important enough to them to take the time to type and send…lol) What you can do with their thought it is limitless (ignore it, acknowledge it, filed away for future reference just in case you want to write “The Controversial Sock Book”, use it for fuel and add it to the list of “10 Things Not to Say to a Knitter in her livingroom” (okay, okay…I really liked the “10 reasons” lists). I don’t envy you by any means…writer’s really put themselves out there but… I do look forward to the next project with anticipation.

  320. Perhaps when writing comments, one should remember that not all comments are read the same as they were meant. Just as you should not write something you would never say in person, perhaps you should think how the comment can be interpreted when being read. That can greatly change the context & meaning of the comment.
    I am enchanted and inspired by the Harlot’s knitting, but she remains an Author, and Blogger, I do not know her personally or have ownership just because she invites me into her craft. (However, I am grateful that she does this.)
    If someone leaves a comment that you don’t agree with, do you take the bloggers blog and turn it into a mud throwing contest? I am not so much taken aback at how people feel about the socks, but how quickly others are to lash out at those with different opinions. I do not think that the comments were so nasty as many of the personal attacks at people for writing them. Those negative comments didn’t leave a lasting impression on me, but the personal attacks and back and forth dialog did. This can leave a bad impression of the knitting blog community, which in reality is an awesome community to be a part of.
    *stepping off soapbox*
    That being said, I love your socks Steph, and I am in awe of your talent and the designers. I have been scouring the couch for pennies to save up money to get a kit. I am totally the type of eccentric sock lover who would wear these over the top socks. Even if no else sees them, you just feel better when you put on a pair of funky socks, and when you crafted them from bits of long string to works of art….makes your toes feel even warmer. Who doesn’t need a warm fuzzy and confidence boost in the board room? Kind of like wearing your lucky underwear in college when you took exams, or had a soccer match. (I may have revealed too much.)

  321. I’ve become so interested and immersed in watching the saga of these socks unfold that, last night, I dreamt I was knitting them.
    And now I kind of want to, despite my teeny tiny budget. ^_^
    Gorgeous work. Kudos to you for sticking with it and to the designer for creating something so unique.

  322. As an avid knitter and crocheter and free former too, I absolutely love these socks, and appreciate all the work. Hiding the ends was a feat in itself. Just wonderful and truly a gift of love. Kudos to you and the designer.
    ps, I have never seen so many responses to one item before.

  323. Nice work on the socks. I hope the recipient loves them and truly appreciates the knitting skill involved in those socks.
    I am torn about this design. I find the overall design to be totally unique and quite ingenious. I think the leaves are very clever and love that there are so many different colors. I like the funky, geometric heel design – totally cool. The grape stitch pattern on the front is interesting and unusual. And I think the completed sock is quite a lovely piece of knitting. But I can not imagine an occasion when I would actually wear those socks. Perhaps I would find them more appealing in the purple colorway or perhaps if I were 15 years younger but I still don’t think I would wear them. I find that quite paradoxical.

  324. Just forget it. Everyone has an opinion and taste in art is subjective. The knit designer(artist) had a vision. The knitter(artist) was intriged. The art(knitting process and resultling sock) was the finished product of that vision and desire. Not everyone is going to have the same feelings or reactions to said art. Who cares how/if one would wear the socks?
    As an artist myself, it’s the same as when someone says my painting wouldn’t be the right size or color for the living room couch, how long did it take to make, it’s too expensive, blahblah. The comments diminish the art itself and all it takes to produce it, but that’s how people are.

  325. I love the socks, and if they were mine, I would wear them and prance around my house (or college dorm, as it is) feeling like a woodland sprite.

  326. OK, hands up, I did say that they were U*** and I am sorry if that offends people. Especially lovely knitters.
    It seems that now people are going out of their way to adore the socks. A case of the Emperors New Socks perhaps???
    When I added my comment it was a while ago, at a point when you were struggling and re-ripping and going to a lot of trouble for socks that I considered u*** and a time drain for someone with a tight deadline. I simply thought that you could spend your time and considerable talent knitting something adorable – like you usually do. That is what I said in my comment and I stick by it. I do think that they are clever and have a delightfully quirky quality, but alas they do not float my boat. Am I not entitle to say that? Are people who love 3-d leafy socks that only people who are allowed to express what they really think?
    A quick note to the designer: I really do not mean to offend and I really do think that these socks are geniously clever. Honestly. I also think that the red & black beaded socks that you designed (I think it was you) were stunningly, gorgeously beautiful. I like aspects of the vine socks, I adore the leaves. So please don’t think I was being unkind or thoughtless. They are just not my cup of tea.

  327. I know a knitter who makes negative comments on just about everything I make. The color, the design or the whole project. My usual reply, “lucky for me, I am not making this for you”. I see many comments on blogs, lists and boards that downgrade other knitters choices of needles, yarns, patterns even ideas and ways of knitting. Two thoughts come to mind, if this is not your cup of tea, why take the trouble to say so, it’s much easier to just skip it; secondly, if we all had the same wish, we wouldn’t need so many stars. I like stars, knitting, and this blog.

  328. Wow. Just read the post previous. She doesn’t get it. If you don’t like them, you don’t have to say they are ugly. Just, No, thanks, I don’t care for them. I want to put a plug in for the Tsock Tsarina’s learn to knit socks kit. I bought it, and made my very first pair of socks late last year. They were great, the instructions were clear and easy to follow. Hurray for the Tsock Tsarina. She can write a mean pattern for beginners or the very incredible vintage socks. Great work.

  329. Dear Stephanie,
    Thanks for the reasonableness of your voice. I have lurked at your blog for months now, feeling more and more as if we were close, intimate friends. It’s such an odd, personal relationship on one side, and completely – what shall I say- “anonymous”? , ‘invisible”? from the other. I think many of us want to be known to you as completely as we imagine you are known to us: to share this sense of intimacy, without necessarily embracing the entire crowd of friends that is your blog audience. Perhaps much of the discussion this past week has circled around this disconnect in our relationship with you. I really wish I had the kind of friendship from you that I imagine I have for you – I spend a fair amount of my off-line time contemplating this new relationship dynamic
    (what off-line time I hear my family remark from the other room . . .)
    Thank you again, just for writing, for championing knitting as a process, for making our world a more companionable place.

  330. Having been raised in the tradition of Thumper, since I didn’t think I could say much that was nice, I wasn’t going to say anything at all. The work was totally impressive, the intricacy humbling, and the individual pieces attractive; but the concept of it all coming together seemed bizarre and hardly worth the tremendous effort. Silly me. When seen on they make perfect sense and are a work of art. I think had I made them I would have to hold an orgy to celebrate.

  331. They are perfectly beautiful, wonderfully designed and executed, and you are a gracious hostess. Thank you for letting us into your livingroom! It’s like the glass blower in Seattle, where you can stand and watch through the glass window at the artists working. It’s a wonderful opportunity for those on this side of the glass window.

  332. Hey, I wandered in to take a peek half way through those socks and wondered what you were making that was so intricate… now I see the finished socks… those are like a work of art.. and yes would be something I think that would be worn with your robe to keep your toes nice and warm.. keep them personal, though at the same time would be fun to show them off… course you get to do that here! Wow the patience it would take…. great stuff… thank you.. they are inspiring!

  333. hey, i just wanted to let you know that i loveeeeeeeeeeeeeee the socks wish i could make one myself but it looks wayyy to hard.

  334. For ugly knitting, you should direct people to the Hall of Shame group on Ravelry, where we proudly (well, actually more sheepishly) own up to our own ugly knitting.
    Mine is the picture of the dog wearing the failed samurai hat.

  335. Is it neccessary to provide specifics when making a “positive” comment? If I understand many of the replys to the “negative” comment, simply saying something is beautiful is just as simplistic and meaningless as saying it is not.

  336. I have to say that I thought those socks were the most beautiful, intricate pair of socks that I have ever seen ! Indeed, while people are entitled to their opinions, they shouldn’t be dissing anything as beautiful as those socks. Especially since, I am sure, they cannot duplicate them themselves ! Knit on, Stephanie !!

  337. …writing again before reading other comments; I’m about to make a pot o’ tea and settle in for them. Someone didn’t like those socks? Well – ok, I guess. Your response (i.e. this post) is so straight up. For my part? I knit simple. Not necessarily plain, but simple. And my delight in seeing these socks and reading every word about your knitting of them and seeing every picture – that’s one of the delights of my life. I drew a stick guy with a penis once. (Well…he had more of a percent sign, to be honest.) Does that mean I get all bent up about DaVinci? No, I take huge delight in the accomplishments I’m allowed to observe and share, through all of history. I love those socks, and I love every word you’ve written about them. (And heck – I love YOU, though in a knitterly admiring…well – no, I’m kinda stalk-y. But it’s gotten me signed copies of your books.) You. Are. My. Hero.

  338. Those are absolutely gorgeous socks. And I can totally imagine wearing them under a business suit– that’s how I wear my own loud stripey handmade socks now. I think it would be a real treat to walk around all day with a pretty secret like that 🙂

  339. Who knew that socks could provoke such passion? Thank you for shining the light of sweet reason and common politeness on the discussion, and also for finishing them and showcasing them in all their glory. Brava!

