My childhood was amazing. I have so many vivid, spectacular memories. Now that I’m older, I realize that many of my early days consisted of transforming very simple living into something incredibly meaningful. I remember running through the clotheslines on hot days, feeling the coolness of the wet linens against my skin. I remember pillaging my neighbor’s yard for mint leaves, and while I was at it, feasting on some “almonds,” which were actually the pits of unripened peaches. Or was it feasting on some unripened peaches, which were actually the fleshy outsides of almonds? I remember diving in the Black Sea and collecting hermit crabs, then unceremoniously relieving them of their shells and setting them back into the water; the shells becoming necklaces and bracelets.

I remember a childhood game I’d play with my girlfriends. We would gather unopened poppy blossoms, sticky milky poppy juice getting all over our hands. We would make a wish, then guess the color of the poppy inside the blossom – white, pink, or red. Slowly we’d peel back the furry green outer leaves, and if the poppy was the predicted color, our wish would come true! I remember the feeling of the nascent poppy petals – silky, smooth, fragile.

I remember the color of the red poppies, my favorites – neither coral, nor red, a tint of orange running throughout. And here it is, captured beautifully:

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock | Poppy | Linda’s store

The folks at Lorna’s Laces have done it again! For me, personally, this is the favorite color of LL I’ve ever used.

A sock for a friend. Being that she’s a knitter, I plan to let her knit the second one herself – that should be fun! The yarn is knitting up beautifully, as always, and my memories of poppies make it even more special.


40 thoughts on “Poppies

  1. Stella

    I think I would find that color beautiful anyway, but poppies have a very special place in my memory too! I’m excited to watch your sock develop.

  2. Niente Zero

    For a brief while in my childhood I lived next to a field of opium poppies, being grown to be sold to pharmaceutical companies, I was told. In my memory the field was huge, full of these gorgeous pink flowers, and of course it was totally off-limits for us to play in.

    That sock colour is gorgeous. Perfect for the sort of poppies that we did have growing in our back yard and were allowed to pick. I liked them after the petals fell off and the heads were full of gritty black seeds that got under your fingernails. I hope your friend likes the socks πŸ™‚

  3. Carolyn

    Absolutely beautiful. I love the colour. I really must order some LL yarn. I have search in local yarn stores but have never seen it.

    the patter is quite interesting…twisted rib? Can wait to see how the “one” turns out!

  4. Heather

    My dad was in the military so I spent many years of my childhood in Germany. We lived next to an undeveloped field where the poppies would run rampant. My sister and I would turn down the petals of the flowers and make them into dolls. We would use the Queen Anne’s Lace as beautiful tea tables.

    Thanks for bringing back the memories…

  5. orata

    What a lovely post–thank you. When I was about 11 years old, the neighbor down the street had a silky Iceland poppy that was just that color, and while it was blooming, I’d stop to admire it every single day on my way home from school.

  6. Bronwyn

    what a cool memory. πŸ™‚ I have similar, tactile and sensual memories but not necessarily situational ones. My mother’s perfume, the tiny garden door that let me sneak into my neighbor’s garden when she wasn’t home, and the enormous blooming magnolia shedding petals all over our tiny enclosed lawn. Childhood is a magical time!

  7. connie

    what wonderful, evocative memories. and the beginning of your friend’s sock is beautiful. you take such great pictures of your knitting!

  8. Hanna

    I love hearing about how your memories and your craft are intertwined. It’s amazing to think about how much meaning can be bound up into something as simple as yarn, isn’t it?

    Beautiful, beautiful color.

  9. anne

    The smell of sheets hung out to dry in the wind and sun — I remember that from my childhood, too. Now I stuff them in the dryer with chemical scents. Perhaps I should take the time to hang them outdoors.

    (Thank you!)

  10. Mrs. Brooke

    I’m not an orange-type of person, but that is a beautiful color! My goodness, you make me look at colors differently…I became so infatuated with periwinkle that I had my husband paint our living room that color. Hee hee.

    However, I don’t see any poppy-colored rooms in the future…

  11. Leslie

    Poppies! I am spending a year in southern Russia (maybe not far from where you grew up?), and like birches or certain berries in other parts of Russia, poppies seem to be the unofficial symbol of the area. The word “poppy” comes up everywhere in store and cafe names, and people here tell me about the big wild poppy fields that used to surround the city, but to my disappointment, there don’t seem to be any anymore. Just cultivated sunflowers. I haven’t given up hope, though.

    Anyway, I love poppies and that’s a beautiful color!

  12. Mari

    I love wild poppies, too. They do not grow in Northern Europe where I grew up, but we have plenty of them where I’m living now…

  13. Jessica

    You sold me on Lorna’s Laces some months ago. I’m more-than-halfway-done on colorwork knee socks (chart mashup of my own devising) using Bold Red and Charcoal LL with size 1’s and it’s going swimmingly. Everything you said about the yarn… yes. It’s lovely to work with.

  14. Karen B.

    What beautiful prose to describe those long-ago but still fresh memories. What beautiful prose that leads us to that yarn and your friend’s sock in the making.

    Will you share the pattern once it is complete? I do like hemmed picot edging…

  15. Josiane

    Lovely! Both the memories your shared and the sock.

    The stitch pattern on the sock looks intriguing, I can’t wait to see more.

  16. Dove

    Given that I grew up a skip and a jump from where you did, and around the same time, I have similar memories of childhood. I loved poppies, especially their dried-up seed cages. They rattled! They were so cool.

  17. GirlMeetsNeedle

    That red is simply stunning, and for me to say that is something else since I’m not really a “red” sort of girl. Gorgeous! Can’t wait to see the sock knit up!

  18. Angie

    I have looked at that colorway often and wondered. Upon your recommendation, I’ll have to give in….

  19. Marlena

    This is a wonderful post. Your childhood sounds very special, much like I remember mine. Except that I hunted periwinkles and made them come out by humming, and ate some sort of wild mint and blueberries in the woods behind my house.

    Do you ever wonder how you made it into adulthood eating stuff you just randomly found outside? I guess kids must intuitively know what’s edible or not.

  20. Sarah

    I have memories of frolicking through poppy fields in southern France my junior of college. The countryside is so beautiful dotted with the red petals of these delicate flowers. They still hold a certain magic for me…

  21. Candace

    Amazing…I am knitting a “poppy” sock too and with the same picot edge. I saw your post and my jaw dropped…same wave length or what. I started mine a few days ago.

  22. Karen

    It is a beautiful color. I love the top of the sock. It that just a plain picot? I haven’t tried that yet, and will have to on my next pair. The pattern you are doing is beautiful!

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