Friday, February 29, 2008



Some people called it the Tree of Heaven. No matter where its seed fell, it made a tree which struggled to reach the sky.
-- Betty Smith, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn

These socks are named for Francie Nolan, the main character in my favorite book, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. Like the book, and like Francie, the socks are full of unexpected beauty and character. There are stories hidden in their folds, interesting shapes to be found in their bark, and new ideas to be found in their branches.

Smooshy Sock Preview

These socks were designed with an adventurous knitter in mind. While the leg of the socks is easier to execute than it might appear at first glance, the foot of the socks involves shaping that is probably new to most sock knitters. This shaping results in interesting curves in new places, a foot-hugging contour that surpasses the comfortable clinging power of most traditional ribbed socks, and a new way to shape a toe. The socks may take a bit more concentration than you’re used to, particularly once you get to the foot, but once you find the rhythm of these socks everything should fall into place.

(photo used with the permission of Natalie)

These socks were knit with Dream In Color Smooshy, at 8 stitches per inch, on U.S. size 1 (2.25 mm) DPNs. You can use any sock yarn you like, preferably in a solid or nearly-solid color. This sock is very stretchy, and will fit a wide range of foot sizes. You can easily customize the fit of the leg and foot by changing needle sizes, to make the circumference a bit wider or a bit narrower. Because the entire sock is based on 2x2 ribbing, the sizing range is generously large. There are instructions in the pattern for customizing the length of the leg and foot of the sock.

Because these socks are a bit different than your average socks, those of you who have knit socks before will have an easier time with this pattern. There is no one skill in these socks that is difficult, but they may take more concentration than your average sock pattern until you get into their unique rhythm. Those of you who can read your knitting (see the difference between knit and purl stitches) will have an easier time with this pattern, although I try to give as much instruction as is reasonably possible. I found them really fun to knit, because I was doing things I'd never quite done before, and it was exciting to see how it would all turn out in the end! There is a lot of new stuff in these socks, and if you like new stuff in your knitting, I think you'll really enjoy knitting this pattern.

The Francie pattern is available for sale right now, as a PDF download. I am using Ravelry's new pattern delivery system, which means that pattern delivery is automatic -- no more waiting for me to email you anything! You do not need to be a member of Ravelry to use the system, although if you are, you have the option to add the PDF directly to the library in your notebook, which is very convenient. The cost of this pattern is $6.50, and you can click the button below to purchase it:

Here is a direct link to the Ravelry page for the pattern.
(Please keep in mind that if you use an e-check, the pattern will not be delivered until the check clears. I believe this can take up to 10 days. I do keep an eye on my Paypal account on a daily basis, to make sure that everyone who has paid by e-check gets their patterns as soon as possible after the check clears, because I know that it is difficult to wait!)

Let me know if you have any problems with payment or with receiving your copy of the pattern. And of course, please contact me if you have any difficulties with the pattern. It has been test knitted by the wonderful and talented Natalie, and proof-read and tweaked until my eyes bled, so I hope it is free of errors. If I (or anyone else) find major errors, I will update the PDF and send new copies to those who have already purchased it. I am quite proud of this pattern, and want to make sure that it brings as much joy to others as it has to me.


Oh, and the contest winner! I was a bit embarrassed when the very first person to guess figured out the origin of the pattern name. I thought it must have been much too easy, but was relieved when most of the rest of the contest participants didn't have a clue. Congrats to Dove for being the first person to not only enter the contest, but to enter with the correct answer. Boy are you fast! Please send me an email at the email address in the sidebar, and I will send you a copy of the pattern. Thank you to everyone else who entered. Your guesses really entertained me.


Oh, and here's the legal mumbo jumbo from the end of the pattern. There has been a lot of discussion on Ravelry lately about this sort of stuff, and I have come to the conclusion that it is best to put this information here, as well as in the PDF. The short story is that use the pattern however you want for personal use. The long story is:

This pattern was created and written by Rebekkah Kerner. It is intended for personal use, meaning that you may make as many pairs of socks from this pattern as you like for yourself, or to give away as gifts. This pattern is not to be distributed, for free or for money, in any format, without the permission of Rebekkah Kerner. Items created from this pattern are not to be sold or used for commercial gain without the permission of Rebekkah Kerner. If you are interested in working out an agreement to distribute this pattern or to sell socks made from this pattern, please contact Rebekkah using the contact information on the title page of the pattern.

Smooshy sock - 3/4 view

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Blogger Kristin said...

Wow. I am stunned by your talent and the sheer beauty of this sock. Is it wrong that I want to throw everything aside and cast on IMMEDIATELY? Thank you for such a gorgeous piece of knitwear.

2/29/2008 7:37 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

that is beautiful. the shaping and ribbing on the foot is a great design!!!

