My madcap adventures in Germany during my year as a Fulbright Scholar.

21 March 2007

More about socks

There's enough of a story behind that second pair of socks from Monday's entry to warrant another post.

I called them "Hundertwasser" socks:

I called them that because the yarn takes its colors from the works of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. He was a truly one-of-a-kind artist and architect who made innovative use of form and color in his works. He started as a painter, but is probably better known as an architect. He once remarked, "A person in a rented apartment must be able to lean out of his window and scrape off the masonry within arm's reach. And he must be allowed to take a long brush and paint everything outside within arm's reach. So that it will be visible from afar to everyone in the street that someone lives there who is different from the imprisoned, enslaved, standardised man who lives next door." Hundertwasser explored biomorphic forms in his work and eschewed straight lines. He wondered why walls and floors had to be flat.

Why, indeed?

Well, when I saw the Hundertwasser sock yarn collection I fell in love with it. My only problem was deciding which colorway to buy; when I couldn't make up my mind I just got on eBay and bought them all:

This is the sock

This is the original painting (it's a pretty poor quality image; sorry):

Here's a detail:

I used Wendy's generic toe-up sock pattern, but for some reason I wasn't getting the heel to turn enough. Also, I didn't particularly like how they fit; there was bunching under my arch. For the second sock I added some shaping to the foot. It's extra work, but I figure if you're going to go to the trouble of knitting yourself a pair of socks by hand, they ought to fight perfectly.

I was so happy with the outcome I cast on almost immediately for another pair:

This pair will always remind me of the Fulbright Berlin Conference. At the reception the first evening I went to chat with a very nice couple I'd met at the orientation, seen once subsequently but never again. At some point they mentioned their newfound interest in who else but Friedensreich Hundertwasser. While they're here they want to visit as many of his buildings as they can; they even took a detour to see one on the way to Berlin. I could hardly believe my ears, and my first reaction, of course, was to pull out my sock-in-progress. At first they gave me some funny looks that said "Why, exactly, did you just pull a sock out of your purse?" but when I explained what it was they were suitably impressed.

On the second day of the conference I cast on for the second sock, and over the course of three panel sessions, two receptions and a musical gala I managed to finish it. It's called "Stra├če zum Sozialismus" (Street to socialism), and it's so awesome I can hardly stand it:



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