Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

I do not think that they will sing to me.

I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.

We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot is one of my favorite poems. When reading it aloud, the rhythm is soothing, and the imagery ignites your senses at the same time. I named this pattern Prufrock because the stitch pattern reminds me of both scales and lapping waves from the final stanzas shown above.

I made these socks for my brother’s girlfriend and figured I might as well write up the pattern in the process. I used Madeline Tosh Sock in Baltic for the yarn. It is a hand dyed yarn, and the color varies starkly in some parts of the sock, but I think it adds to the wave/ocean effect. The yarn is lovely to knit.

I had about 15 grams left of the 100 gram ball, so I used about 335 yards for this size 8.5 women’s sock. I was previously totally obsessed with using up every scrap of sock yarn while knitting from the toe up, but now with tiny baby knits I can see how far a little bit of leftover yarn can go, so I don’t mind having a little left over.

The pattern is repeated over 9 rows, but it becomes easy to read after a couple of repeats. You can make the cuffs longer to use up all of your yarn. If you need to make the leg portion wider when making a longer cuff, you can go up a needle size or insert additional purl stitches at the edge of the stitch pattern. It is written for making the socks two at a time using the magic loop method, but it can be adapted to knit only one at once or using DPNs. Enjoy!

You can read more about the pattern here, or just purchase it:

12 thoughts on “Prufrock

  1. This is so beautiful! The poem as well – thank you so much for sharing it! I love poetry so much, and you’re right – I hear the wind as well, and the waves … and everything …

    Those socks are so, so great! Really nice for any variegated yarn. Congratulations! I take it she was thrilled? šŸ˜€

  2. Pingback: Blog Week in Review: it feels like forever « collegeknitting

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