Keeping Your Brain Cells Hopping

Crossword puzzles.  Sudoku. Brain teasers.  A good novel.  What do you do to keep those brain cells young and vibrant?  Have you tried a Cookie A sock?

My latest distraction (preventing progress on my many toe-up socks) is Lissajous – an amazing stocking pattern from Cookie A’s “Knit Sock Love,” and For Yarn’s Sake’s current knit-along endeavor.  And its kicking my butt!  Cables and cables and cables, intertwining with more cables and motifs.  As if that weren’t enough, you can (and some folks are) make knee highs with an additional motif on the back of the calves.  Yikes!

All kidding aside, this sock is a fabulous adventure.  Lissajous (pronounced lisezu) is a mathematical term to describe “a complex series of looped or curved figures traced out by a point undergoing two independent simple harmonic motions at right angles with frequencies in a simple ratio.”  Originating in the late 19th century, the term is named after French physicist Jules A. Lissajous (1822–80), who discovered and defined the concept.  Complex harmonic motion – a perfect description of the curves found in Cookie A’s fantastic stocking pattern.  Four columns run vertically parallel to each other while colliding or avoiding obstacles along the way – a motif at the top front, another at the ankle, and calf shaping forces the columns to curve around them in the stocking version.  A blast to knit.  And leave it to Cookie to make things challenging, just because she can.  After you cats on, she has you add 12 stitches via make-ones in the first round! What the heck.  I spent several hours blowing up the chart and color coding the symbols, which was a huge help.  Reminded me of coloring by numbers as a kid.  It’s going to be a fun but slow path to this pair of socks landing on my feet – check in with me next year.

In the mean time, I squeeze in a little time each day on my other, less ambitious socks.  I’d better get a move on, too.  Someone asked to borrow a size 1 needle the other day, and I couldn’t help her out – all needles had socks on them (and I have a lot of needles).

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