Thank you so much, everyone, for your comments, emails, and Ravelry messages of support about my lost day job. It was a sad time, making it through my last week there, but now I feel I can start looking to the future. Not that I've been idle in the meantime, mind you. I had to be knitting something during all those Miss Marple episodes, after all.
I finished this design during my last week of work, so I was thinking of naming them for something related to the whole experience - "Anxiety," "Melancholia," et cetera. But then I thought, why belabor the obvious? David and I were listening to The Night Watch by Sarah Waters while I was designing these, and as I knit them they began to remind me of her character Julia Standing, on whom I nursed a bit of a crush. So I'm calling these the "Julia Socks."
The Julia of Waters's novel, living in London during and after World War II, is a semi-bohemian mystery novelist. She's feminine, but has a bit of a swagger, wears trousers, and doesn't mind getting her hands dirty (during the war she works as an assessor of bomb damage). I thought these socks mirrored her character - a little bit arch, a little bit glamorous, but slightly menswear-inflected and casual enough to wear while sitting around the flat listening to the wireless.
I worked with a new technique for this design, one I found in a Japanese stitch dictionary and with which I'm now quite enamored. I'm not sure what to call it - if you know, please tell me. The lace-looking units that form the diamond shapes are worked over three stitches: you pull (elongate) and then slip the third stitch on the left needle over the two in front of it, then work a k1tbl-yo-k1tbl over the two stitches remaining. Working groups of these units (I'm calling them "pull stitches" in the Julia pattern, but I'm open to better ideas) creates very distinct, pretty designs that are easily distinguishable even in a semi-variegated yarn like this one: Sundara Sock in colorway Peach over Pear.
And it's easy! I'm surprised it's not more widely used, but I, for one, have a few more experiments up my sleeve involving this technique.
As for the Julia pattern, it's ready for test-knitting as we speak, and I'll be releasing it in the late summer or early fall as part of my accessory line. As I'm envisioning things right now, all or almost all the patterns will be available singly, and they'll also be purchasable at a discount en masse, in e-book form. I'm not sure how many patterns will be included, but I already have three finished and two more in the works, so it should end up as a satisfying little collection. Inspired by Julia and an earlier pattern christened "Gerda" by my internet friend Homero, I've decided to name all the accessory patterns for fictional characters, who are, after all, pretty much members of my family too. Maybe I'll even hit on a few of your favorites! Stay tuned for more previews as the summer progresses.