To the strains of "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" (as used, inexplicably, by a French ice-dancing team), I got my gold medal.
And now I have a pair of socks.
This design is called Forest and Trees. The name was inspired by two things... I love how the stitch pattern suggests intertwined branches of trees in a dense forest, and I thought that it was a magical balance of stitch pattern and colour. I find that many handpainted yarns are just too damn busy for pattern stitches. As a tech editor, I see a lot of pictures of socks, and it saddens me when a knitter does all this beautiful and clever knitting, but then obscures it with a poor choice of yarn. You want a balance so you can see both the forest of the stitch pattern and the trees of the colour, to stretch the metaphor. I love a good handpainted/self-striping/patterned yarn, but if I'm going to use something wacky, I keep the knitting pretty simple.
This seems to strike the right balance, however, and I'm very pleased with the result.
The yarn, as mentioned before is Cascade Heritage Paints.
(It really is hard to produce a great of photograph of a pair of socks on your own feet, on a gloomy winter day.)
I was working on the second sock yesterday with some of the gang, and grumbling away about dropping stitches, and getting tired of turning the cables, and generally finding the knitting slow. (The problem is entirely with me, not the sock. I've been carrying it around with me everywhere, and half the time forgetting to take my cable needle, which has made for some risky knitting. I have not been applying the degree of attention this pattern requires and I've been suffering because of it.) And I was really worried about gauge - the new one seemed significantly looser than the first one.
But the gang raved about the sock-in-progress. They were so very enthusiastic and supportive of the design - and one of even them bought yarn and the pattern on the spot so she could knit them herself (thanks P!).
In light of all the nice words, I stepped back and took another look at this thing that had been driving my insane. I had been so focused on the trees of the process I wasn't seeing the forest of the sock anymore. And you know, the forest is pretty great, if I do say so myself.
Pattern for sale on Patternfish and Ravelry.