Monday, July 11, 2011

Knitting socks for Alice

How can one's passion for intrigue woven with words have semblance to a knitter's passion to create?
Profile of an exciting fanciful enchanting sock pattern book, knitting socks filled with origins rooted in legend, myth, and fairy tales.

"Legendary sock patterns for adventurous knitters."
The Enchanted Sole by Janel Laidman

Fantasy woven in verse
It is known that Alice in Wonderland was written by Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson in 1865, when a Sunday afternoon boat ride was a familiar and tranquil recreation. Dodgson was accompanied by another cleric friend and three little girls, ages 13, 10, and 8, all daughters of the headmaster at Westminster School. The little girls, as little girls tend to do when not stimulated by conversation or activity, became bored, so he told them a story about a little girl named Alice as they rowed up the River Thames in England. Later the Reverend Dodgson wrote the story down and published it under the pen name Lewis Carroll. It became a favorite of Queen Victoria and has never been out of publication since.

It was an an adventure story spun in a dream while Alice slept. She, too, was bored, sitting on a riverbank while her sister read a book. Alice saw a rabbit wearing a coat and followed the rabbit down the rabbit hole where the adventures began underground.

The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland continued with a myriad of dreamlike creatures: fish and frog footmen, the Mad Hatter, the Caterpillar smoking the hookah, the Queen of Hearts, and on and on. The dream finally ended by the riverside, as Alice's sister woke her up for tea, and the precocious Alice tripped off leaving her sister to wonder for herself.

Passionate fantasy

From chore to fairy tale

When knitting first became a part of history, it was believed to have been done by men, knitting and repairing their fishing nets. Through the 18th century, knitting became a means of survival to poor families knitting socks for a pittance to keep from starving in the hills and dales of Yorkshire, England. Today hand knitting has evolved into yet another means of survival - that of renewing and relaxing the psyche.

There is nothing more enticing to a knitter exploring a new town than to spy a graphic sign with yarn and needles signaling a yarn shop. Like Alice, dreaming by the riverside, yarn shops and their communities of knitters are spinners of dreams. As Alice tumbled down the rabbit hole, she spied so many curious objects and later her imagination grew to include an eclectic group of characters, as does the mind of a knitter when stimulated by the rich colors, textures, and aroma of natural yarns and fiber, the smoothness and deep natural hue of rosewood needles, and the myriad of intriguing patterns one thinks s/he can't possibly live without.

Indeed, the world of the passionate knitter is filled with fantasy and illusion.

Once upon a time - The Enchanted Sole with "legendary patterns fit for queens, and pixies, and alchemists" is Janel Laidman's pattern book for sock knitters. Spun, seemingly magically, from Ms. Laidman's talented hand, this book is a regal treat for experienced sock knitters. With designs for socks whose design roots lie in tales of the gothic medieval and King Arthur, but still quite wearable in our modern times, Janel Laidman has created a feast of patterns with names like Firebird, Atlantis, Snow Queen, Changeling, Tristan & Isolde, Pixie and more, with unusual construction and promises of exceptional fit.
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