(if you ever need other test knitters for future patterns, let me know!)

2/29/2008 8:07 AM  
Blogger Justine said...

These are so great - and great book too! I WILL be casting on for these within the next week - completely itching to start them now, but I've got a few things on the needles!

Thanks for such a great pattern

2/29/2008 8:46 AM  
Blogger Dove Knits said...

Ooo, how exciting! I love being right ;)

Thanks for the beautiful pattern. I love it!

2/29/2008 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love them!! Alas, I have no sock yarn in my stash (shocking!) and no money for my yarn budget. I'm so sad!

2/29/2008 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I think I've got a yarn I can use for these, and $6.50 surely won't kill my budget. I do have one ass-pain of a request, however: Do you have one picture of the *whole* sock, cuff to toe? I'm finding it a bit tough to visualize the pieces put together. Again, sorry to be an ass-pain.

2/29/2008 11:24 AM  
Blogger Happily Knit said...

Those look great! I especially love the bottom pattern detail. I'm also a bit relieved that you didn't name your socks after a miniature Barbie doll....;)

2/29/2008 11:29 AM  
Blogger Donna said...

I'm so glad this was actually A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (one of my favorites too, but I haven't read it in forever) and not Alias - what a lovely sock!

2/29/2008 11:33 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I'll try to update the pattern info later, but in case anyone else has the same question as Schizospider, here's a link to all the photos tagged "Smooshy" in my Flickr account. Some are not relevant, but there are more sock photos there for those who are curious.

2/29/2008 11:42 AM  
Blogger Linda said...

They are beautiful, the yarn is good and I love natalies too.

2/29/2008 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe how beautiful this is. I have a skein of Smooshy in my stash just WAITING to be this sock...I had to buy it as soon as I saw it....



2/29/2008 1:05 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Beautiful pattern. I did not hesitate one bit... I clicked "buy now" and bought the pattern straight away. It's lovely and detailed and looks like it's going to be an entertaining knit! I do have one question though...I thought that the pattern would automatically show up in my ravelry library, but I guess since I wasn't signed in at the time of purchase, it didn't happen. Is there any way to connect it to my library post-purchase? Thanks! --Jill P.

2/29/2008 1:50 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Jill - I can't find contact info for you, so I hope you check back here!

I don't think there is a way, yet, to add PDFs to your Ravelry library if you didn't download them directly there in the first place. But I think I remember Casey mentioning that that was one of the things he wanted to eventually implement. You would have to check on Ravelry to be sure, but that's my memory of the way things work for now.

2/29/2008 2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just downloaded - got the yarn - off I go to cast on!! Thanks for a fantastic design.

3/03/2008 4:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL - I came to tag you with a Meme and bought a pattern. ::rolls eyes::


I tagged you for a meme which you will find on my blog. I thought you would have some interesting things to share. Hope I did this right. It's my first meme.


3/04/2008 2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coolsocks. And love your Knitty socks too.

3/11/2008 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to make these. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was my grandmother's favourite book. She was born in 1898 and died in 1975. She always talked about that book and I never read it until after she died. Fabulous socks and I have some Jitterbug that just might work perfectly.

5/02/2008 10:01 AM  
Blogger Cher said...

Dang. I *HATE* making socks. Yet I adore these. I am so. buying. this. pattern!

5/02/2008 12:37 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

That is a *way* cool sock!

5/14/2008 9:52 AM  
Blogger Mel said...

Okay, I've been loving all the photos I've seen of people's Francie socks, and I have two skeins of a lovely sock yarn that need to be knit into something textured like this. What I need to know, though, is whether this pattern is toe-up or toe-down.

Toe-down always tends to be a bit problematic for me, given that I have men's size 13 feet. I don't want to start at the top with a limited amount of yarn and then find I have too little.

7/28/2008 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a fabulous sock! From every angle it is fascinating and beautiful.

8/02/2008 1:50 AM  
Blogger jdhforjc said...

wow, making this new knitter totally addicted to complicated patterns. gotta get this one!

10/15/2008 3:08 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

I have only done a little knitting but I'm an experienced sewist and crafter. One of the things about socks that has always turned me off is how the heels look like freak bits stuck on. I spied this sock and fell in love. I'm sure I don't have the experience yet to knit it but I am keeping my eye on it. As a designer I love how you have completely integrated the heel and toe into your design so that the function of the sock does not detract from the design but is actually strengthened by the design. Just by looking at it I am thinking those must be some really comfortable socks.

4/20/2009 9:57 PM  
Blogger Bev said...

I love these socks! Saw them on Pinterest, but unfortunately they have them called entirely different (Tree Bark 3). I posted them to my knitted sock board with the correct name of Francie. LOVE the pattern.

3/24/2016 10:50 PM  

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