  340. “THE SOCKS” are too elaborate for my lifestyle, but I see their true value. They are an encouragement to expand your skills.

  341. I just stumbled upon this site after seeing it mentioned in many different places. I have to say that those socks are indescribably beautiful. They bring to mind a sort of Dionysian celebratory festival. I am nowhere near skilled enough to tackle such a project right now, but give me time and I just might. Absolutely stunning.

  342. Ok, wouldn’t this grapey pattern look cute as a baby hat? You could make the leaves and tendrils and everything.
    I have to say that many times while reading about these socks I wondered just what the heck Steph was thinking, but I am rather on the obssessive compulsive side myself, so I just chuckled and waited with bated breath for the completed project. The sockies are great and will be a hit with a pair of knickers at the next Wine and Cheese!!!

  343. What to wear those outrageously lovely socks with? One word, Birkenstocks. Oh, and capri pants. Crud, that is three words, but that degree of artistry deserves to be shown off. You inspire us all. I am not even a knitter with a lower case k, just a person who knits. But one day, just maybe… I certainly hope when the socks wear out they save the leaves, oh, the beautiful leaves…

  344. My first post here…It seems like your reaction is a little out of proportion to the relatively minor negative comment (“ugly”). I wonder if that’s because, as you stated in your post, you were emotionally involved with the socks. Maybe having such an emotional involvement made you more sensitive to the “ugly” comment. If that’s the worse comment anyone ever sends you, then I think you’re doing ok.
    Having said that, I think the socks are cool. I wore “outrageous” socks when I had surgery and the only thing I was allowed to keep on was socks. I purposely wore them so the nurses/doctors would see them…they got a kick out of them. 🙂
    Love your blog.

  345. You know, many men in the corporate world wear funky, colored socks with their suits. A little whimsy in a straigt and narrow world. I do think a woman could do the same. I wonder what Hilary wears under her pantsuits?

  346. The socks are beautiful! I am so glad you got a good foot model to show them off. What would you do if you wore them out? Why, make more, of course! Wooden darning rattles (or darning eggs) are readily available on e-Bay and quite reasonably priced. They have handles that look like they might be useful for gloves too.

  347. I am a little behind on your posts, my computer was stolen and I haven’t replaced it yet. Anyway, I think people forget that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. If this was not so there would be only one kind of anything and everyone would dress the same. As a person who loves color and the strange and funky, I love bold colored socks, fraternal socks and the one of a kind socks. My friends love my socks and the fact that I really wear them. However, those same friends would never be caught dead in them. Personally I think both the vintage socks and the striped socks are great and would wear them in a minute, show them to anyone who would look and have great fun with them. One friend would appreciate them and another friend would hate them. But both would agree they are me. These are also the same friends who roll their eyes at my wall of yarn, tubs of fabric and drawers of needlepoint. Think how boring the world would be if everyone thought the same, liked the same things and always agreed.It seems to me even if you don’t like the vintage socks you have to applaud the skill and creativity of the disign as well as the skill and the fortitude to knit them. I have them on my list of knits to do.

  348. They are absolutely magnificent, and should be worn with a floaty green nightie while skipping about the house pretending to be a nymph.
    I want a sweater with leaf-covered cuffs just like that.

  349. “It’s like the glass blower in Seattle, where you can stand and watch through the glass window at the artists working.”
    Just what I was thinking after reading your post. I was watching the PBS special on Dale Chilhuly . To see a piece of art from conception to execution is a truly awesome experience. One person designs and a team executes while adding their own contribution to the finished produce.
    These are “socks” like art glass is a vase. Yep, there is a practical use but it is the process as well as the product that fascinates us. It’s hard to conceive of anyone using a Chihuly to hold a bunch of grocery store tulips – but there also is joy of actually using an artful thing..
    Thank you for letting us in on this process. It’s re-awakened my interest in knitting beyond “the afghan” that I knit in my sleep but also with thoughts of the recipient.
    Knit on Harlot!

  350. Love the socks! Would love to curl up in them and watch movies and knit! I didn’t check in to the blog for a couple of days and I’m so sorry to hear that someone could be callous enough to insult such an incredible work of love and art. Whether anyone other than the wearer ever saw these socks is totally besides the point. Doesn’t everyone wear something beautiful just because they love and value themselves? I’m sorry for anyone who wouldn’t love wearing this masterpiece or who only dresses for others to see. How about dressing to make yourself happy both in the home and outside?? Keep up the incredible work and please lend my respect for both the designer (what a cool idea) and the knitter (you are my hero). have a blessed, blessed day!

  351. Dear Steph, I just got on and bought your latest book ( preordered), as a sign of love and affection. I also think that your socks are the most beautiful I’ve seen. I personally will wear mine (I ordered the kit in the wine color) with a silk skirt, and clogs, so that people can see them. I also don’t mind that they wear out, as they are a fleeting thing of a moment. I treasure the socks my daughters have made for me…though I wish they wouldn’t wear out but oh well. such is life. Knit on. I think your comments about pointless negative are well taken. Expecting more snow here. Snow and knitting, knitting and snow. Good combo. Glad I have a hot tub (soothes the mind and the arthritis!) Love you. Kathleen

  352. While these socks are very detailed, and not necessarily someone’s idea of the ideal sock to wear, they are not ugly. I would wear them with my bathrobe, ’cause if I wore them with anything else, no one would see them. If someone went to all the trouble to knit those socks for me, I would wear them and point them out to everyone who saw them, and say “Look how much she loves me, she knit these socks for ME”

  353. I have no idea who said what but I just wanted to say that those socks are DIVINE!!!! Absolutely breathtaking, both in appearance and in depth of skill needed to create them. I think they are just beautiful 🙂

  354. Well, it is possible that they are “socially blind.” It is a disease where a chunk of one’s brain isn’t wired the same, or is simply missing. They tend to have frustrated, and frustrating, lives. Or, maybe, all the childhood conditioning we expect didn’t happen. We are talking as if people rip off a mask in cyberspace, and communicate in the raw. Maybe that is their face, and we should count ourselves fortunate to only be on the business end of a typed comment, rather than a daily, face to three- headed alien faces, interaction.

  355. Thank you for letting us into your living room even though some of us don’t take off our shoes, some of us say rude things and some of use wander in and don’t say anything at all.

  356. Oh my! Those are elegant sox. I hope the robe to be worn with them is a deep earthy velvet….but no matter what the accompanying atire, they are beautiful. You are one talented knitter!

  357. Stephanie, you have knitted a work of art with these socks. That makes you an artist. And you know, if you’ve ever walked through an art museum, how people carelessly throw their opinions, (both negative and positive) out at works of art. That puts you in the company of Monet, Jackson Pollock, Cezanne, Van Gogh, etc ! Congratulations, I love your work!

  358. Great googly moogly, those are fantastically beautiful socks. Love everything about them. I would love to knit them, but I’m too gosh-darn poor to afford the yarn. 🙁

  359. They would be perfect to wear wine tasting in the British Columbia Okanagan Valley!!! And heck, they’d look AWESOME with Birkenstocks for a visit to the Kootenays!!! They’ve inspired me to get on that second sock for my husband, which I’m dreading, and it’s only a simple pattern.

  360. Seeing them on Amanda’s feet makes them even more impressive. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful. If a friend gave me those socks, I would know without a doubt how much she cared for me.

  361. Gorgeous socks. I can definitely see them with the floaty green nightgown someone mentioned earlier… and a laurel (or grape leaf) wreath on the wearer’s head, as well.
    As for wearing them, they certainly could be worn to work! If the wearer wanted to look “business drab” she could wear them under pants. It would be very much like wearing gorgeous, drop-dead-sexy, expensive underwear under a business suit. A secret little guilty pleasure known only to the wearer and those “special friends” she chooses to let in on the secret.

  362. The socks are very cool, and it looks like they were well worth the mountain of effort.Yay! And please don’t let a few assholes put you off your blog. We love you anyway *hands out internet cupcakes*

  363. I’ll throw my bit in here – I was never crazy about the socks, though I loved the leaves themselves, they seemed to be a bit much all together. Having said that, I once deliberately knit the world’s ugliest scarf, for a five-year-old girl of my acquaintence, who begged me for it: A miscellaneous novelty yarn, in various shades of electric pink monstrosity, and every time I brought it out to work on it, people would stare, and even comment, ‘It’s so ugly.’. But she loved it, carried with her, showed it off to her friends. If God had returned to Earth, laid His hand apon the scarf, and declared it eternally ugly, I’d have finished it anyway just to see her smile. So rock on with the socks, Steph. I hope they bring their recipient much joy.

  364. As far as negative comments, I kind of do go by the “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anyhthing at all”, just because I think there’s a difference between constructive criticism and just flat-out insulting someone.
    On to the socks though–I really like them. I was looking at progress pics thinking “what the heck?” because I didn’t quite understand how all the parts came together. I think they look magical. I would probably wear them with, hmm….not sure, a skirt and some kind of short boots so you could still see the leaves? They remind me of something a fairy would wear, and I mean that in the best way. 🙂

  365. I just wanted to say that I think the socks are amazing! All the work that went into them is phenominal. I just want to say that I wish I could knit something so complicated myself, and with such good skiil (good grammer or not 😉 ).

