Friday, July 31, 2009

3 Months, 3 Pairs of Socks

Spoiler Alert: This post contains spoilers from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

For my OWL this term in the Harry Potter Knit and Crochet House Cup, I chose to design and knit sock representing Tonks, Lupin and Teddy.
I decided to start with the Tonks and Lupin socks, then decide what elements of them I thought they would pass on to Teddy. I started by choosing the yarns. I loved that the colors I chose for Tonks and Lupin had names that fit perfectly, Gothic rose for Tonks and dusky aurora for Lupin. I also chose a bubblegum pink yarn for Tonks.
Then, I drew sketches of what I wanted the socks to look like. the top one is Tonks, the bottom, Lupin.
As you can see, I'm not the best artist in the worlds, but it gave me a way to get my thoughts on paper. I wanted to represent their lives from childhood (at the toe) through death (at the top of the cuff).
I thought Tonks would have had a happy childhood. She was bubbly and was the type of girl to have bubblegum pink hair and make friends quickly. I thought about incorporating an H for Hufflepuff, because I think Tonks would be proud to be in Hufflepuff. I wanted to do the heel in Lupin's color to show him meeting her. Then the leg would be a chaotic cable with lace in the middle, since her life with Lupin was hard and she was very strong, yet feminine.
For Lupin, I wanted a light blue toe, with a jagged line when it switched to dark blue, to represent his happy childhood being destroyed by Greyback biting him. Then, four cables representing him, James, Sirius and Peter, followed by a lightning bolt (Harry's attack) and chaos. I wanted the heel to be done in Tonk's color. Then the leg would be a two rope cable (him and Tonks), becoming a three rope cable (adding Teddy). I think Tonks gave him structure.
The next step was to look in stitch dictionaries to try to find something that looked like my sketches. I decided to focus on Tonks first. I found the perfect stitch for the leg. It didn't have cables, but it looked like it did and it had a lace pattern. So, I swatched it. However, my swatch pictures have disappeared. I liked the swatch (both the lace pattern and how the H looked). So I cast on.
Everything went great until the heel.

As you can see, the blue heel looks funny, so I ripped it out and knitted it in pink. As, I knitted them, I decided they were much to busy for the H on the foot. Here are the finished socks.
Even though everyone else who see them, loves them, I don't like these socks. I think they are much to busy.
So, I threw out my plans for Lupin and decided to try to tackle less in a sock. I think the essence of Lupin is that he is a simple, straightforward man, who is trying to fit into a society that hates him because of what he is. This makes his life very chaotic. So, I made socks that can "blend in" to the normal world, but they have cables (to represent the twisted path of Lupin's life) and the cables don't travel in a straight line (to represent the chaos of Lupin's life). These socks went straight from idea, to chart, to sock. I should have swatched the chart, but my thought was that if I didn't like it, I would just rip out and start again. Here they are.
Then, there were the Teddy socks. In some ways these were the hardest, because we really don't get to know Teddy very well, so I had to think a lot about what I think he's like. I decided that he's a lot like his mom. He can change his appearance and he's that type of guy who shows up to see his girlfriend off to school, even if he's going to get teased about it. i decided to use Lupin's coloring, but with a light blue added and decided to do the whole thing in stripes. Stripes are fun and Teddy did not have the chaos that his parents had to deal with. I added a phoenix on the heel of the sock for two reasons. 1) I think Teddy would be very proud of his parents and would want to show his pride in the Order. 2) Teddy is very much like a phoenix, he is something wonderful that comes out of death. If it wasn't for Voldemort and the death eaters, Lupin and Tonks might have never met and I definitely think they wouldn't have gotten married. Teddy is the beauty that can come from challenges.This was a very fun and challenging assignment and I really learned a lot from it. I;m sure I will be creating more patterns soon. These patterns will be available sometime next month on Ravelry.