Posted by: jinniver | February 11, 2009

Sense, sensibility, and socks

“Shall we continue tomorrow?”

“No, for I must away.”

“Away?  Where?”

“That I can not tell you.  It is a secret.”

-Marianne Dashwood and Col. Brandon, Sense and Sensibility (1995 movie)


So, did you pick up that subtle Sense and Sensibility quote I slid into yesterday’s post?  Well, probably not…there’s subtle and there’s inscrutable.

When the movie came out in 1995, I had no interest in seeing it.  I’d never read any of Jane Austen’s books.  Steve insisted I would love it, and finally wore me down enough that he was able to drag me to the theater with a minimum of resistance.  As he has taken every opportunity to remind since, he was right.  Sense and Sensibility has topped my favorite movies list without challenge for 14 years.  It’s also the origin of my Alan Rickman crush.  Let’s just say that if Col. Brandon had looked at me the same way he looked at Marianne the first time, the movie would have been a heck of a lot shorter.  Willoughby who?

Still, I had yet to read the book, and didn’t feel any great desire to do so.  After all, I knew how the story ended, right?

Then Rita of Castle Fibers had to go and start a Jane Austen yarn club. Each yarn and project will be inspired by one of Jane Austen’s books. First up? Sense and Sensibility.  For the first time, I wanted to actually read the words that Austen wrote, not just be satisfied with knowing the story.

I managed to score an anthology with all of Austen’s adult novels on sale, and dove in as soon as some of the other club members said they’d begun reading.  I expected the old fashion language and writing style to give me some trouble, but I sailed through surprisingly quickly–I finished the book in about 5 days.  It was amazing to me how close the movie was to the book, despite the necessary editing and condensing…right up until the end, when I found a scene that was not in the movie and greatly impacted my opinions of both Willoughby and Edward.  I was left disliking the former just a little less and the latter just a little more…but since Col. Brandon didn’t drop at all in my estimation, no harm done!

Of course, one reason I rushed through the reading was to get to the knittng, because my club package had arrived!

JA Sense and Sensibility project

Those of us in the group had spent some time debating with Rita over the colorway.  I liked her final choice:  for me, the rose represents the sensible Elinor, the yellow is sensitive Marianne, the gray reflects their sorrows, and the deep red is for the love they both found in the end.  The little extras were as charming as they were unexpected–2 small stitch markers perfect for socks (especially for this pattern, which calls for 2 stitch markers) and made by Rita’s daughter.

I was excited about casting on…a little too excited, as it turned out.  I’d gotten my brand-new KnitPicks sock needles out and ready to go when I realized that the yarn was still in a hank.  I’d forgotted to wind it.  That’s when I decided it was probably time to go to bed.

The next morning I commenced winding, but even that wasn’t going well.  My homemade swift kept malfunctioning–the lug nut under the arms kept winding its way up the screw, so I had to keep stopping and screw it back down.  I finally solved that problem, only to have the ball winder fly off the chair back on which I’d attached it.

My sock was getting off to the same great start as a Dashwood romance, apparently.

Finally, my yarn was ready to go, and I eagerly cast on.

SandS socks (1)

I’m not sure why I was so gung ho about using my sock DPNs, since I do all of my knitting in the round on one or two circular needles, but for some reason it just seemed right for this project. As I expected, the first several rounds were awkward as I kept poking myself with the not-in-use needles, but I did manage to join the stitches without twisting them.  My biggest concern was whether I’d be able to cast on loosely enough to get the scalloping on the cuff.

SandS socks (2)

Only one repeat in and it was clear that yes, I had scallops.

I’ve really been enjoying these socks so far, and I’m now several repeats into the cuff:

SandS socks (4)

It’s hard to really appreciate the lace pattern before it’s blocked, but trust me when I’m say it’s looking good so far. Of course, Marianne’s romance with Willoughby all looked like smooth sailing at first too…

SandS socks (3)



  1. I LOVE that yarn!
    I also love reading Jane Austen. I can’t decide on a favorite. I’ve watched just about all the BBC movies, and I have the DeluxeSuperPremiumPlatinumDVDBoxSet of Pride&Prejudice w/ Colin Firth!

  2. ooooooh….pretty!!

    It’s hard for me to decide between Col. Brandon & Mr. Darcy…

  3. That’s going to be a beautiful FO.

  4. A Jane Austen yarn club!!!! I LOVE Jane — I’ve already read ALL her books — most more than once. I love the yarn in your first club shipment. Where do I sign up?!!!!

    On Col. Brandon vs. Mr. Darcy (see response above) .. have got to go w ith Darcy!!!

    On Alan Rickman — I must like the bad boys, because I LOVED him as the Sherif on Nottingham in Robin Hood — Kevin who?

  5. I’ve loved Jane Austen since college. The yarn is gorgeous!

  6. awwww… i love how the socks look! AND i love how you blog…it’s fun!


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