Pattern: Vinnland socks by Becca Compton, smallest size
Yarn: A Piece of Vermont Superwash Merino/Bamboo/Nylon Sock, colour ‘Mermaid’, 72 g
Needles: 2 mm bamboo dpns
Modifications: Used my favourite toe-up toe
The yarn is what was left from my Jaywalkers and has been designated for this pattern for quite a while, the toe-up leaves seemed perfect for using up the last bit of this colourway.
I don’t often pay much attention to names of knit designs, and it wasn’t undil I googled ‘Vinnland’ without adding ‘socks’ I realized it was the English word for Vinland (yeah there should have been some bells ringing).
Whatever the motivatation was for naming the socks Vinnland, it is very appropriate. Aah, let me take you on a journey, long back and far away…
The left sock is actually inside out in the top two pictures. I like both sides of the pattern!
About a thousand years ago the Vikings were racing around in Northern waters traveling far east into Russia, south to Jerusalem and west to Vinland. Such a journey did reqire its pitstops though, and the first leg was made by stray sailors stumbling across what was soon, and very understandably, named Iceland. This place was soon colonized but it didn’t stop the curiosity and eagerness, and need, to travel. After being outlawed for a murder, Erik the Red set sails westwards and returned with reports of more land, deliberately named Greenland to rise interest. You think today’s PR people are stretching the truth?? I wonder if he was enough of a practical joker to yell BURN!! when he returned with the first settlers and saw their jaws drop at the sight of glaciers and barren coastline.
I knit four repeats of the pattern before the heel, and four for the leg, that made a perfect sock. The pattern is so stretchy that gusset increases which I usually can’t live without, is unecessary.
Apparently his son Leiv Eiriksson did’t share his dad’s sense of humour, but he did repeat him in sailing towards unconfirmed discoveries of land in the west, reaching Labrador and Baffin Island and what he named Vinnland. The location of Vinnland is not known, but the word translates into either ‘land where wine grapes grow’ or ‘pasture land’. Wether he had more luck with his discoveries then his father, or just realized that a little PR couldn’t harm is unknown.
Archaeological findings including drop spindles and what Wikipedia refers to as a knitting needle confirms Norse settlements in North America 1000 years ago. I guess they refer to a nalbinding/needlebinding needle, as knitting wasn’t known back then in those cultures and only took over for needlebinding very few centuries ago. In fact, in many Norwegian dialects including my own, to knit is also referred to as to bind, and I call my work in progress my ‘bunding’ or binding.
Fast forward about 500 years to our friend Chris who thought the world was a ball and set sails for India. Little did he know that there was a lot standing between him and his target. In fact a whole continent or two. He never made it to India to see the tigers.
Cuff-down socks over 36 sts, 2 mm needle, picot edging and short-row heel. Opal Rainforest Tiger yarn, to fit a 6-12 month old.
He did bring back some other goodies though , like chocolate!, and although the behavior of his men and the consequenses of most land discoveries can be debated, all these guys lived a life in hand-spun, hand knitted (or bound or sewn) socks. That counts for something, right?
My Vinnland socks are now on their way to my aunt, hopefully bringing more reliable promises of buds and leaves than Erik the Red’s Greenland did!