Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I'm going to start the socks for Purlescence soon. As a tease, here's the story I submitted to the competition. It sets the scene for the pattern, and gives clues to what it'll finally look like.
Alice lay under a tree. It was a sunny afternoon, just an hour or so before dusk. A book of Very Hard Sums sat on her lap. She was supposed to be reading it, ready for an exam on Monday. Instead she stroked her cat, distracted by the softness of his fur.

The cat, uncharacteristically considerate that Alice needed to finish her homework, gave her an accusing look and shuffled down to settle round her legs. She picked the book up again and tried to read. But she was in one of those dreamy moods, and sleepy with it. The lines of text started to blur, to intermingle, forming strange, shadowy shapes on the page. Like clouds in a summer sky.

She looked down at her feet. They were warm and cosy, with the cat wrapped around the brand new stripy socks she had cast off only that morning (sock knitting being perfect exam procrastination). She tried to wake herself up by wiggling her toes. She pointed them back and forth like a ballerina, bending her ankle to arch her whole foot. The cat gave her a meaningful look, as if to say "stop shifting my bed, you annoying girl". She pulled a face at it back and went back to her maths homework.

But the lines of text were still swimming, and Alice's eyes were starting to drop. She yawned. But it was too late. She was too tired, too warm, and too comfortable and she started to fall. Falling asleep. Falling asleep. Falling. Falling down. Falling down? Falling down a tunnel?

She landed. Thump. And for no reason she had time to consider here, started chasing a rabbit. The rabbit disappeared and she encountered a very Mad Hatter and all sorts of strange card games. She thought she might have to play chess, untangle a sheep’s lacework, talk to plants and discuss literary theory with Humpty Dumpty, but it turned out that would come another day. And then there was that cat. A very odd cat. An odd cat that grinned broadly and kept disappearing and re-appearing. Occasionally giving her meaningful stares, to which she replied by pulling a face.

It's all very confusing. And it's all so very stripy. The cat was a tabby. The rabbit wore a striped waistcoat. As did the Hatter and his friend the dormouse. Even the tunnel has forms of stripes, with all its stalagmites.

Exhausted and confused, Alice awoke. Back at her original tree, with her book of Very Hard Sums still sitting unread on her lap. She realised all those rabbits and card-games were merely a dream. She wiggled her feet again, pointing her toes back and forth as before, gradually building herself up to move and get home for dinner.

She looked around for her cat. He was no where to be seen. Disappeared again, Alice thinks. That bleeding cat, he's probably chasing that tabby-point Siamese from next door.

She points her toes again, looking down to admire her new stripy socks once more. But something had changed. There's an odd shadowy shape running down the side of her ankle and onto the top of her foot. She points her toes tightly, arching her foot forward and the shadow becomes more pronounced. It's a cat. A cat silhouette on her socks.

Curiouser and curiouser.
If you'd not already guessed, they're illusion socks, like these. It'll be done in cashsoft 4ply, in shades of brown (tabby cat style).


Stacey said...

What a great story! those socks will be amazing!!!! can't wait to see them!

knittingphilistine said...

Great Collywobbles, I can't wait! And WOW am I slow... I just got the Alice-Alice connection...

PS: I have no explanation for the Collywobbles thing. It somehow seemed appropriate. You know, story-time and the promise of the creation of amazing Cheshire socks.

Amy said...

Cats and Socks and Cashmere!!!


MrsFife said...

I love Alice and cats (especially brown tabbies). I can't wait to see your socks.

carolyn says said...

can't wait to see how they turn out!

Elle said...

I love that story - looking forward to the pattern.

purls said...

Yay for more illusion socks! (or allusion socks... with the literary ref?) he he he

muebles madrid said...

Very worthwhile piece of writing, thank you for the post.