[Note from later in 2009: This pattern is now available in hard copy from The Purple Purl, in Toronto.]
Brace yourselves, because this is pretty much as geek-tastic as my knitting gets. BSG knitters in the house? This is for us.
This pattern is something I’ve had on the brain since about, oh, last spring or so. I was pondering the Season 3 finale of Battlestar Galactica, and Starbuck and Apollo, and the emblematic maelstrom and the Eye of Jupiter, and so of course the most logical response in my head was, “hey let’s put that into a really complicated sock and then write it into a pattern.” Several months and three attempts later, and after a few different variations and lots and lots of poring over stitch dictionaries, this is what it turned into:
I present to you, Viper Pilots (Ravelry store link). Visually, it combines all the elements I wanted to achieve – the swirled, dynamic twists that represent exactly those same maelstroms that Starbuck and Apollo fly through practically on a daily basis, and the chevron, arrow-like cables that bear more than a passing resemblance to the Vipers they fly. It’s sort of violent and beautiful at the same time.
And now the pattern is out in the world (which fills me with simultaneous excitement and just a little bit of terror…but I feel this way about pretty much everything I’ve ever designed ever, so I’m hoping that’s normal), and is currently available as a sale download on Ravelry. (See that linkie above). I’m charging $5.00 which seemed pretty reasonable to me, so I hope it seems reasonable to knitters, too. (There are charts! And instructions! And everything!)
In knitting this pattern I chose Dream in Color Smooshy, in the aptly-named ‘Nightwatch’ colourway, but one of the reasons I liked the DiC option is that there are so many different colourways in the blue-black area; Dusky Aurora, Black Parade, Midnight Derby…I’d love to know what it looks like in all sorts of shades. I also like Smooshy for its fantastic yardage – cables eat yarn for breakfast and I wanted a skein that would get me through a pair of socks in my Size 11 feet without trouble, and I’m pleased to say this fits the bill. Any substitution would be fine for something with a bit of ‘squish’ to it, in a moderate fingering weight.
The biggest challenge with this pattern would be adjusting for size, given that it is hard to simply alter stitch repeats. I have written this pattern for one size which will comfortably fit feet 8.5-10 ins or so in circumference, at an anticipated stockinette gauge of 32 sts over 4 inches. I used 2.75mm needles, which is the size I would use if I were knitting a plain pair of 64-sts stockinette socks. Up-sizing or down-sizing would be easiest with a change in needle size, depending on your anticipated gauge, but also by altering the # of purl sts between the repeats – each individual stitch pattern is separated by 2 purl sts, so changing that # could change the overall circumference of the leg or foot.
In executing this design I am more than just a little bit grateful to my test-knitters. Rebecca took the first hit got it first, and helped me go through several key edits before passing it off to Abbie, who went a little cross-eyed somehow completed the entire first sock in less than a week, and Jacquie had a look-see to see if my suggestions for Magic Loop knitters made any sense at all (she says they do). They have thus reassured me that this pattern is capable of being executed by people possessing a brain other than my own, and have even expressed some enjoyment of doing so;
Jacquie called them “boss”, Rebecca said they were “hard but stunning” (I’ll go ahead and wait while you think about that in the context of Starbuck and Apollo…), and Abbie ranked the pattern as “A++ Would Knit Again Just As Soon As I Drink This Scotch Right Here”, so that pretty much sums up everything I was going for in the first place. And when you put them on…well. Nothing has made me feel quite this badass as a knitter in quite a while.
I hope you’ll enjoy, and thanks for reading as I babble about this crazy process of what happens when we do strange things like watch TV shows and knit patterns inspired by them. And now, I’m off to enjoy a glass of wine.
Many people have been expressing interest in this pattern, and for that, dear knitters, I thank you from the bottom of my sock yarn stash. Thank you, so very very much.
I have received a few questions/queries and in case you are wondering, I will offer a few comments:
Is there a way to buy the pattern without using Paypal?
At the moment, no. I will happily start to investigate this as a future addition/upgrade, but for the moment the Ravelry/Paypal combination is the best option for me to be able to distribute to a wide variety of knitters, who may be using a variety of currencies.
[ETA May-4-09] If you’re really not interested/able to do the Paypal thing, send me an email (address below) if you would like to do a postal exchange of cash or cheque. Once i receive payment I will send you an electronic copy of the pattern.
I bought your pattern but I can’t find it. Where is it?
After you make the purchase, you will be sent an email with a download link for the pattern PDF. This link expires a short while after you first use it, so please ensure you save the file to your own computer.
Also, check your Ravelry pattern library. A copy is saved to your pattern library once you complete the purchase.
If all of these options have still not worked out, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we will work it out. Have no fear!