Some of you who have been reading here for a while know that in the past few years I've done a couple of patterns for the Yarn4Socks sock club. A couple of months after the sock club gets the pattern I offer it to the public through my blog. The first pattern I did for them was the Scarborough Fair and Caledonian Mist socks, then in 2008 I did the Visions of Sugarplums and New Fallen Snow socks. Well last November they contacted me again and asked if I could do the pattern for their February sock club. I accepted the pattern commission but there's a funny story to the whole thing.
When they contacted me, I had the flu. I never really felt that bad with it, but it sucked all of my energy out of my body. There was one other side effect of it and that was a huge burst of creative energy. I actually designed and charted an entire stole one day (which I'm knitting now to release as a pattern ASAP)! It was during this burst of creativity that they contacted me and told me that the theme for February was the element of Ether. Well the phrase "element of Ether" should have been a clue, but my fevered, flu crazed mind grabbed the word "Ether" and ran with it. I knew that I'd need to design the club socks around Ether, but I started thinking about how to do the second sock design (since I always do my sock designs in two's). I concluded quite quickly that designing a single sock and calling it "Amputation" was not going to be appropriate, but what about "A Bottle of Whiskey and a Leather Strap to Bite?" Now that would be a sock! Or I could base the second sock on more modern medical science and call it "Lidocaine!" I could call the little pattern collection "Anaesthesia through the Ages!" My brain was going a mile a minute and I was mentally stash diving to see if I had some whiskey colored sock yarn upstairs and wondering what color modern anaesthetics were. At some point, I had to stop the brainstorming and cook dinner and it was while I was standing over the pot of macaroni and cheese (hey, I had the flu) that I realized that maybe Yarn4Socks wasn't doing a series of sock clubs based on historical pharmacology.
I double checked their email where they told me the theme and there it was: "the element of Ether." OK, so I wouldn't need whiskey colored yarn (for this pattern at least), and quite happily, the Ether they were going for is Aether or Quintessence - the fifth of the classical elements. You know, the classical elements which I had already based sock designs on the first four? I had been playing with coming back and doing Aether but hadn't gotten around to it so this worked out perfectly! And just to keep it straight in my mind, I decided to use the spelling Aether not Ether.
If you're interested in the sock pattern, it will be available to Yarn4Socks sock club members next month (there are still spaces for sign ups for that month) along with some seriously lovely yarn dyed by Delia of The Fiber Denn. I will be offering the pattern only through this blog at the first of April (probably April 2), so if you miss out on the sock club you can complete your Elements Sock Collection set of patterns then. And just to tease you a bit, they've said I can show you the designs for the pattern- I present Celestial Socks and The Void Socks of Aether: Elements Sock Collection V:
Oh, and as for A Bottle of Whiskey and Leather Strap to Bite? I might just have to design a pair of socks around that idea at some point...