  366. I am absolutely blown away at the detail of these socks. FAB-U-LOUS!!!!! They are not something I would knit (that much detailing scares the cr** out of me!) but they are absolutely a work of art and I give you HUGE kudos for the sharing the process with us. You are a STAR, Stephanie! 🙂

  367. Dear Stephanie!
    I love your storys about your knitting and laughed till stomach ached how you finally managed the “monster of Vintage Socks” – You did a wonderful job and I love the socks very much – I am someone who would wear them proudly.
    Please keep on writing and knitting in your incomparable style and I am pleased to be allowed to “look” over your shoulder and adore your couch and everything!! 😉
    Just adorable work and wonderful storytelling every time I visit your blog! Love that!
    Best wishes from IXE

  368. I’d like to join the camp that thinks some “chilling” is in order. When I first read Stephanie’s post asking about the ugly comment, I got incensed–what a nasty thing to say. Then, I went back a day to find the original post, and the only one I found sounded like a failed attempt at a joke. First, the person took pains to complement the Harlot, and then spelled the word “uglee,” which suggested to me that she/he would have said it out loud in a funny voice, perhaps thinking other posters would respond with something like “yeah, I don’t need puffy grapes making my ankles look fat, but I do love the leaves.” The family of in-laws I acquired long ago continually insult each other, then bray with laughter. I don’t get it. They really do love each other, and I guess somehow they don’t think they’re being rude. So I hope the person who set off all the comments doesn’t feel like an outcast (unintended pun) for a relatively small mistake. As for the “if you can’t say something nice…” folks, that approach to human interaction bores me to death. At the same time, if you disagree with me, as many people said, explain why, and maybe we both learn something. Kate

  369. I’m sorry that someone called your socks ugly. I’m surprised. As a fellow knitter, I can be impressed with the skill displayed, and interested in watching the process, whether or not it is a pattern/color that I would chose for myself. I think you did a great job. I enjoy your blog, and I appreciate you for it.

  370. As for the “if you can’t say something nice…” folks, that approach to human interaction bores me to death.

  371. I loved the socks and progress–not that I would have the patience to knit them but thought that the leaves would look fabulous on a scarf!

  372. i believe i would wear this with a pants suit on a day at work when i had a particularly important court argument and needed just a little bit of extra self-esteem and feel good. they’re the cats meow.

  373. I think the socks are devine -on the other note if I did not like them I would not comment

  374. Dear people who left negative, unexplained comments: Stephanie is nice enough toirtual living room:) See, simple:) share her thought and her wit (not to mention her knitting) with us on a regular basis. Please don’t diss her or her knitting without at least sharing your reasons. Otherwise, we can’t learn and grow, and maybe improve. And if you really don’t like it *that* much – just don’t visit this virtual living room.
    One the socks –
    I wasn’t quite sure…until I saw the finished product. I loved the leaf in the toe, and loved the grapes, but wasn’t sure how the finished product would look. They’re awesome! And kudos to the designer who had that much creativity and that much passion.

  375. i’m still not finding the socks aesthetically pleasing (and this is my opinion! i’m not trying to insult anyone!), but i’m hugely impressed by the amount of work that went into them.
    in fact, if i were the recipient, it would be the time and effort required to make them that would stand out most to me, as opposed to the sock themself.

  376. There are a million different knitters out there just like there are a million different marriages. None are the same. None are more right than the others, just different. And what is right and beautiful for one knitter, is wrong and ugly for the next. People need to be more respectful. I personally love the socks but know that they are way above my level of knitting. I have seen many things I thought were not well crafted or the color combinations were awlful. But I choose to go to the next blog and not leave a discouraging or rude comment. I don’t understand the need to be hurtful. Life is too short to be hurtful.

  377. Didn’t scroll through all the comments to get to the source of the last two posts, but I get the gist of it.
    “Vintage Socks”–neither my taste in wear or knitting projects, but definitely Craft as Art.
    Good job. Glad they’re done. Back away slowly.

  378. I think the socks are beautiful and the recipient will love them. One time I was wearing a unique handmade necklace and a co-worker looked at me and said, “That’s an interesting necklace”. After I said, “Thanks, it’s handmade.” I realized he didn’t really mean it as a compliment that he liked it or that he thought it was pretty. (Okay call me slow) By the time I figured that out, we were off the elevator and I didn’t really care. Maybe the blogger meant to say “interesting” instead of “ugly”.
    Anyway, I’m trying to figure out how I can become Steph’s best friend so I get wonderful gifts like these socks!
    Steph, If you don’t like winter so much, move south to Pennsylvania (it’s warm year ’round here, you’ll love it). We can be neighbors!

  379. good night steph its been lovely
    see you in the morning
    thank you for the coffee
    and cookies best close
    the door its cold out here

  380. Here’s my attempt at a comment with literate skill: Those are wicked cool socks!!! My friends all laugh at my plain old self-striping socks – I would love to see their faces if they saw those!!! Hats off to the designer for having the creative genius to even imagine a sock like that – and then knowing how to go about writing a pattern for them. And kudos to you for having the courage and skill to knit them. They are absolutely breathtaking. I sincerely hope the recipient has a pair of peekaboo running shoes so that little leaf on the toe can poke through!!!
    Absolutely, positively fabulous!!!

  381. I have followed all of your blog post since you started the socks, and it is truly thrilling, enjoyable, and good experience for my spirit. That made me filled with joy to be a knitter, to be able to share the joy and proud and challenge.(though I can’t never ever knit that socks myself)
    And it cannot be more luxurious than anything to have such a socks as a home socks. I just cannot stop to experience the feeling of awe.
    Though, with my own preference, I dream shamelessly if, if the part of grape pattern would be the real color of grape, such as chardonnay green or Pinot noir purple, it might be MORE perfectly gorgeous socks….it is just a silly dream. That should require intersia and….I just cannot imagine to make it. In that case, nobody might not be able to acheive the FO…
    Anyway, thank you so much for sharing your awesome experience of achievement, I love you Stephanie. I wanted to see your dance of joy. Even I wanted to dance with you.

  382. Wow, 32 pages for the pattern? Really? Impressive.
    Well, they are truly beautiful. I’m sure the person you will give them to is going to be so touched. I know I would be.
    I still stand behind “if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all” as it was how I was raised and don’t ever want to cause anyone unnecessary hurt. Constructive words are one thing I guess. There is a fine line I suppose. Someone left a hurtful comment on my blog about my son and how he looks like satan or something similar. Though I know that is ridiculous, there is something to be said about being nasty and mean just because. It isn’t ok.
    You know I think the person probably said that because you feel like a friend and I know I’d say something off the cuff to a dear friend and not mean harm.

  383. I can’t believe the work that you put into these- I’m really impressed and wish that I had that much patience- I have a LOT of growing up to do as a knitter.

  384. There are so many comments on this particular blog that you probably won’t even see mine, but……I love your blog and I specially love the way you approach life and knitting. The sox are amazingly beautiful and creative. I was impressed with the way you stuck with them even though they were complicated. You make me laugh and I can see so much of myself in your approach to knitting and life. Thanks a bunch for the great reads…..

  385. You know…I don’t like the socks either. What I mean to say is that its not my personal preference…but what I DO get is being drawn to making something that looks difficult or challenging to make. I loooove a good challenge. Nice job! It sounds like you saw this particular pattern as a challenge which I would imagine is hard to find for an expert knitter such as yourself.
    In case you can’t find anything to challenge you next there are some hilarious challenges here… Actually I just recommend going there to get some laughs. I laughed so hard at this clever lady’s blogging that I cried. Enjoy! …and keep knittin!

  386. When I bought my last car, my little Chinese MIL took one look at it and informed me that it was the ugliest colour she had ever seen and that I should take it back and get a better one. I wasn’t mad at all – I know that she actually honours me enough to treat me like one of her own daughters, and that she would have said exactly the same thing to one of them. Said in the context of a close and loving relationship, her comment made me laugh.
    That said, I agree with JulieO’s earlier comment. I think that on this side of the keyboard, blog readers forget that they do not enjoy the close and intimate relationship with the blogger that it’s easy to assume. Of course we’re best-est friends – I’m Canadian! I love STR wool!! I live with surly teenagers too!!! So maybe I forget that I’m not standing beside my best friend whispering a snarky comment into her ear. Combine that with how very difficult it is to establish subtle tone and context in email or any other fast writing, and you have a high potential for doing something stupid that you might never do in the real world.
    Your entry after the ugly comment, Steph, was as always, thoughtful, gracious, instructional, and thought provoking. Thanks for sharing your life with us.

  387. I love the socks, and I stumbled and fell, and ordered some(chablis) from Lisa. Every year we do a winery tour by bicycle through the Yakima valley in Washington. That is wine country, and beautiful. I may give them to the tour leader, if I can pry them out of my hands. I’m not committing to that right now (G). I love your blog, your thoughtful comments and your humanity.

