Once there was a woman of such surpassing beauty that she captured the eye - or perhaps it was the heart - of the King. He desired her and took her for his wife. She was Elfrida, and her King was Edgar.
Now Edgar had been married before and had from that marriage a son by the name of Edward. Unmindful of Edward, Edgar declared that only sons born to Elfrida would be rightful heirs to his kingdom. In time, Elfrida did what all wives of kings hope to do and gave birth to a son. He was called Ethelred. In celebration, Edgar held a grand coronation. Elfrida was crowned and anointed Queen, an honor never before bestowed upon any woman of the kingdom.
Alas, Edgar died while Ethelred was still a child. Edward, determined to be King, ignored his father’s wishes and seized the crown for himself. Outraged, Elfrida summoned Edward to her castle. He, trusting his stepmother, came willingly. As he approached, Elfrida’s servants set upon him, and Edward was murdered. Having now removed the obstacle to her son’s kingship, Elfrida had Ethelred crowned King. She ruled in his stead until he came of age and continued to wield great power and influence until her death many years later.
Elfrida (also spelled Ælfthryth) was a real woman in Anglo-Saxon England. Scandalous legends grew up around her so it is difficult to tell fact from fiction, but the events in the account given above are thought to be true. Much of what we know about the Anglo-Saxons comes from the treasure troves of gold and jewels found in their graves. The individual motifs and banded design of these socks are all inspired by these surviving artifacts.
These top down socks were designed for Penny Rose Yarns’ Wicked Women Sock Club. The purple yarn used in them is exclusive to club members, but many of Ruth’s yarns would be lovely.