Do you know what a “Baronesse Bambalina” is? According to the yarn label it might be some sort of a purple and blue bird but Google can only find me pictures of woolly socks, and Google translate (a) thinks it’s Catalan and (b) translates it as “Baroness Bambalina”. Well that’s helpful then.
And so, in lieu of any evidence that there may actually be a colour way named after a small purple and blue rainforest bird and not the colourful Friday afternoon daydream of an Opal designer, let me show you some socks.
Before we moved, my train to work had lots of tables and free wifi and so I spent a lot of the journeys writing or playing around on Instagram. The new train, I still get a seat, and it’s more reliable (please don’t let that jinx me come Monday), and travelling a shorter distance, but it’s not really set up for getting the laptop out, and with patchy reception I’ve gone back to train knitting and listening to podcasts.
That’s how these socks finished anyway. The start was in more auspiciously knitterly surroundings in the car on the way to Yarndale, on the bus between the car park and Yarndale itself, not in the bus between Yarndale and the car park because my lap was far too full with the most gorgeous bag of squishable yarn you’ve ever seen, but definitely in the car on the way back home. I only stopped because it got dark and I was pretty sure that I was ready to turn the heel.
The yarn itself, Opal Rainforest in the somewhat bafflingly named Baronesse Bambalina, also known as 4005 was a birthday present from some very dear friends a few years ago and it’s been lurking in the top of the stash boxes just waiting for me to want a ball of yarn for nice plain straight knitting socks.
They are pink and purple and blue and very definitely not stripy self-striping sock yarn. The pattern seems to knit in bands, but even they’re fairly variable. I can quite happily take second sock matching to an obsessive degree, and even when I still end up with one toe that has half a stripe of green when the other is all blue, I’ll keep trying on every pair.
I’d claim these socks let me relax and just see what would be, but truth be told I tried to make them match, even though matching is clearly impossible. I matched the cast on yarn so perfectly, and yet by the time we got to the heel they were just wildly different, without rhyme or reason or even knot. If ever there were a lesson in letting go of imperfection this should be it, because even with heels that could never claim to be matching, these are still very much a pair of socks that belong together.
(Picture by Pip, aged 3, who may have some work to do as family knitwear photographer)
And somehow, when it’s getting chilly, and the heat from the Aga can’t quite reach the tiles on the far side of the kitchen floor, that matching but not identical starts to matter an awful lot less.
They are warm, and snuggly, and, and this is a rarity for me; they are mine, all mine!