Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Peasant Meal

I aim at living a simple life. It means, that I try not to rush here at Christmas time. However, I love the music and chocolates, but I try to avoid knitted gifts. A week ago I asked my husband if he had a present list. Of course he hadn´t, because he only wanted a pair of socks. I told him in a low voice about my resolution but realized I had to make an exception in his case. His birthday is ultimo May. Not exactly the woolen sock season.
I have a weakness for Hedgehog Fibres and ordered her last colour in stock a sock yarn called Damned Nation. I could not tell from the photo which colour but it was a man´s colour, very dark.
I chose the pattern from Knitting Vintage socks called Gentleman´s Half Hose in Ringwood Pattern from 1899. Nancy Bush tells that the pattern was used for gloves knitted and exported from Ringwood in Hampshire. 
Husband has big feet. 30 cm long. And I was afraid to run out of yarn. Hedgehog fibres sock yarn runs 350 m, so I decided to work the cuff in a black Arwetta from Filcolana.
The leg pattern extends in a very elegant way into the heel flap, and I worked the last 10 rows and the turns with the black Arwetta, too.
While I was knitting I began to wonder which nation this colour was named after. No, I will properly not get an answer, and suddenly my mind moved into the painting by Van Gogh called The Potato Eaters from 1885. Painted in Holland. His palette of this period was black, olive green, raw umber, pale ochre and raw sienna.
The peasants are eating their potatoes, I see the warm light from the oil lamp. The steam from the hot meal, the woman pouring up a hot drink for them all. The painting radiates a respect for manual labour, people working and eating together.


  1. Wonderful post, Mette. That colorway does indeed echo the colors in the Van Gogh...I've never seen that painting before and now, I will never forget it.

  2. Mette,

    "Damnation" is an expetive here in the US, I'm wondering if the title is an elongation into that...what a lovely sock.


  3. I think you are a good partner, to make the socks anyway! I might have said yes but you won't get them in time for Christmas. I have no recollection of ever seeing that painting before. I love how you bring art into your blog, thanks.

  4. The color palette is also featured in many of Goya's paintings. Beautiful, in a dark, broody, rustic sort of way. Lovely socks, lucky husband.

  5. What a lovely vintage project! That yarn looks very nice - I'll have to explore Hedgehog fibers - thanks for introducing me to a new vendor! The painting you show is so evocative of winter nights, or at least cold nights when families gather together for a cosy meal. I hope your husband loves his socks!

  6. PS

    I have a new sweetheart who needs some handknit socks. I bought some soft sock yarn in a color I know he'd like. Ive sort of given up knitting socks but decided that I really liked this pattern and ordered the book. Thanks,



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