Are socks the key to bravery?

Priscilla Gibson-Roberts’s Love Stamped Socks are a welcoming introduction to colorwork.

Conquering my fear of colorwork

As someone who loves color, I am surprisingly intimidated by the thought of colorwork in my knitting. I can knit intricate lace until the cows come home, the finer the yarn and the more complicated the chart the better, but add in a different color during a row of stockinette, and Whoa!, that is going too far. Why is it some techniques, no matter how simple, become so daunting and compelling at the same time? Flipping through magazines, I pause and admire graphic designs and creative color combinations but then tear myself away and work on something I am more comfortable with. I admit it, I have knitted entire Bohus sweaters until the colorwork yoke section where they have languished, waiting for me to take that first step into color.

I am beginning to think, like it or not, the time for that first step has come. I need a new outlet for my handspun, and I think being able to combine colors not only in yarn but in a completed project is the direction I want to head in. I also think I have found a project to open this new frontier—Love Stamped Socks by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts. I was looking for a sock pattern to knit for a friend's Valentine's birthday and happened upon these magical socks. Priscilla designed these socks to illustrate the intarsia-in-the-round techniques she discussed in "Traditional Techniques for Creating Ethnic Intarsia Designs" in her Beyond the Basics article in the Fall 2003 issue of Interweave Knits.

The graphics on Priscilla Gibson-Roberts's Love Stamped Socks are inspired by postage stamps.

Each motif calls for one of four different methods that Priscilla identified in her studies of traditional knitting. These include motif knitting, zigzag intarsia, intarsia with a seam-line join, and seamless circular intarsia.

This practical sampler seems like a great way to test a variety of intarsia techniques and end up with a cute pair of socks to boot. Then once I've broken the color barrier, I will move on to Fair Isle, then I can take the plunge and finish up my exiled sweaters.

Spin on,


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