  388. One wonders how you ever have the time to get through all the comments your blog gets, but I’m sticking my two cents in anyhow because I think you have started a serious and thoughtful discussion.
    I’m not prone to throwing my opinion at someone who is just standing there. But I am not terribly well behaved in a social sense and I AM prone to telling someone who ASKS, that yes it does make you look fat or old or silly. If they seem particularly innocent and hopeful I will try to tone it down some and preface my opinion with a qualifier like, I’m sure some people would like it. But mostly I try to tell the truth and the best you can hope for with me is that I’ll weasel out of giving any opinion.
    That said, don’t you think blogging is the general equivalent of holding up your new whatever in the center of a crowded room and asking “What do you all think of it?” Not to come off snotty or anything, just to me blogging is seeking a dialogue with others and when you are showing what you have done, you are seeking other’s (hopefully positive) opinions. To only get one bad review is actually not so bad.
    As far as motive goes, maybe the poster wanted to get more attention – and has succeeded. Maybe they really thought the socks were butt ugly. I myself think they’re pretty to look at, but ridiculous as socks. Maybe as some kind of slipper, but not socks. (I don’t think putting glass beads on socks makes any sense either, so I’m just an old stick in the mud) I make ugly, practical socks in ugly, practical colors and put extra nylon in the soles so they wear longer.
    Mostly, I wouldn’t worry about it. They were fun to make, the giftee will be thrilled and you’ll never forget how to knit a leaf.
    By and large, the knitting community is one of the most polite and considerate groups on the net. Read the comments on any of the political blogs. It’ll turn your head inside out.

  389. I am in awe. These are not just a pair of socks, they are art for the foot. Hail to you and the designer. I would so wear them to a business meeting.

  390. i believe i would wear this with a pants suit on a day at work when i had a particularly important court argument and needed just a little bit of extra self-esteem and feel good. they’re the cats meow.
    Joyce, I agree 100%! I wore my red beaded Winter’s Eve socks in court (with a suit) the other week for exactly that reason. haha!! So much for high powered suitin’ it up, eh?

  391. Steph, they are beautiful!!!! I love those little leaves. I agree with the poster that said they should be party socks. Oh yeah!!!!! Show them off. To pretty to hide under your pants or just around the house. Either way, the recipient shall wear them the way he/she wants. Lucky person. All that tedious work. I so do not like to sew up my projects. I wish there was a way that I could sew them up so you have nice flat seams. If you have any tricks up those harlot sleeves please pass it on. Would be much appreciated. Or for that matter any of you knitters out there. Great work on the blogs. Don’t stop you are my toast with my coffee in the mornings. You get me started. Some day I WILL meet you.
    and yes was it a car or just a pile of snow? can’t wait for warmer weather. Oh, we have seen Robins down here in my neck of the woods. JFYI

  392. I’d still love to have them!!! Pleeease?!! I promise I will wear them, and they would be shown off, not hidden like I would be embarrassed to wear them. (The thought of “sexy socks” that no one else can see, but that I know are there, could be fun. However, I know I would break down and lift my pants to show them off.) I would have to find a pair of shoes that would show them in all their glory, and just before they would be run down and have a hole, they would be framed and hung on the wall in a place of honor like the work of art they are!
    As a knitter I know I could make them myself, and what a pair of first socks they’d make, but I’d be more likely to go straight to wall art for that.
    Lucky recipient, I say!

  393. As a non-native speaker of English I find the last two blog entries and it’s responses very interesting and educational…..and I have really been thinking about all that was said ( and don’t even want to get into what I think of people who criticize one person of being rude, but in the same breath bad-talk the mother of someone and offer to slap her alongside the head… educated, well mannered and mindful is that ?) have even checked a couple of sources and am tempted to write to the language show on NPR in the US for clarification.
    The following happend: Last night I sat down to dinner and since I live and eat alone I turned the TV on and watched ” London Live ” a music show….someone came on and I commented loudly to myself ” How horrible, he can’t sing ” ( for me this is similar to ” these socks are ugly ” )…and then I started to think…
    Was this a criticism ? And if it was, how could I be constructive, because I agree criticizm should be constructive ?
    But I don’t think it was a criticism ( just as I don’t think the sock comment was )….but then what was it ? A statement…..and if I make a statement must it be backed up in some way ?
    Or was it just a comment….as invited in millions of blogs…….meaning ” say something ” ……say something even at the chance of it being boring, repetitive,saccharine, gushing, dishonest, thoughtless and yes, even rude……because after all it does not say: ” Smart, constructive comments only….funny comments OK “…it just says ” comments “.
    I really couldn’t find an answer, but this citicizm, statement and comment thing really has me stumped…..
    And as I sit here, wondering if I should even send this off, it occurs to me that I am not only commenting to Stephanie, but to all of you which maybe makes this blog more of a Open House or forum then a living room….hmmm
    Mexico City

  394. Steph – I’m a non knitter who luvs to come to your blog to get a dose of – well, I don’t know what, but you seem like a friend & that’s enough for me. Just catching up on the blog after a few days, I was disappointed with the negative comments. The leaf socks made for something interesting, and isn’t that what keeps us going? You put in the energy, learned a few things, and we got to come along for the ride. What a deal! Bless you, & keep on, my friend.

  395. These socks are truly a work of art, and anyone who doesn’t get it just is not evolved enough…too bad for them.
    As for the rude comments: I have teenage kids who use the internet as second nature, and as a society we have to address the issue of internet ETIQUETTE. People will most definitely say things on the internet they would never have the guts to say in person. This has resulted in many problems among kids, and we would think adults should know better, but, sadly, they do not. Offensive, mean-spirited comments have no place on a blog that is meant to share one’s trials and tribulations in the knitting forum as you have so successfully and unselfishly done.
    thank you for sharing your time and talent with the rest of us.

  396. “I too don’t subscribe to the “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” way of thinking, which is rather facile and simplistic and doesn’t allow for constructive criticism.”
    I would respectfully disagree with this comment. I think far beyond being simplistic, it takes a very mature, and complicated, mind to find a way to say something constructive while simultaneously being kind and polite.
    ANYONE can say something cruel. It takes true finesse and strength of mind to say something kind, even if it’s not complimentary. It is the unique difference between saying “That sock is ugly”, or even “it’s too fussy”, and saying “While I appreciate the amount of work and artistic integrity that went into the final project, I think, for me, simplistic is maybe more the way to go”. There! You said “Hey, they’re too fussy” without sounding crass. It’s really not all that difficult if you put a little thought into it.
    My Mom just referred to it as having “manners”. Now it has some PC term or other. Sadly, a lot of people in this current society see it (manners) as weakness. They think that there’s strength in being “brutally honest” with other people. I think you can be honest withOUT also being brutal, and I think it would be a kinder, gentler, world if people could back in touch with their humanity.
    I also think that people should get better and discerning when a person is asking you for your “opinion” (in terms of constructive criticism or what have you) and when they are simply showing you something that they created, with love, and want you to be excited with them (in which case, they are looking for your friendship not your knit picking, no pun intended).

  397. 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?
    I’d wear them ALL THE TIME!

  398. Here is what I think about all of this negative commenting discussion. As a set designer for film and theater, I had to study theater, go to a lot of plays and sit through lots of rehearsals. Sometimes, while I was watching, I would sit and knit, take notes, or even eat. But unlike watching a film, the actors were standing in front of me, watching the audience and feeding off of our reactions. I started to be very careful about doing something else while watching because this was not like a film or a television program. This was live and interactive. There is a certain level of respect that needs to be practiced during this form of entertainment.
    I feel like this often happens with blogs on the internet. We don’t necessarily know you, Stephanie. I’d love to know you personally and go out for a coffee. You’ve become a character in my life that I follow and relate to. But we’ve never met, so there is something somewhat fictitious about the way that we see each other. Your books and your blog become a form of entertainment, in a way most of us will always remain and audience to your life.
    The way that i see it, that comment was the response of someone that forgot that you’re not someone who lives in a fictitious world of knitting, but instead a real woman in Toronto that’s actually knitting these socks and that a real designer invented that pattern. That is just the new debates and discoveries of these extremely contemporary ways to entertain ourselves.
    While we’re on the topic of getting to see each other in person, when will you be coming to Montreal on your book tour?

  399. Stephanie, I always love your work because, I have that “I wish I had said that moment”. You articulate what I was thinking–guess that is why you are an author and I am not. About the socks, they looked wonderful until I saw them on a human foot and then they looked stupendous and beyond belief gorgeous. If I had those socks, I would wear them everywhere and with everything I owned. Your friend is very lucky indeed.

  400. Looking back on one of my previous commments & the responses…”if you can’t say anything nice” is not necessarily boring. You can still critique someone’s work and say that you don’t like something without being snarky. That was what I meant when I said that. I just prefer not to say anything when I don’t like something, because if I dislike it so much then it’s probably not worth my time to comment. I just ignore negative comments, if I’m happy with what I’m making then that’s all that matters. Then again no one reads my blog so I don’t get too many comments either way 😉
    Once again your socks are superb.

  401. I’m in awe of your skill and stick-to-it-ness, the socks are truly impressive, great job on the socks. I also think you are on the money about how people express themselves on the internet or via email in ways they would never consider in person. By the way I just got Knitting Rules! and loved it.

