Beowulf sock pattern


21 Responses to “Beowulf sock pattern”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Forget the sock—I want to see the rest of that library!!

    • Gryphon says:

      It’s actually not a library, but an amazing used bookshop hidden in the rural town of Trappe, MD on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay. It’s called Unicorn Books ( and is highly worth the trip if you’re in the area. They allowed us to hold our photoshoot there for a minimal fee and we all had a horrible time concentrating while surrounded by so many treasures. I won’t even mention the pile I went home with…
      - Gryphon

  2. Anonymous says:

    Oh my, how exciting to have my design posted here! Deeply honored. In a fit of admiration of Benjamin Bagby, I wrote and asked if he would allow me to knit him a pair. He graciously provided me with his foot measurements and his socks are now in progress.

    The comment ‘thaet waes god sock’ nearly caused me to spew coffee on my keyboard. Thank you, fellow mediaeval geeks, just for being out there :-)

  3. Gryphon says:

    I’m actually thinking of doing that myself, probably fingerless mitts… It’s hard to get a good grip on monsters’ arms with full mittens on :-)

  4. devophill says:

    Wow, cool looking socks!

    [click through]


  5. awjtawjt says:

    Righteous. It needs an Eorth-draca pattern mixed in there somehow.

  6. BDiamond says:

    Is it bad that I’d rather have the books behind the sock than the sock itself? WANT.

  7. Dewi Morgan says:

    Is it bad that I thought the books were a terrible anachronism?

    • bardfinn says:

      The oldest surviving manuscript of Beowulf /is/ an anachronism – It’s a monk’s copy of (a copy of (a copy of (recurse as many times as necessary))) a transcript of a tale told in old English from oral tradition, of the adventures of Danes and Norsemen and Geats, several centuries before the manuscript was put down on paper.


  8. Tdawwg says:

    People say that of all the socks on earth, those are the warmest, the softest on their owners’ feet, and the most eager to win fame.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Excuse me a moment while I look that up on my socks.

  10. Lobster says:


  11. Anonymous says:

    I graduate with my degree in English Lit with Anglo Saxon in 2 weeks and have decided to exhibit the depths of my ofermode by attempting to knit these beauties in time :D So excited there are knitters out there as geeky as I am. :D

  12. Anonymous says:

    n.b.: there is only one surviving manuscript of Beowulf. It was badly damaged in the fire at Robert Cotton’s library in the 18th Century; it’s amazing we have the poem at all, and some parts are still missing.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Is it any conicidence that “His linen socc feoll ofer bord in thaet water and scranc” is a common introductory sentence for Old Englisc students?

  14. adamnvillani says:

    I once saw a car with the license plate HWAET.

  15. frankieboy says:

    Now that’s esoteric.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Re:Tdawwg – It wouldn’t be hard (once given Sanguine Gryphon’s permission of course) to create a mitten pattern based on the sock one, they translate well one to the other (I’ve done it with colorwork before), although gloves would be considerably more difficult – What do you say, Gryphon?

  17. Flaminica says:

    Very impressive. I don’t think a fraction of the audience here understand just how tough this pattern had to be to design. The execution is equally awesome. Sock knitting is a bitch.

  18. Tdawwg says:

    Thaet waes god sock.

    Gloves would be even better, especially considering how one of Beowulf’s few named men, Hondscio (“handshoe,” or glove: cf. German Handschuh), gets eaten by Grendel during the first fight at Heorot. But that’s a mere quibble, sort of like saying that Beowulf gets bloody when he kills: these are damned cool socks, well worthy of being included among the lovely plated mail, the sharp-edged swords, the trembling lyres, of which the Beowulf-poet sings.

  19. ScuffedShoes says:

    I love that the four-year-old picked up Hwaet. Reminds me of something said of a medievalist friend, “He learned his Old English where everyone should, at his mother’s knee.”

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