Thursday, 8 March 2012

Phloem Socks

The new Knitty came out and I've got a pattern in it! Phloem Socks


This the description I wrote: These cuff down socks were inspired by the structure and clean lines of leaves and buds in the spring, the left and right socks mirror each other, with and lace leaf motif running down one side of the leg and a pattern of buds running down the other. The gentle green color of the yarn is perfect for socks which take inspiration from the slow, soft unfurling of foliage. The name is pronounced “flow-em”.


These were a long time in the making, I started what evolved in to this design in July 2010 - I had originally intended them to be for a sock club package but they didn't really fit and I came up with something else that I was much happier with for that month. The yarn I chose to swatch with was Biggan 4ply and what I came up with was pretty but I think that yarn would be better for gloves than socks (in fact I thought I had decided to make the swatch into a glove at some point but when I went to dig it out earlier I found it without needles, apparently at some point I was too impatient to employ waste yarn and have now created more work for myself, SIGH).


When I changed yarn to the Knitting Goddess merino nylon sock, I altered the design a bit, making them mirrored (symmetrical across the pair) and I finished the sample on Christmas eve on holiday in France. There was a heart-stopping moment when I discovered when I was almost at the toe of the second sock, I had dropped a stitch on the gusset and lovely long ladder was forming. I repaired it, though for about half an hour I was not good company!

The first photo shoot was at Rocamadour but the sun was so low and so bright I wasn't really happy with the results so I took some more indoors where I could control the light a bit more. I used my sisters camera and as a result a new camera went firmly on my wish list!


If you knit a pair, I'd love to see your yarn choice/progress/finished socks! I've started a KAL thread here.


  1. Oh Rachel! These are absolutely beautiful!!!!!!!
    Off to see whether I can find some more green sock yarn...
    Jen xx

  2. They look amazing!

  3. Wow! Really lovely socks you made <3

  4. I used to be a Nature Camp counselor and there was totally a song that said "get your phloem going" and I don't remember the rest and now it is stuck in my head. I love the socks ;)

  5. Congrats and the intricacy is really cool!

  6. beautiful pattern! can't wait to try them:)

  7. Found your blog via Sarah/Babylonglegs. Love the look of your patterns! I've yet to venture into sock knitting but your designs are so inspiring :-)

  8. I love them and well done for getting into Knitty! I feel I need to speed up with my knitting because I want to knit so many things at the moment and your socks are featuring fairly heavily!!

  9. Phloem is definitely in the queue of this botany geek. Any chance of a Xylem in the future?

    1. There may well be other botanical names in the pipeline......

  10. Hi Rachel, thank you for the most gorgeous pattern...this is my first attempt at knit socks in over 20 a schoolgirl I attempted an ambitious Nordic fair-isle pair that went horribly wrong plus put me off until I saw these lovelies in Knitty. I just bought the most stunning sock yarn at my LYS and started on them last night...will post the pics to the KAL thread when done :)

    Nadia from Cape Town