Guns and Roses

Behold the new club tsock: York and Lancaster.

York and Lancaster Cover

You know what this means, right? RIGHT?

Right. It means the pattern and all accompanying materials are FINISHED and UPLOADED and BEING PRINTED.

I still have a little work left to do on Tsuspense Part II, so I’m not out of Pattern Purdah yet - but the Tsuspense Project is a separate issue, and it sure ain’t gonna stop me showing you my new baby.

Y&L Flat

It is of course a stylized tribute to the Wars of the Roses. Somewhere in here is the inspiration for at least four of Shakespeare’s plays and the source of countless romantic/historic/literary images. The winter of our discontent (”the winter of our Discount Tent,” my cousin used to say); the princes in the Tower; the Old Pretender; the Young Pretender*; not quite half a century of fascinatingly sordid dynastic squabbles. And all because one day Jennifer showed me a skein of subtly-shaded rose-red yarn.

Y&L on Feet

The socks are negative mirror images of each other - the white rose of York on a red ground…

York on Foot

… and the red rose of Lancaster on a white ground:

Lancaster on Foot

The roses appear on both sides of the ankle:

Lancaster on Ankle

- under a crenellated battlement of a cuff.

York on Ankle

They’re worked in “festive” intarsia, with floats woven at every other stitch. I didn’t use to bother much with weaving, but now I’ve fallen pretty severely in love with it, and I particularly love the neat appearance it makes on the back.

Woven Floats

The roses also appear in miniature as an optional detail on the toe:

Lancaster on Toe

York on Toe

Here they’re done in almost-normal intarsia, the toe being worked from a provisional cast-on for just that purpose.

So - obviously - toe-up.

The fabric of the sock, on the instep and wherever the roses aren’t, is a version of the old Heraldic Pattern -

Heraldic Pattern

- pikes and pennons in stockinette and twists, over a garter ground.

Apparently I have some sort of idée fixe about English themes, especially if they have architectural elements: in my mind they are indelibly associated with a flap and gusset heel.

In this case, the reverse flap heel I was grousing about the other day -

Reverse Flap Heel

- and the part that was so mercilessly kicking my butt at the time was the formula for working the flap in pattern…

Reverse Flap Heel

…so it would meet and match with the pattern at the instep. An optional feature, no less! but a highly characteristic one for me. (And when I think how simple it would be to accomplish if one were working cuff-down… oh, never mind. Too late. That way madness lies.)

This is not quite ready to ship - there’s still some yarn to dye, some printing to finish, and the packages to assemble - but it’s going out Real Soon Now. So ack - I’d better fly round and finish up that Tsuspense thing. I’ll tell you more about that once it’s done.

Back to work. Purdah, here I come.

* I am wrong about this. Wrong, wrong, out of the hunt and wrong. Pay no attention to the egg on my face, but please see tomorrow’s post for the correction.

34 Responses to “Guns and Roses”

  1. J Says:

    WANT (17 bazillion)

  2. jordi Says:

    I cannot wait!! these are seriously fun! you have out tsocked yourself on these.

  3. Sandie Says:

    I love it. I. love. it. I love IT! Can’t wait.

  4. Mardi Says:

    Totally beautiful. A rose by any other name… a rose is a rose is a rose…Rose’s Turn!!!

  5. helen (of Troy) Says:

    God bless the King! (I mean our faith’s defender!)
    God bless! (No harm in blessing) the Pretender.
    But who Pretender is, and who is King,
    God bless us all! That’s quite another thing!

    Oh, what a time… From the 13th century, when John of Gaunt (father and grandfather to the both the house of York and Lanchster) onwards, its the stuff of legends.

    Beautiful socks!

  6. Astrid Bear Says:

    Oh! Oh! The dear little crenelations! The cunning heel! The adorable roses! But especially the crenelations.

  7. Elayne Branson Says:

    I love socks that don’t match exactly.

  8. Jeanne Says:

    Fabooooolous!!! Well worth the wait!…I can’t guarantee that these socks won’t be reproduced for gifts - too cute! Will you enclose directions for the cunning little glovelets? I loved the details of the shaping - your fault, you highlighted them!

  9. Linda Says:

    hoooooboy!!!!! This is going to be FUN!!

  10. Marina Stern Says:

    What darling little tsocks!

