I've shared previously that my husband has a condition called Retinitis Pigmentosa. The condition doesn't have a cure but he diligently keeps up on research studies that are trying to slow the condition or stop the progression. For the last couple of years we have been working with a team at the University of Pennsylvania, where they are preparing a treatment that will stop the progression of the disease. Part of this includes our family traveling to the hospital for a few days each year to have his sight evaluated. The process is long and grueling, with there being two 12+ hour days of testing his eyes in varying conditions, including dilated, dark adapted, with correction and without.
While he is testing, I spend the days waiting for him to have breaks. The researchers prefer the patients to have a companion who can assist them with getting food and drinks, keep them company on breaks and ensure that they get back to the hotel safely at night. As you can imagine, having an eye exam that lasts for 2 full days is not only exhausting, it has a way of making the sight he has remaining essentially useless.
I tend to plan my knitting carefully for these trips. I need something that is small enough to pack and carry easily, that is simple enough to pick up and put down without losing my place, yet challenging enough to keep my mind occupied for long periods of time.
When we went in December, I took one skein of Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 in Chuffed and my sock knitting needles. I didn't really have a plan in mind, but I had a vague idea that I wanted a simple knit and purl pattern that would show off the speckled yarn.
As I began working a toe up sock, I began to knit these little diamonds on the instep. These little diamonds have a way of being addictive. Sort of like potato chips, where you can't eat just one, there is almost no way you can knit just one little diamond.
As we moved through the days of testing, I discovered that I could easily drop the knitting as I needed to go out for a coffee or to grab lunch. As I returned, I could pick it back up and get right back into the groove of things.
At the end of two days time, I had one of the socks completed, and the second followed shortly thereafter. I have never really been much of a sock knitter, but these went so easily they almost finished themselves. At that point, I knew I needed to write up the pattern and get it out to you all.
In the months since December, I have knit an additional pair of these, as you can see in the photos above. The second pair is in Madelinetosh Sock Dahlia with contrasting heels, toes and cuffs in The Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering in High Cotton. I found the same experience with pair two, where I couldn't knit just one diamond at a time. Test knitters found that their socks flew off the needles too.
I have to say, I love patterns like this, where the knitting feels easy and goes quickly, and I hope you'll love these Shine Bright socks too. To give you a chance to try them out, I am offering a special sale on the pattern through this weekend. With the coupon code SHINING, you can take 25% off the price of the pattern. Be sure to get your copy before the sale ends on Sunday night, March 12th.