Not all that long ago, I came across the Downton Abbey Luxury Yarn Club, hosted by Woolgirl and Curious Creek Fibers. Now, while I recognize that it is a luxury yarn club, with awesome extras like Wee Ones Dowager Countess stitch markers, $550 is FAR outside my price-range for any club (no matter how much I might have wanted it). So I lusted, but did not purchase.
Since the pattern I was most interested in was the Mr. Bates socks, I decided that the next best thing would be to go ahead and design my own. So I did.
I present you with Bates:
Constructed toe-up, with a combination of cables and twisted stitches on a reverse stockinette stitch background. I had originally envisioned using a staggered cross cable (one with uneven numbers of repeats between each cable-row - to call to mind Mr. Bates' limp), but found that oddly, the roundness of the cables did not suit the design at all.
The heel is short-row, with a twisted stitch heel flap. These are men's size 9, but were knit fairly narrow. The pattern can easily be sized up, however, to account for more robust foot and leg circumference.
The yarn is Malabrigo Yarn Sock, in the Piedras colorway, which was meant to call to mind the khaki uniforms of the British army in the Boer war, when Mr. Bates was the Earl's batman. This was my first order from Loopy Ewe, and I plan on buying more yarn from them in the future, if only for more adorable sheep drawings. However, I think the pattern would hold up well in any gently variegated yarn.
The pattern is still being edited, and will be out for test-knitting soon.