  11. ZaftigWendy Says:

    Good Golly, Miss Molly! Those are seriously cool!

  12. Deborah (aka Mt. Mom) Says:

    If you’re in love with the float-weaving [it IS cool on the back, isn’t it?], check out Schoolhouse Press’ new release: “Armenian Knitting: Designs from Joyce Williams and Meg Swansen”. Top of this page [NAYY]

    Personally, I’m waiting for the M’Lou Baber book on Double-Knitting due soon, also from SHP.

  13. LauraS Says:

    Serious gorgeousness!

  14. COlleen Says:

    I’d better fly round and ….

    I’ve read that many many times in a book I’ve read over and over…what book? I know it must’ve been a common enough phrase at some point but I know I’ve read it in -one- spot a lot. But where?

    Now this is going to bug me…..

  15. Faith Says:

    Verra neat!

    Question (because you have a good reason for EVERYTHING): Why four petaled, rather than 5?

  16. Sharon Rose Says:

    Love them! I can’t wait til I can be part of your sock club… only another 2 years… *sigh* *laughing at self*
    The cuffs are perfect!

  17. Jennifer Says:

    LOVE these. I’m late to the sock club party, but will definitely be waiting with baited breath to see these released next year.

  18. alwen Says:

    Wow. Is that a knitted-on cuff? Coolness.

  19. Veriton Says:

    Beautiful! I love that they are complementary, and that they are very very wearable. These are going to the queue after poseidon and nine taylors (I found out the other day I had them mixed up, I kept thinking frenchman creek, but it was the nine taylors I actually ment). This is turning into a long list. I really loved the gloves you did with the same colours too, are you going to make a kit for them too?

  20. Tan Says:

    Sehr, sehr schön. Aber trägen wir eine rosa und eine weisse?

  21. emily10 Says:

    What?! No complicated cast-on? I’m disappointed. At least that cuff looks nice and tricksy. :) (And makes me want to go play some chess.)

  22. Astrid Bear Says:

    Yeah, what alwen asked. Do tell . . .

  23. Sally Says:

    Ah…I do love fraternal twins!! And the history….it makes me want to go dig out my school history texts and actually READ them this time!! I think I’ll even pull my Shakespeare complete works off the shelf and dust it off (literally!) for some more reading. Hum….I should get that one on tape so I can read AND knit.

  24. Connie Says:

    Oh! Love (1000)! I particularly adore the crenellations—and—and—evil, evil enabler you. Because now I not only need these socks, I need to plunge headfirst into Shakespeare.

    **Blinks** Wait… this is a club sock, right? ‘Kay, I have a year, then, to busily dig into the Histories. (Evil enabler stands, though.)

  25. Phil the Badger Says:

    Sorry, Old Pretender and Young Pretender were Stuarts; about 250 to 300 years later

  26. Mistress Wenzer Says:


    OK, I know it’s too soon to start checking my mailbox…

    Back to Firebird in the meantime. And spinning. I think I might be on the verge of conquering sockweight…

  27. rams Says:

    Stuarts by way of Tudors (I’m refusing to stand up, but I think it was Henry 8’s sister Margaret) by way of rotten old Henry 7 murdering and marrying his way in (and probably offing the Little Princes. Wheee, let’s all go reread Daughter of Time!)

  28. Melissa Says:

    Love, love, love the cuffs! I’m an England lover so anything that reminds me of ancient castles and feuding houses of yore is right up ye olde alley :) Maybe when this is available to the public I will get buy it…the real question will be, will I my technique be good enough to knit these by then?

  29. Marcy Says:

    Love. Want. Want. Love. Enh! Love. Want.

  30. RedScot Says:

    OMB. This is what happens when I don’t read your blog for a few days! Those SOCKS are heavenly! :: sigh :: I guess I have to wait a year or so before those go public, right? Heh! The spinning is beauteous, too!

  31. Mary Seabrook Says:

    “out of the hunt, and wrong!” - I love you! - I miss ringing so badly (in california….)

  32. Jennifer Jett Says:

    Are these socks still available? Love, love love them!

  33. The Tsarina Tsays… » Blog Archive » Here Comes…. Says:

    […] I’m pleased to report that we’re bringing back York & Lancaster, as well as the companion Mitts of the […]

  34. Luisa de fanti Says:

    Hello, where can i buy the York and Lancaster kit? Do u have any kits available?

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