This was a pattern (round #6) for Sock Madness 10, a speed knitting contest. (See the Sock Madness Forever group for more information.)
“Schweigt stille, plaudert nicht (Be silent, not a word, BWV 211) also known as the “Coffee Cantata”, is a secular work by Johann Sebastian Bach composed in the 1730s.
Its first performance was probably at Zimmermann’s coffee house in Leipzig where Bach regularly directed a musical ensemble. In what is essentially a miniature comic opera, Bach and his librettist Picander poke fun at the new fashion for coffee and its old-fashioned critics.
Coffee Cantata is about a young woman named Lieschen who loves coffee. Her father Schlendrian is dead set against any caffeinated fun. In an effort to rid his daughter of the evil drink, he threatens to withdraw all kinds of little privileges until she obeys. But Lieschen chooses coffee over all things. It is only when Schlendrian has the brilliant idea to swear she won’t be allowed to marry that she relents. But as the father rushes off to find a husband, Lieschen reveals that she will make it a part of the marriage contract that she be permitted to brew coffee whenever she wants.
The piece thus ends: “Cats do not give up mousing, girls remain coffee-sisters. The mother adores her coffee-habit and grandma also drank it, so who can blame the daughters!”
The back-and-forth between father and daughter is priceless, as is Lieschen’s solution to the conflict. (That little trick does not exist in Picander’s text; apparently, Bach added this plot twist himself.)
Can’t you just picture the vivacious young woman wearing the socks of this pattern under her petticoats while she gives her father the runaround? The whole musical piece is so delightful and charming, it’s evident Bach enjoyed his craft as much as Lieschen enjoyed her coffee. I hope you’ll enjoy knitting and wearing these socks just as much.
The stitch patterns of these socks are from Lisl Fanderls “Bäuerliches Stricken” (old peasant knitting of the alpine regions), a 3 volume pattern collection, where you can find many more great stitch patterns to play with in your own designs.