  402. I love reading this blog because you are funny. I feel a personal connection to you through the stories you tell. I do not think it’s funny for someone to tell you that the socks are ugly. Which they are not, and while they’re not my “cup of tea”, and I personally think you are Craaazy for knitting them. But you already owned up to that one, and therefore if you want to knit socks that make you stand on your head with all your toes pointing in different directions while knitting them – then get after it Girl! Who cares if they never see the light of day again! It’s your Love and Care that’s knit into each and every stitch and the recipient will feel that love each and every time they put on the socks.
    I personally have only learned to knit socks for the express purpose of being able to, should the need arise. I knit for *practical* purposes. That’s My Thing. But Art, that is also practical, is a win-win.
    So, raspberry’s to the insulting commenter! Sounds like they’re just jealous ’cause you’re not knitting something for them. Too Bad!

  403. The socks are adorable! They were a lot of labor and the fact that you did them with love makes them even more special.
    As for the “others”… well, let´s just say that probably getting a life would be wildly refreshing. Or getting a lover.

  404. I apologize for this second comment, but I find this so interesting that I wold like to comment to a privious comment….makes sense ?
    It goes without saying that I would prefer to have a whole bunch of you here in Mexico City where we have a crystal deep blue sky, just under 70F and a tiny breeze….sitting on the roof top with coffee and tea ( I wouldn’t recommend the and lots of knitting and conversation….
    Someone wrote this: ===== “I too don’t subscribe to the “if you can’t say anything nice don’t say anything at all” way of thinking, which is rather facile and simplistic and doesn’t allow for constructive criticism.”
    And someone answered:
    I would respectfully disagree with this comment. I think far beyond being simplistic, it takes a very mature, and complicated, mind to find a way to say something constructive while simultaneously being kind and polite.”=====
    I absolutely agree with this person, actually I agree with both writers and would find it wonderful if people would do as the later suggested.
    However is it not that the ” if you can’t find anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all ” expression is used by many, many as a cop-out to not have to not participating in positive and constructive communication , but still can feel good ( and often superior ) about themselves, even though they are often just too lazy to make the effort…….just wondering.
    Mexico City

  405. Good for you. Standing up for civility in this world. I don’t often read the posts so I didn’t know you were getting flack for your knitting choices. What gall. I wouldn’t have chosen the sock project but then I have a bunch of colors in my UFO’s that you wouldn’t be caught dead in either.
    I (as you were) was raised to be polite, to respect other people, their opinions and space. A friend of my mother’s felt that brussel sprouts were a food stuff. When I was about the age of 4 I said at the table that I didn’t like them and wouldn’t eat them. My mother set me straight immediately. I apologized to the hostess and ate my three bites. Must have made an impression on me. As an adult I eat what I can, do not comment on the rest. Also I try to find out what my guests eat. If you came to my house I would try to provide a vegetarian meal or at least have enough non meat items that you could make a good meal. Naturally this training applies to non food things as well.
    I tell you this to show how I wish the rest of the world had been raised. I know from bitter, sometimes humorous experience that this is not the case.
    I think because email is not face to face communication that some use it to vent frustrations and opinions that would never come up in person.
    Too bad. It is such a wonderful way of keeping in touch, if at a remove.
    Hang in there. Keep us civil.
    lsj in the U.S.A.

  406. If Steph knit another pair of those wonderful socks and autioned them off for her favorite charity I bet they would bring in a BUNDLE! It could be the kindest gift of all!

  407. Isn’t saying something is “beautiful” pure opinion that does not necessarily inspire insight? I think its interesting that we have such a need to justify and explain why we sometimes have knee jerk reactions that are negative but our positive knee jerk reactions are simply accepted by the hundreds on a daily basis without comment…A blog is a most public forum and the public is what it is, occasionally reactionary, impolite, and unkind. Personally I am often amazed at how kind and civil the folks who read knit blogs are. We’re a pretty nice group!

  408. I would be so proud to wear those socks. I’d show them off to everyone I knew…I’d say…”someone MADE these for me… MADE THEM! can you believe it! LOOK AT THESE THINGS!!!” And yes, I’d wear them…what good are they if you can’t wear them and show them off?

  409. Those socks are so absolutely gorgeous! I would come up with the outfit and shoes to show them off. Really, they are quite an accomplishment and the recipient is so lucky to have you for a friend. And your efforts will be made all the sweeter knowing that she will appreciate all that went into them.

  410. Those socks are beautiful! Gorgeous! Can you just see someone wearing them under a full length skirt, attending an important business meeting? Those socks would make her feel so confident, that she’d be absolutely brilliant at the meeting, and get a promotion.
    That’s how good those socks are.

  411. I just finished Steph’s book and that’s why I am here. I have just conquered the making of a straight stockinette stich 5″ by 5″ square, without cheating and accidentally adding on loops. So…these socks knock my socks away. I wonder if I will ever be able to produce anything this absolutely stunning. These socks inspire me to abandon those stupid afghan squares, and spring for a loose, tunic-cut sweater with all straight seams. And I can use those humble squares as my gauge and not even need a pattern. And I can shape the neck using crochet…since I feel more comfortable with that right now. How hard can it be, right? ( GRIN )
    Steph, I would wear these in a flash. I would also wear knee-highs in a similar pattern, to go with a shorter skirt. Like, with the vine crawling up the outside of the calf. That would rock, too. But what I found most impressive was the way the heel was fitted. TTFN, Kate

  412. Hat tip to the designer too! That must have been a difficult pattern to translate for others to follow. They are a work of art.

  413. Another thought on all this. I’ve heard blogs likened to “virtual living rooms” of the blog host before, but I’m thinking otherwise of that analogy now. I think the comparison works only if you would leave the front door to your house open to everyone on the street to enter every day.
    I entered a discussion on ravelry on the Big Issues forum once, but after too many snarky remarks, I bowed out and left the group. It wasn’t worth the “debate” if the level of discussion sinks to less than substantive remarks. It occurred to me at that time that what I was doing in entering such a discussion was basically akin to entering a mall filled with hundreds of people and just talking to everyone about whatever issue.
    Another thought on all this. I’ve heard blogs likened to the “virtual living room” of the blog host before, but I’m thinking otherwise of that analogy now. I think the comparison works only if you would leave the front door to your house open to everyone on the street to enter your house every day.
    I entered a discussion on ravelry on the Big Issues forum once, but after too many snarky remarks aimed my way (no matter how respectfully I shared my thoughts on the topic), I bowed out and left the group. It wasn’t worth the “debate” if the level of discussion sinks to degradation. It occurred to me at that time that what I was doing by entering such a discussion was akin to entering a mall filled with hundreds of people and just talking to everyone there about the topic at hand.
    I think blogs are not dissimilar in this regard. It can’t be your virtual “living room,” because you wouldn’t invite everyone from the street into your home. On a blog, one basically just ‘puts it out there’ for the entire world – regardless of readers’ intelligence, opinions, uncommon sense, courtesy (or lack of), etc.
    When we hold conversations in our own homes (or anywhere else), we tend to be more selective in the topics and the audience, tailoring what we say or how we say it to the background, intelligence and maturity of the conversationalists. Not so in the blogosphere
    So I have concluded that I don’t think blogs are “virtual living rooms.” Neither are they like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates. You don’t just get what you get. You can select what you want in a box of chocolates, whereas on the blogosphere, you may just end up with a box of sour grapes.

  414. Aarrgghh!
    My own edited comment came out in some part duplicate! And no chance for a second edit….
    No stet! No stet!
    Your latest opportunity to edit your latest manuscript was a blessing, no matter how it through your socks off schedule.

  415. gack –
    *threw* your socks off schedule (not through).
    I’d better just walk away, head hung in shame…

  416. Love the socks and I am definitely not an embellished person and didn’t “get” the pictures on Tsarina’s wensite BUT I love them in the virtual flesh and may have to make a pair to wear under my jeans with my Birkenstocks.
    What’s important is that we knit what we like and if somneone is offended by the knitting going on in your living room I respectfully suggest that they leave quietly.
    I know this is way late but as someone wise said; when someone acts out it’s almost always about them, not you. Sounds like insecurity overload as in if I don’t agree I must be wrong and I can’t be wrong so…..
    Cheers, I check in everyday because it’s always interesting: You KNIT (must better than rock!)

  417. I think it is time to take a deep breath and move on. I am ready to leave the issues of blogging and socks behind. What you see depends on where you stand.

  418. spring/summer outfit: calf-length dress or jumper with t-shirt (in color matching flowers)underneath, and birkenstocks to show off the “toe flower” – funky but sweet!

  419. —-“However is it not that the ” if you can’t find anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all ” expression is used by many, many as a cop-out to not have to not participating in positive and constructive communication , but still can feel good ( and often superior ) about themselves, even though they are often just too lazy to make the effort…….just wondering.”—-
    I don’t think so. I think, more often than not, it’s quite the opposite. A person who follows “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all” isn’t copping out so much as being polite, because the expression shouldn’t imply that these people are never saying anything. They are simply not saying anything mean. So, it seems to me at least, that it goes to tact. If a person can’t think of anything nice to say, or any way to politely state their “constructive criticism”, then they should stay mum.
    I have found, and this may not necessarily be true in all instances, merely in my own experience, that it is those who say that “brutally honest” is better (b/c how will a person improve if they don’t know their shortcomings? or how will society advance? or ? etc etc) are the ones “copping out” because they aren’t challenging themselves to put another’s feelings first and take that into consideration when choosing their words; or they DO realize the impact of their words but say them anyway b/c they enjoy the ensuing drama (and I suspect, for a very select few, the pain they inflict.
    Moreover though, I think a person really needs to be in tune w/ others enough to be able to discern WHEN a person is looking for support and when they are looking for feedback.
    I have had many a time when I have asked a friend, “Hmmm, does this look remotely right to you?” She knows by my tone, body language, expression and wording that I’m asking her honest opinion on whatever it is. (My best girl friend will often be the one here to say “Weeeeelll, maybe if you just ……” and that’s awesome b/c she is giving me desired feedback in a kind manner.
    There have been other times I have said “Check it out, my latest creation. TA DA!!!” A person in touch with their own humanity should be able to see in that moment that I don’t honestly care WHAT anyone else thinks of this particular creation. I created. I love it. I just want you to share in my excitement… and if my new creating makes you skin crawl and your blood reverse direction back to your heart…. well, that’s okay….. b/c it’s not about YOU lol You don’t have to say “Gosh, it’s beautiful” You can just say “YAY” w/ me and I’m good b/c that’s all I was really looking for anyway.

