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Presenting Scylla

February 6, 2010

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…

It was almost a year ago that I wrote up my first sock design pattern Charybdis and released it into the wild. It’s been great fun seeing what people have done with it over on Ravelry (login required) and how they’ve made it their own.  (And, best of all, hearing about the times people have enjoyed knitting it.) It was always my intention that there would be a Scylla, and now, well, there is. Here they are, the finished Scylla socks! You can download the free pattern here on the brand new shiny designs page. (All feedback and spotting of errors is much appreciated.)

Part of a deadly sea monster double act, ancient Greek legend has the gruesome Scylla lying opposite the whirlpool-belching Charybdis across a strait of water that gave sailors no end of trouble. The two sides of the strait were within an arrow’s range of each other- so sailors attempting to avoid Charybdis would pass too close to Scylla, and vice versa.

Accounts of Scylla’s appearance don’t quite match up as to her number of heads, tentacles, etc (perhaps no one stuck around long enough for a proper look?). But they all agree she had scales. And teeth. And lots of them. So these toe-up socks use slipstitch patterns to create teeth and scales a-plenty. Scylla continues my attempt to create patterns that showcase the colours in variegated yarns, rather than simply devouring them and barfing them back up again…

Poor Scylla. Rumour has it she was once a beautiful nymph who incurred the wrath of one of the Gods or perhaps Circe (never a good idea- always a shortcut to hideous transformation). But perhaps she’s nowhere near as fearsome as she looks?

(In Homer’s Odyssey, Circe warns legendary hero Odysseus to choose Scylla over Charybdis’s whirlpools:
“Hug Scylla’s crag—sail on past her—top speed! Better by far to lose six men and keep your ship than lose your entire crew…” Once you’ve mastered Scylla, why not tackle Charybdis?)

(One of the out-takes. These sea monsters just don’t know how to behave in front of the camera…)

18 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2010 1:39 pm

    Oh, lovely (not scaly or scary at all!)! Wanted also to say that my knitting group was wowed by the Charybdis pattern yesterday: am 3/4 through sock #1 and will try to get a good pic to share. Funny that the companion sock should be up when I stopped by to chat! Your sock visions are very impressive–thanks for sharing!

    • glassoffashion permalink*
      February 8, 2010 12:09 pm

      Thank you- I’m so pleased that you wowed your knitting group! And good luck with the dreaded Second Sock :)

  2. February 6, 2010 10:16 pm

    Clever pattern, i really like the raised stitches, and it does work really well for the varigated yarn. I still have this blue, pink and white yarn I can’t think what to do with, this is just the sort of thing!

  3. Lindyhopper permalink
    February 7, 2010 2:59 pm

    Super looking socks, very unusual pattern, very inventive.

  4. February 7, 2010 7:36 pm

    Wow, that’s a gorgeous pattern and the yarn complements it perfectly!!

  5. February 8, 2010 7:06 am

    What great inspiration – looks like a fab pattern

    Also I too very much enjoyed the Steampunk exhibition

  6. glassoffashion permalink*
    February 8, 2010 12:12 pm

    Thanks so much everyone for all the compliments and encouraging noises!

  7. February 10, 2010 4:03 am

    I’ve always been a bit wary of variegated yarns, as they often look much nicer in their skeins than when they have been knitted up, but I think that with this pattern you’ve included just enough texture to really make it work well, without it becoming simply a mash of colours. As an ex-Classics student, I love the reference to Homer too!

  8. February 14, 2010 1:38 am

    This is a great pattern. It is my first toe-up sock. I had difficulties w/ the heel flap decreases and had to wing it. Any suggestions?

    • glassoffashion permalink*
      February 14, 2010 9:37 am

      Hi Angela,

      Thanks! But I’m sorry to hear you had difficulties. I really appreciate you getting in touch- if there’s a boo boo in the pattern I’d love to identify it and fix it.
      Can I ask exactly what you ran into problems with on the heel flap- was it ending up with the right stitch count? Or did the slip stitch pattern not line up??
      Fiona

  9. susan foulds permalink
    March 28, 2011 1:26 am

    What a lovely pattern! Any chance of learning which yarn you used to knit this fabulous sock? Thank you .susan

    • glassoffashion permalink*
      March 28, 2011 8:55 am

      Hi, Susan- The yarn is a fingering weight bamboo/merino blend by an indie dyer called Spindlefrog. But she seems to have closed her online shop and stopped operations- which is such a pity. Thanks for your kind words on the pattern! Fiona

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