I have long been fascinated with the look of broderie anglaise.  There is something very sweet about this lace embroidery, which is characterized by patterns composed of round or oval holes which are cut out of the fabric, called eyelets, then bound with buttonhole stitches.  As a young girl, I wore a blouse made out of a fabric featuring little broderie anglaise flowers all over it, and ever since then, I have retained a fondness for fabric featuring this technique (although I no longer wear it).

Recently, I found a knitting stitch by that name! I was terribly excited and immediately had to do some swatching!

Anemone socks

I particularly love it because you create the broderie anglaise look using a very simple but interesting technique, which fills my geeky need to try new things and find joy in new discoveries!

As you can see, the swatch very quickly became socks…

DSC00978 (640x480)

The set-up for the stitch is created by first knitting a K2tog and a SKPO, which creates a very tiny gap between the stitches.  After the ‘rest’ row (one row of straight knit stitch), you insert the needle two rows below into that gap to create the long “broderie” stitch.  This completes the effect of both eyelet and lace stitch, and yet there is no yarn over involved, and look is very neat.  It’s very simple, and effective!

Also interesting to my knitting brain was that I got to be ambidextrous – the original instructions simply said to insert the needle back in between the gap after knitting two stitches to create the second long stitch, but I found this very hard as twisting my hand to get the needle backwards over two stitches made my wrist sore. It was almost impossible to execute!  I instinctively wanted to use the left needle to make the second stitch, so I decided to try it, and was delighted to find it the perfect technique!  (The resulting stitch is then transferred to the right needle).  It made for a very happy, geeky moment to discover this easy solution!

Initially, I thought to call the socks “Geek” because there was so much ‘geeking out’ designing this pattern, but I showed a picture of the socks to Alice, and she thought they looked like anemones.  I think she’s right, and so the “Anemone” socks they are!  Thanks Alice!

Anemone socks

The pattern and technical details will be released within the next few days.

In the spirit of ‘dana’, I am making this pattern free for one week after release  to readers of this blog with the code “DANA”.  Simply put in the code on checkout, and the pattern will be free.  Do try them!

(‘Dana’ is a Sanskrit and Pali word that means “generosity” or “giving.” It refers specifically to taking delight in giving – that is, getting in touch with the natural generosity and wish to share inside of us. The mind of generosity is a joyful mind; it does not suffer from regret or a feeling of poverty. Rather, the act of giving itself is pleasurable and seeing others’ using our offering is an extra bonus.” (

It was such a lovely day today, so still, and warm and sunny.  A brilliant winter’s day!  Look who joined me on the balcony.

The Cat

Actually, I think he was a bit annoyed that he was required to share his normally private spot with my socks.  🙂

Socks again

Hope you are having a brilliant weekend!  Watch out for the pattern release soon!



25 thoughts on “Geek

  1. These socks are lovely. Thank you so much for making the pattern available, I will look forward to making them.

  2. I wonder if “broderie anglaise” is the same as “eyelet lace”? At least that’s what it looks like to my American eyes. But I like the French term better!

  3. These are so lovely! And I agree – broderie anglaise is one of my favourite fabrics. I’d love to find a dress or summer top made with it that didn’t skew too child, I’d wear it in a heartbeat.

  4. Lovely pattern and I can imagine a sock yarn in my cupboard in that. A delicate colour for that delicate pattern. Glad to see you are having one of Wellington’s gorgeous days.

  5. Your design looks so delicate, just like the broderie anglaise that I remember. And your generosity is much appreciated. These socks are on my “to make” list. Thank you.
    Waikanae Beach

  6. How beautiful and generous !
    I like the broderie anglaise too, though I didn’t really fance the girly stuff as a child. Maybe that’s why, even nowadays, I don’t necessarily associate it with childrens wear. In fact, I’ve always thought of it more as ‘blouses with a romantic touch’ …

  7. I’m enjoying the lovely weather too , although I’m doing a short stint of work before heading to hk , which means significantly less time for knitting !! Very frustrating when work gets in the way of knitting time !

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