  420. it’s really interesting the way that some people respond to honest opinions.
    for instance, how does not liking a pair of socks signify that a person has no life or needs to go on more dates? i’m not getting the reasoning bhind that one . . .

  421. also, if someone doesn’t want honest feedback, perhaps there should be a “no honesty allowed- even if it means lying, tell me you love it!” disclaimer.

  422. “Mean people suck” is a valid opinion, but I would be interested to know just who is being referred to by that statement. Is it the two or three individuals who made the original (thoughtless?) remarks or the 700 or so anonymous unkind responders who supposedly thought through their remarks before sending? Just wondering is all. And Stephanie did say she wanted people to back up their negative remarks or did I misunderstand her?

  423. Stephanie, you have become my idol. I have only recently found YarnHarlot, and became an immediate fan. I’ll look for your books!
    I have to say, however, that my opinion differs from most of your readers. I love the socks, and if I had made them, I would be so proud that I would frame them and put them over the fireplace. Or send them to the Smithsonian as an example of 21st Century American Craftsmanship. I am a fairly inexperienced knitter, so your accomplishment seems astronomical to me!

  424. I just wanted to tell you that I find you (and your writing, and your knitting, and your love of parentheses) so compelling, I just spent an hour of my toddler’s nap reading your blog. My son’s naps are the only “me” time I get, and I have to say that I must really, really adore you to spend all of his nap with you in your blog-living-room. Thank you.

  425. Love your socks. I have not made a pair myself, but will have to knit a pair after seeing your socks.
    Thank you for sharing.

  426. Thing one: those socks are so super cool. I wonder, though, how you will ever bear to wear them out of the house. I’d be so worried about staining, holes, and general ruin of something so lovely.
    Thing two, which pertains to the previous post: my mother used to threaten to “knock me into next week,” too. It made me smile to read that yours did the same. Or would have done, as the case may be.

  427. The thing about these socks is that they are so darn clever – this is design! The inlaid leaf, the bunch of grapes, the wineglass heel which fits beautifully – it’s just too freakin’ cool. And beautifully excuted. (The recipient _must_ wear them with open-toed Birks, so that the inlaid leaf is visible). I was thinking of buying the kit, but thought of the 30-odd leaves to knit, and this quote from a popular author came to mind: “’s only knitting: I can do anything. I just chose not to, that’s all, the same way I chose not to lie in the middle of the freeway or file my teeth into points.” Thank you for knitting these so I can admire them.

  428. Amanda is one lucky girl! I think I’d be wearing those socks under or over everything. Even in boots on the snowiest of days, I wear some of my favorite handknit socks just because they make me feel good.

  429. Now, I have been watching the progress on the socks with interest. I have loved the pictures of the wee leaves, and wondered, just where do those leaves go. Now that I have seen the finished socks, I have to say that they are exquisite! I really do like them.
    I don’t normally read many other postings, but I agree they are a work of art. I hope the giftee wears them with a skirt out and about!
    I’m thinking I want to make a pair…..

  430. I like your socks, and if I were to complete a pair, I’d probably retire them to the “only for ceremonial occasions” drawer. (My husband invented the “ceremonial sweater”, after I knit him a complicated Fair Isle pullover, and I don’t think I’ve ever quite forgiven him. Like you, I’m pleased that Amanda is wearing the socks.)
    I will confess that I don’t understand why a comment about not liking the socks needs a philosophical explanation or an analysis of the commentator’s motives. People react differently to different designs, and to say that one thinks a design is ugly is hardly an ad hominem or ad feminem attack. After all, no one can please everybody all the time!

  431. Love the socks – your knitterly skills amaze me!
    People consistently use the internet to be just plain nasty – I’ve seen people on craft forums telling people to give up craft completely because someone doesn’t like what they’re making which is madness. It really is just like kids in a playground. Glad you highlighted this issue that is prevalent all over the place – yes you are free to say what you like but that doesn’t mean what you say shold be free from thought!

  432. I don’t usually comment but read the blog. I have been watching these socks as you have progressed with them and been hooked on seeing how they came out. These are indeed a work of art. I hope the recipient wears them with great pride. If it were me I would wear them everywhere and be shoving them under everyones nose to make sure they got a good enough look LOL

  433. I’m reminded of my favorite Albus Dumbledore quotes:
    “-yet, sadly, accidental rudeness occurs alarmingly often…. Best to
    say nothing at all…”
    “I do so love knitting patterns”

  434. I’m a pretty selfish knitter. I do knit gifts for others, and enjoy doing so, but I knit FAR more for myself than anyone else and when I find a pattern that is so special, like your grape leave socks, I’d never even think of giving the final product away. As always, you’re an inspiring knitter! They’re truly gorgeous and I’m already imagining them in different colorways. (a mulled-wine or burgandy color…)
    PS, my socks NEVER (or rarely) match my outfit. Even when I used to work in an office I would wear crazy socks under my dress pants and shoes. I hope your recipient goes wild and wacky with these!

  435. If you read down this far (if anyone reads down this far!) you deserve a medal. I admit I didn’t even read down this far, so if I’m repeating someone, I apologize.
    This struck me this morning. The anonymity of the internet is often blamed, and I think there is something to that – but I wonder now how much of this “rudeness” is pre-internet, and pre-social-networks? Your assumption in this post is that communication is there in order to bring the whole group to a larger understanding through a give-and-take, let me see it from your view method. But these days (or at least the days pre-texting and myspace), most of the “communication” people were exposed to was one-way -> television, critical reviews, even books and magazines. Think of the judges on reality tv these days – often harsh, without any idea to help those they critique. If most of your media is in this form, and you aren’t regularly part of an online group (where you quickly figure out what’s acceptable!), is it a wonder that you might read a blog like an article, and you might respond like the “critics” or judges you normally see/hear/read?
    Don’t get me started on “critics” or “judges”…

  436. Hmmm…pish-posh, they are exquisite socks. Too bad that these days we are living in an increasingly illiterate world and one in which people have no social skills…a large communication breakdown in a world of increased methods to communicate. That is very sad, no?

  437. Wow – they look great on! I have to admit, I couldn’t quite “picture” it, but on someone’s feet they look really amazing! Congratulations! 🙂

  438. These socks look really WARM, I would love to have the extra fabric around the top, on a day like today, not as cold as Canada I am sure, but still feels cold to my feet! As to wearing fancy socks to meetings, I am all about that! I am an attorney, and I love to wear “silly” socks under my pantsuits. I have striped socks, socks with cats, socks with birds on them…I am one who takes an ironic approach to fashion, and socks are the one place I can exercise that a bit.

  439. I would have to say that the socks are not my cup of tea (or wine) and I probably wouldn’t go to the time of knitting them, but I can recognize the incredible talent to design them! I’m really taken with the heel. I’ve been thinking alot lately about ‘why’ the decreases ‘have’ to be on a diagonal along either side of the ankle, for example. As long as you get rid of the extra sts, does it matter where it happens?

  440. I don’t like to wear socks. Even when it’s sleeting and snowing as it is here right now, I’m not a sock person. However, I can and do admire handknit socks as objects, and those grapevine socks are sensational. While I could never ever knit them, I think they’re gorgeous–but I’d never wear them…I’d hang them on the wall as the works of art that they are!

