Tuesday 21 June 2022

Let's hear it for purple!

Whether it’s the shade of a particular chocolate wrapper, amethyst geodes, or alliums growing in a flower bed, purple really is my favourite colour - I even use it as the main colour in my branding! 

The Vikki Bird Designs logo features a lot of purple

For a long time the only way to get purple dye was to use the mucus of a particular type of sea snail. Yuck. And expensive! The dye was so expensive it was only affordable to rulers, royalty and aristocracy. In 1856, William Perkin developed a synthetic purple dye, Mauveine, which brought the cost down and made purple accessible to a much larger portion of society.

Hazel in Caramel socks in a lovely rich purple

During the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee at the start of this month, the official colours of the celebrations were not the ubiquitous red, white and blue, widely associated with the union flag, but platinum (the metal associated with 70th anniversaries) and Pantone 3515 C, the rich purple that has long been associated with royalty. The jubilee was marked by a 4-day weekend, which I took as a sign to cast on some new socks. For the past few years, Jodi at Cuddlebums (one of my favourite indie dyers) has dyed up a special sock set to knit up over the long Easter weekend; Jodi decided to do the same for the jubilee weekend, and I treated myself to a set. I love all the colourways that Jodi dyes - they’re all inspired by rainbows - but when this one arrived, I was extra-excited because it was in my favourite colour: purple! The mini skein accent was a platinum grey, which was very on trend for the weekend.

Jubilee yarn by Cuddlebums

I loved knitting my very purple socks over the course of the weekend. To add a little extra fun, I used the polls feature in my Instagram stories to create a ‘choose your own adventure’ game. Based on the answers given, I ended up knitting a picot cuff, eye of partridge contrast heel, and a lace patterned foot. Watching the little rainbows emerge was such a joy - on some rows every single stitch was a different colour! The final socks look pretty cute too, and I’m in the process of writing up the pattern - would you be interested in knitting your own pair? Let me know in the comments.

A rainbow in every round!

Fabulous purple rainbow socks

Can’t wait for this pattern to come out? Why not check the sock patterns I’ve already published? You can find them on Ravelry* and PayHip.

*Ravelry may affect people with photosensitivity. Proceed with caution.


  1. These are super cute! You should team up and do a kit with the pattern and these colors!

    1. Thank you! That’s an excellent idea, and I’ll see whether Jodi would be up for it - the yarn and pattern go so well together!