And so the madness begins with the first pattern launch of 2015.
Hello Demimonde socks.
I am so very glad that Lilith and I decided to do a sock club, because it has really opened my eyes to sock design. Socks come with their own design challenges and I really relished working with a differently shaped canvas. It's hard to describe it, but with socks, the canvas is obviously 3D-shaped with things happening around the heel/gusset area and the toes. As a designer I had to think about stitch patterns in several new ways - which direction I wanted them to go, how I wanted to deal with the transition into the heel area or the transition between leg and foot. I found it hugely satisfying to work with all this - and I do hope it resulted in a great knit for sock club members. I designed three socks in total and they are all just a wee bit different from one another.
The colour and pattern inspiration came from a TV show that Lilith raved about. I do not watch much TV, but I fell in love with the dark, decadent feel of Penny Dreadful. I know a fair bit about mid-to-late 19th century pop culture, but I enjoyed looking through archives of Eva Green looking resplendent in corsets and bustles. It was hard work, but someone had to do it!
Demimonde is directly inspired by late Victorian lace. I want the socks to provide a glimpse of ankles but also have an air of ever-so-slightly seedy respectability. Lilith's colourway - "rarest orchid" - was perfect. The purple hints of opium dens and smoky parlours.
(However, I was slightly thwarted when it came to photography! Here in Scotland we have very little natural light at the moment and my planned photoshoot on a dark velvet sofa with brocade scatter cushions turned out to be .. rather unworkable. We eventually shot these photos on a crisp, frosty morning - maybe not quite Eva Green frolicking on a plush velvet sofa, but you can actually see the socks.)
I should also mention my amazing sample knitter, Sue. Sue managed to knit the sample for me on a very tight deadline and did a fantastic job. I prefer to knit my samples myself, but deadlines collided for me last year and Sue really came through for me. Thank you!
So. the first pattern of 2015! At the moment Demimonde is an exclusive club pattern but will be released for general purchase in August. Stay tuned for another new pattern this month - it is an accessory and it's an stunning one (so say other people too).