  441. There are a lot of patterns and items and who-knows-what out there in the world that are not to my taste. However, I am quite cognizant that things I consider beautiful, may not be appreciated by others (for example, I think red and purple go together). I expect others to have that attitude and am continually shocked (I am 50, I suppose I should be used to this by now, but I’m not) by the intolerance of others.
    There is ALWAYS something positive to say, and sometimes you just have to look harder. If a neighbour’s (or family member’s) new wallpaper is truly hideous and there has not yet been the money printed to make you put it up on your own walls, is there a colour in it you like? Or does it at least match the similarly hideous couch? Or does it at least camouflage the equally startling paint shade that it covers? Work on it, people!!
    As per your earlier question re saying on blogs or sites what a person would not say in person, I think it is the anonymity of the net, and the overall decline of manners. A person is generally alone (even in a group setting) with their technology tool of choice, and may view what they type as an extension of their thoughts, without realizing what it would sound like aloud.
    Another example, which impacts me frequently, is people’s behaviour in theatres (film, live or some types of concerts). Now, I will sing along (to my family’s chagrin, often) with the car radio, and when listening to music at home. This is often regardless of whether I have a strong familiarity with the lyrics, and almost constantly regardless of the fact I have not yet been issued the bucket in which to carry any tune. However, generally, I recognize that people who have paid good money to attend a concert have done so, in order to hear the artist and not me. I am not so curmudgeonly to expect this at all concerts – i.e. why see Tom Cochrane and NOT yell out your version of “Life is a Highway” when offered the opportunity. I’m thinking more along the lines of attending “Phantom of the Opera” and having to endure another patron’s performance, which being closer to my seat is actually drowning out the performers on stage.
    Same with movies. I am a big fan of talking back to the screen when I am watching tv or films at home, and if I am either alone or with someone who shares that habit. At the theatre, tho, I shut up. And glare at those who don’t.
    Don’t even get me started on audiences for live theatre.
    My “gateway” craft to knitting was and is quilting. There are many, many butt-ugly and poorly made quilts and quilt patterns in the world. But you know what? Somebody loves them. And somebody thought about them, and designed them, and tinkered with them to get them to that state. Somebody LOVED them. Respect that process, if not the end result.
    Manners isn’t about knowing which fork to use. Manners is having courtesy and respect for other people. We all need more of that.
    Thanks for letting me rant!

  442. I have knitted several objects just for the fun of it. It is art and that is how I look at these socks. They are amazing- beautiful. In general – why do we knit socks when we can buy them pretty inexpensively? —-or a sweater for that matter?

  443. Hmmmm. I’m really surprised at the commentary these socks started!!!! I agree, those socks are best worn at home with some comfy clothes so that they can be shown off. There is a LOT Of work put into those socks and it shows. You did a FANTASTIC job on them. I now understand abt all that leaf knitting.
    As far as liking or not liking them, there are a ton of patterns out there that aren’t my tastes (lots of the VERY popular on the nets), but that doesnt mean it’s not a neat or interesting pattern. Would I make these socks? Probably not, just because I’m a lazy knitter and like my socks to be plain vanilla with the sock yarn doing all the talking. Would I wear these socks? You bet! So if you ever have the urge to make more leaves, know that there is some random person out in Florida who would welcome a pair. Just in case you feel up to it! 😉

  444. My only curiosity about the socks would be that the seam sewing the leaf in on the toe would be uncomfortable or rub on your toe. Is it? (I have this hate for toe seams and I have to knit all my socks toe up.)
    Also, I have been known to love something I knit and wear it plenty even though I would not have worn it or loved it if I had seen it on a hanger in a store. As a matter of fact, I probably would have called it ugly or plain or lumpy. No matter. I love it and wear it because I made it and that alone is enough to make it special.
    Rock on, Steph!

  445. I have been blown away by the sheer volume of comments–why? They’re socks! And then I was struck by something.
    According to Hippocrates, there are 4 basic personality types, choleric(a driver type), sanguine(bubbly),melancholy(not sad,detail oriented) and phlegmatic(nurturer). I am a phlegmatic and I think that a large portion of knitters are probably phlegamtic as well, albeit with many secondary traits.
    Anyway, a trait of phlegmatics, who are usually long sufferers, is fierce protectiveness of those who are dear to them. And although most of us have never met our “Harlot”, she is dear to us. And frankly, don’t most us hear from her more often than our own family members?
    So here we are rallying around somone who we feel has been done an injustice or disservice or was just plan roughed up and the knitters of the world have stepped up to take care of our own.
    If you are interested in the Hippocrates personality traits, a great, even fun read, is Personality Plus by Florence Littauer. Scary, how right on it can be.

  446. I think your socks came out great, and they’ve inspired me to try something beyond my scope. Don’t know what yet, but something. And I’d definitely wear them. Out in public even. Socks are the one article of clothing that can really reflect our personality when the rest of our clothes have to conform. Thanks for your perseverence and patience and for sharing your awesome talent with us.

  447. I didn’t like the socks at first, but then they grew on me, to the point where I almost bought a kit. So likes and dislikes are subjective, even in the same person. Well, back to knitting.

  448. I have to say that I would wear socks like those, out in public, with shorts or (better) a knee-length skirt. I think they are pretty and make a real fashion statement. They would go best with solid colored clothes that let the socks take the forefront of the ensemble.
    I recently finished my first pair of knee-highs, and I made a critical mistake (the stripes are upside down on one sock), and I don’t particularly like the color, even though I dyed the yarn myself. I will probably only wear them when I get caught in freezing weather without warm pants. However, I LOVE that I made them. They were a good exercise for me to do, a definite learning experience. Plus, knee-highs are terrific for when you want a “mindless knitting” project that takes a long time to occupy your hands while you wait four hours for an event.

  449. I think you’re a total nut for knitting them, and also totally over-the-top, but beautiful in an overgrow English cottage garden or Mary Engelbreit images kind of way.
    I’d still rather poke my eyes out than knit them, since that would likely be the end result if I tried.
    Kudos for providing such a compassionate response to criticism. It’s hard to do, even for grownups.

  450. Thank you for taking all of your readers along on this journey. It was a fascinating trip and the socks are very pretty. Certainly worth all the work, even if they end up being worn around the house with a comfy bathrobe.

  451. I love the socks. I would wear them, at home and to and from work (and actually, I would wear them to my daughter’s school with a skirt and tennis shoes only because she thinks that I am a total embarrassment anyway so it wouldn’t matter what I wear but I do try to live up to my reputation!).
    There is a woman that waits for her bus in downtown Cleveland that always wears fantastic socks with her tennis shoes. I did comment on a pair once and she just laughed and said something like “well, if you have really noticed, you will note that I only wear them from September to April when the chances of the skies being gray and ugly are at the peak and my sock brighten my day.” Great attitude.
    I do believe that I am going to have to make me a pair of socks . . .

  452. They are magnificent Ms. Harlot. Simply (or not so simply, as it turns out) to have knit them is the adventure. Come grape harvest next year, your friend will have holiday socks like no other.

  453. Those socks are amazing and inspiring. I was thinking red and green leaves for Christmas (poinsettias) or just red leaves on white socks and there you have the Canadian flag. Very cool socks!

  454. I’m in the US and I get the daily blog sometimes a day late or whatever, though I check the blog every day. And to my surprise, what did appear but a negative statement about the Vintage Sock.
    It’s not the comment that person made per se, but the minimization of all the effort and dedication you put into the project. If that person didn’t have the experience/patience/or intestinal fortitude to withstand the rigors of committing to a project that was fulfilling to someone other than his/her selfish self, then that’s their issue. I say to him/her: don’t hate because YOU can’t do it.
    And another thing (sorry to be on a rant), I think the real reason that person did what they did was for attention (albiet negative). I call it ‘stealing blog’ when you can’t afford your own web page and have no projects to show or talents to speak of, then you shoot down someone else’s hard work and call it ‘being honest’. It’s actually very hypocritical because the internet provides some anonymity, but those that can’t knit don’t know any better.
    OK, now I’ve really got to get to my real purpose of my post – the socks are lovely. So lovely that in fact, I got myself a pair of clogs and I ordered the gut wrenching sock pattern for myself. I can only WISH that someone loved me enough to make them for me, but I love myself enough so …

  455. Yup, absolutely beautiful. (I will not order the kit just to admire the yarn and pattern, I WILL NOT).

  456. In 4-H we have what’s known as a Judging Day. We judge pigs, sheep, goats, etc. there are 46 ways to “properly” describe an animal. Not one of those terms is; It’s fat, or skinny, it’s over finished or under finished etc….
    I loved learning how to tell someone something negative in a positive way. We all have “feelings” too much honesty isn’t necessary, or appreciated.
    I would find an outfit to show off these socks, but then I buy bigger shoes to fit my hand-spun hand knit socks…….

  457. Okay, gotta admit that I normally don’t comment and I barely have time to catch up on blogs, let alone 500+ comments, but this one had me thinking in the shower this morning, so I had to comment. Sorry if it’s a repeat.
    To add on to what Sandra said, not only do some people hope they’re not the only ones with a certain opinion and say something to get that opinion reinforced, some express an opionion solely to be contrary and get attention for that. It’s a way to stand out and be different. That commenter certainly got your attention, which may have been the entire point, whether consciously or unconsciously. When we went to high school in the 80s, there were kids we called wavers or goths or punks or whatever, who dressed in their black clothes, white pancake make up with dark lined eyes and mouths, uniquely colored and styled hair, and all of that. One of my best friends was a waver and we’d discuss all the time why she chose to look the way she did. In the beginning, she insisted she was just expressing herself in a unique way and wasn’t doing it to get stares on the streets of our tiny backwoods town. Eventually, she conceded that the attention she received for her look, be it negative or positive, was one of the reasons for doing it in the first place. If she couldn’t get attention for being “one of the crowd,” she’d take what she got for being different and she’d revel in it. It gave her notoriety and made her feel special, even when most people didn’t agree with her. Maybe that’s why this commenter chose to make a remark that wasn’t constructive or meaty enough to debate. The comment brought the attention sought, so suited its purpose, perhaps.
    On top of that, how many times does something stupid fly out of one’s mouth before it can be caught and reeled back in? Sure, we can edit our typing and mull it over, but it’s awfully easy to hit send before taking that consideration!

