Nienna by Claire Ellen


by Claire Ellen
July 2014
Any self-striping or gradient yarn
Fingering (14 wpi) ?
12 stitches and 8 rows = 1 inch
in stockinette stitch
US 1 - 2.25 mm
300 - 330 yards (274 - 302 m)
Small (Medium, Large)
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This pattern is available for $6.00 USD buy it now

The leg of this sock features an allover pattern that tapers down into a point over the top of the foot. The pattern is inspired by one of Tolkien’s Valar, Nienna, who took on the grief of all Arda after the fall of Melkor. The pattern looks similar to smocking, but is actually very elastic.

Skill Level: Intermediate knitter/Beginning sock knitter. The stitch pattern is really very simple, so only basic top-down sock construction makes this pattern complex. I think it’d work well for someone wanting to move beyond the plain vanilla sock and into something more adventurous.

Sizing is adjustable in most areas. Small (Medium, Large) socks measure 8(8.5, 9) inches or 20(21.5, 23) cm in circumference. Leg length, ankle, and foot are all adjustable to fit and preference.

There are only two unusual stitches, both have written explanations as well as video demonstration.

I strongly recommend using a self-striping or gradient yarn as the pattern will create an interesting pulling of color from one color stripe to the next. I believe the pattern is strong enough to stand out on a solid as well, although I haven’t tested the theory. I think a variegated yarn would not look as well, because the color splashes will probably distract from the lines of the pattern.