Back in February, I discovered a group on Ravelry called Sock Knitters Anonymous (SKA)...every month there is a different "Sockdown" Challenge with various options to choose from. Members choose the challenge option and cast on during the challenge month, and must finish the socks and post photos in the group by the end of the following month. It's a really fun group, and I like how the different challenge options encourage you to work outside your comfort zone. There are two featured designers each month, or you can pick one of the design/construction/theme challenge options. Some months there is also a Mystery Sock (MOCK) pattern as well. At the end of each challenge period, the group moderators hold a random drawing from all of the completed projects for various prizes donated by some awesome pattern designers, yarn companies, and other knitting-related vendors. Great motivation to finish your socks, don't you think? My Monkey Squalor socks were my first entry in the SKA group...one of the February challenge options was designer Cookie A. She had TONS of patterns to choose from, and the Monkey pattern is one of her most popular on Ravelry.
For the March Sockdown, Heidi Nick was one of the featured designers. After browsing her patterns, and adding a bunch to my Ravelry Favorites, I decided to make the Dolores Umbridge socks. I really liked the mock cabling and the unique zig-zig running down each side. I had another indigodragonfly special edition colorway in my stash...Owl Week: A Bad Week To Be A Field Mouse in the Sad Lester Sock base. I fell hard for this gorgeous rich green as soon as it was featured on the website last summer. I was originally planning to make the Nennir cowl, which has a really cool Celtic knotwork pattern that I thought would be perfect with the green. Once I got the yarn, however, I realized it was not the best choice for a project to be worn around the neck. The Sad Lester Sock base is made from 100% Bluefaced Leicester wool, which I hadn't used before. The wool is soft, but not as soft as Merino wool or the other indigodragonfly Merino blends. It takes colors beautifully, however, which is why the green was so awesome. So, I decided to make socks from it instead.
Now, in case you are unfamiliar with the Harry Potter universe, Dolores Umbridge is a truly evil witch disguised as a sweet old lady. She acts syrupy sweet, dresses in pink with big bows on her head, and decorates her office with collectable kitten plates...and is a fan of incredibly severe punishments for anyone who crosses her, or anyone of less than pure Wizard blood. Creepy, creepy lady.
In addition, most of the villains in the Harry Potter world are/were members of the Slytherin House at Hogwarts School of Magic. The colors of Slytherin are green and silver, and the mascot is a serpent. So with a pattern name of Dolores Umbridge, and using striking green yarn, I had to name this project Slytherin Socks!
How amazing are these??? Cables twisting snake-like down the legs, all the way to the toes.
This was a great pattern...my first time working exclusively from charts, and I really liked the heel construction. Instead of a typical heel-flap, the increases for the gusset are worked at the same time as the heel, so there was no picking up stitches. Very cool.
So I definitely see myself knitting a pair of socks for each month's SKA challenge for the rest of 2014! I'm nearly finished with this month's challenge (good thing I have until May 31) and I already have my pattern and yarn ready for May. Stay tuned for more sock posts as they are completed!