  458. Not my style of SOCK, but someone mentioned a scarf – now THAT I can get on board with, the vines tracing along the scarf and the grapes and leaves following along. Even if something is not exactly someone’s cup of tea we should always be open to the inspiration of other possibilities. A Christmas stocking, a scarf, a new technique. To see something and saying (even to one’s self) “That’s ugly” closes the mind to growth and learning

  459. I haven’t read any of the previous comments, so if I’m duplicating anything, many apologize. It seems to me, and has for a while, that people are willing to say things on the internet that they would (probably? hopefully?) never say in person. Without a face or a voice, people abdicate the responsibility of being kind to one another. I see knitting and art and hear music that I dislike all the time. There are some very popular designs on popular knitting websites that I look at and *inside* wince a little. But I try always to remember that before those designs got where they were, someone thought “OOOh! I have this neat idea!” and once they got out there for people to knit, someone thought, “OOOH! I love that. I must knit it asap.” Who am I, with my opinion, to deny anyone the joy of those moments by saying “Wow, that’s ugly.”

  460. When you first started making these socks and put up the link to the pattern I thought ‘wow, now thats a fancy bit of work!’ I was very impressed by the design and skill with which they were made but was not immediately drawn to knit a pair my own self. Boy they were pretty though.
    Now that I have seen them made, in a different color way than the original pictures, I can honestly say that I would love to make a pair for myself. You have shown the details, and mistakes, beautifully in your blogging saga. I love the care and work that has gone into them. You’ve made them more approachable, more human.
    Thanks, Steph

  461. I agree with most of your other commenters – those are GORGEOUS socks, and if I had *ever* knit even one sock, I would already have the kit in hand. It’s still a possibility…

  462. Now, if she would only design a sweater with those little leaves around the collar.. autumn colors… I’d make that one. I don’t have the trim little ankles to show off socks like that.

  463. Some of the comments on here in support of Stephanie and her socks are more aggressive and offensive than a comment saying some socks are ugly. The lack of manners and hostility in THOSE posts are far worse and directed at PEOPLE! You people are being much ruder than those who hated the socks.
    Can I just point out that at no point was Steph’s of Lisa’s talent as knitters/designer ever questioned or insulted. Neither was Steph’s taste ever in question. The socks were a gift for someone else. That person may be a wine lover or grape grower and the socks may have been appropriate and just the thing to say “hey, saw this and thought of you”.
    For example; Those little crocheted ladies that sit on the loo roll are fairly ugly, not many people would argue with that. BUT my grandma loved them and so I love them too because they remind me of her (although I can’t bring myself to make or own one). I reserve the right to call them ugly without removing the right of anyone else to own and love them for their own reasons.
    Now can people please calm down and stop fighting each other over a pair of socks.

  464. Hey, I think they are very impressive…I would never have thought up something like that (not on socks anyway), and I don’t think I would ever make or wear such things myself…but hey, you know the recipient, and if they’re gonna like them, then go for it! That’s a lot of work and they are extraordinary.

  465. “I spend hours wondering what the point of pure opinion without reason is, or what exactly is wrong with society that “I’m just being honest” or “I have a right to an opinion” isn’t countered with “Why would you share that with me?” If the answer is “because I believe that something will change as a result of our interaction”, that’s good enough for me. it doesn’t have to be nice, but if there’s no answer, or no reason, then I just can’t get behind it. The rule on this blog is not “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” That wouldn’t invite conversation or debate. The rule here is “If you wouldn’t say it if you were in my living room, then don’t say it.”
    Wow, you have so succintly expressed my thoughts here that I can’t believe it. I so agree with you about this. Thanks for saying this so well.

  466. Ya know, those are some gorgeous socks. I can see them being worn with a flippy short skirt and strappy sandals (although not by me, I don’t quite have the figure for it, but what the heck!)… Maybe at a festival celebrating either spring or a grape harvest. I love them! I would even go so far as to wear them to a Board meeting – yes, with sandals so everyone could see the toes!
    I want. 😉 And I just learned to knit – so I can make my own socks and stocking! Perhaps even some out of my own handspinning. 😉

  467. You know, these particular socks are not socks I would personally wear, typically. However, they are a damn fine offering to the knitting gods and a brilliant piece of design work. That being said, because of those two things, if I knit them, I would wear them. And if I had more time right this moment and didn’t have a toddler who would surely hide all 34 leaves, I would definitely knit them.

  468. These socks remind me of a comment my husband made about a colourful jumper I have (sugarplum by rowan-mid 90’s): they look like they get up and dance around the room by themselves when everyone is asleep! Truly magical knitting!

  469. I have a friend whose ex-partner was an incapable of doing even the slightest bit of work around the house, including picking up after himself.
    Mind you, I’m no great housekeeper, but I keep it pretty under control.
    One day he was standing in my kitchen and actually said to me, “You know, you should sweep and mop your floor more often”.
    I was FLOORED. I showed him where the broom, dustpan, and mop was and that he was more than welcome to rectify any problem he felt needed attention. Of course, he was unable to use a broom, dustpan, or mop, so the bits of crud on the floor remained where they were.

  470. Thanks for a very clear articulation of the reasons you might want to share something negative (or that could be perceived as negative) with another. It applies directly to my life right now and some issues my family is going through. I’ve been struggling with what to say, when to say it, how to say it, etc. And the standard of “I believe/hope something will change because of our interaction” is a really helpful way to approach this situation. I still may not say anything, but your posts on this matter have given me some things to think about and a reminder to be as kind and careful as possible going forward in this (and all) situations. I’m so glad I read blogs. Thanks.

  471. First, in my opinion, the socks are a work of art. I can’t imagine when I would wear them (being cozy around the house while drinking a good glass of wine seems right, though!) but, they are lovely, sculptural and truly amazing.
    Second, I am amazed at how many people forget this one simple lesson: “If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” It’s quite simple. I pass plenty of people in the street and think their hair/outfit/makeup is ugly to my taste. But, who am I to judge THEIR taste? Giving my unsolicited opinion would be rude and callous. Period.
    So, I stick to the Golden Rule. I treat others how I would want to be treated, in both my words and my actions. I just wish more people would do the same.
    Thank you for posing your big question. It needs to be asked more often.

  472. Wow. Those are some gorgeous socks. I comment both you and the Tsarina. Most excellent. I know I couldn’t do it.

  473. “Giving my unsolicited opinion would be rude and callous. Period.”
    true. but posting an FO on a blog, when it’s understood that people are going to comment on it (and indeed, you *want* them to comment on it) isn’t exactly a case of unsolicited opinions.

  474. OMG those are beautiful! I would be buying new outfits and shoes just to show them off, Hooray! 🙂

  475. How wonderful! I’d wear them just to watch my feet in them. I wasn’t so sure as you were going thru the drama, but on your model they are impressive…good job and thanks for the drama!

  476. I love reading your blog. Your sense of humor and views on life, make me giggle, sometimes laugh out loud when no one is around, your simply an inspiration to me. The Ugly comment made me think of;
    The Four Agreements
    by Don Miguel Ruiz
    Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
    I am glad you are immune to such things, I loved the whimsy of the socks, and learning new techniques. I am very new to knitting and probably won’t make those socks, but thank you very much for knitting them and sharing all that you do!

  477. I think the socks are beautiful. I love fairies and they remind me of fairy clothing. With what would I wear them you ask? With regular clothes, of course. Or I could dress up as a fairy and wear them, you know, to a fantasy convention.
    Please let the designer know that there are folks out in the world that appreciate the unexpected and find beauty in the oddest places. Thanks!

  478. i suppose it comes down to this: just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD. on all sides.
    while those socks are not my cup of tea, i can regcognize a well-written pattern, and i can accept knitting them for the challenge. works forme.

  479. My two cents: The socks are beautiful.
    They are not to my taste in knitting because I prefer to not make myself crazy attempting to be that neurotic (though my husband wants to give them a go).
    I must say though, every time I look at the sock portion, a perverse part of my brain says “But it would be so neat if those grapes were in colourwork too!”
    I think knitting and mild cases of masochistic behavior go hand in hand, no?

  480. I hadn’t beeen on for a week I could not see where all the leaves were going to be but those are the greatest socks I have ever seen.
    Just FANTASTIC!!!!

  481. Merci, thank you sooo muuuch! I’m a beginner with the Norway knitting and I’m trying to finish a sweater that I promise to my sit-ski teacher. But I’m having all the trouble in the world to understand the Dale of Norway Pattern! (Yes English is not my mother tongue!)But now that I found you blog woow. No more trouble!!! I just visited “The glory and the pain” = so well done. Keep doing your pictures, it’s so helpful.

  482. Those socks are art, pure and simple (well, not so simple)! Beautifully done. I admire your patience. And I love your blog!

  483. Stunning. That has got to be the knitting equivalent of climbing Mt. Everest.
    I hope that by finishing them, you got the same feeling of exhilaration and accomplishment!

  484. these socks are just gorgeous.. I feel you posted about them before.. is there any pattern, is this your design? it must have taken lots of time.. but looking at the result..
    yeah insulting comments are not nice..:S

  485. what a fun pair to wear! so much imagination in a down to earth way! All hats off to the designer and a million thanks to the knitter. A pattern I would want, even if only to look at and say “someday….”

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