Viper Pilots

[Note from later in 2009: This pattern is now available in hard copy from The Purple Purl, in Toronto.]

Brace yourselves, because this is pretty much as geek-tastic as my knitting gets. BSG knitters in the house? This is for us.

This pattern is something I’ve had on the brain since about, oh, last spring or so. I was pondering the Season 3 finale of Battlestar Galactica, and Starbuck and Apollo, and the emblematic maelstrom and the Eye of Jupiter, and so of course the most logical response in my head was, “hey let’s put that into a really complicated sock and then write it into a pattern.” Several months and three attempts later, and after a few different variations and lots and lots of poring over stitch dictionaries, this is what it turned into:


I present to you, Viper Pilots (Ravelry store link). Visually, it combines all the elements I wanted to achieve – the swirled, dynamic twists that represent exactly those same maelstroms that Starbuck and Apollo fly through practically on a daily basis, and the chevron, arrow-like cables that bear more than a passing resemblance to the Vipers they fly. It’s sort of violent and beautiful at the same time.

And now the pattern is out in the world (which fills me with simultaneous excitement and just a little bit of terror…but I feel this way about pretty much everything I’ve ever designed ever, so I’m hoping that’s normal), and is currently available as a sale download on Ravelry. (See that linkie above). I’m charging $5.00 which seemed pretty reasonable to me, so I hope it seems reasonable to knitters, too. (There are charts! And instructions! And everything!)


In knitting this pattern I chose Dream in Color Smooshy, in the aptly-named ‘Nightwatch’ colourway, but one of the reasons I liked the DiC option is that there are so many different colourways in the blue-black area; Dusky Aurora, Black Parade, Midnight Derby…I’d love to know what it looks like in all sorts of shades. I also like Smooshy for its fantastic yardage – cables eat yarn for breakfast and I wanted a skein that would get me through a pair of socks in my Size 11 feet without trouble, and I’m pleased to say this fits the bill. Any substitution would be fine for something with a bit of ‘squish’ to it, in a moderate fingering weight.

The biggest challenge with this pattern would be adjusting for size, given that it is hard to simply alter stitch repeats. I have written this pattern for one size which will comfortably fit feet 8.5-10 ins or so in circumference, at an anticipated stockinette gauge of 32 sts over 4 inches. I used 2.75mm needles, which is the size I would use if I were knitting a plain pair of 64-sts stockinette socks. Up-sizing or down-sizing would be easiest with a change in needle size, depending on your anticipated gauge, but also by altering the # of purl sts between the repeats – each individual stitch pattern is separated by 2 purl sts, so changing that # could change the overall circumference of the leg or foot.


In executing this design I am more than just a little bit grateful to my test-knitters. Rebecca took the first hit got it first, and helped me go through several key edits before passing it off to Abbie, who went a little cross-eyed somehow completed the entire first sock in less than a week, and Jacquie had a look-see to see if my suggestions for Magic Loop knitters made any sense at all (she says they do). They have thus reassured me that this pattern is capable of being executed by people possessing a brain other than my own, and have even expressed some enjoyment of doing so;

Jacquie called them “boss”, Rebecca said they were “hard but stunning” (I’ll go ahead and wait while you think about that in the context of Starbuck and Apollo…), and Abbie ranked the pattern as “A++ Would Knit Again Just As Soon As I Drink This Scotch Right Here”, so that pretty much sums up everything I was going for in the first place. And when you put them on…well. Nothing has made me feel quite this badass as a knitter in quite a while.

I hope you’ll enjoy, and thanks for reading as I babble about this crazy process of what happens when we do strange things like watch TV shows and knit patterns inspired by them. And now, I’m off to enjoy a glass of wine.

Happy knitting!

Update Mar-28-08
Many people have been expressing interest in this pattern, and for that, dear knitters, I thank you from the bottom of my sock yarn stash. Thank you, so very very much.

I have received a few questions/queries and in case you are wondering, I will offer a few comments:

Is there a way to buy the pattern without using Paypal?
At the moment, no. I will happily start to investigate this as a future addition/upgrade, but for the moment the Ravelry/Paypal combination is the best option for me to be able to distribute to a wide variety of knitters, who may be using a variety of currencies.

[ETA May-4-09] If you’re really not interested/able to do the Paypal thing, send me an email (address below) if you would like to do a postal exchange of cash or cheque. Once i receive payment I will send you an electronic copy of the pattern.

I bought your pattern but I can’t find it. Where is it?
After you make the purchase, you will be sent an email with a download link for the pattern PDF. This link expires a short while after you first use it, so please ensure you save the file to your own computer.

Also, check your Ravelry pattern library. A copy is saved to your pattern library once you complete the purchase.

If all of these options have still not worked out, please contact me (, and we will work it out. Have no fear!



  1. wordsnrhymes · ·

    you frackin rock!!!

  2. jessmary · ·

    well done! they’re beautiful.

  3. ladyoctavia · ·


    *runs over to ravelry*

    *trips on non-user friendly ‘buy now’ pop-up*

    *puts in cart and busy from there*

    Mine! Mine! Mine!

    … now which sock yarn should I use…

  4. Georgiana · ·


  5. Ooooh gorgeous! Those socks right there just might be an excuse to go try out some DiC smooshy very, very soon.

  6. Great socks Glenna!

  7. Kathleen · ·

    I am not yet finished with my first pair of socks, yet I feel I must knit these as I am a huge BSG fan and I have a size 9 foot! Nice job, they’re great.

  8. Yeah. Don’t attempt these immediately *after* the drinking of the Scotch. Just to be clear.

    And huzzah! I am so happy to have been a little part of these. ::makes note to hop outside and take a picture of First Sock tomorrow, now that the rain has stopped::

  9. Gorgeous!

    I did recently vow to only make toe-up socks. But now I’ve completely changed my mind!

  10. What an awesome design – well done Glenna

  11. wiscjennyann · ·


  12. Those socks are incredible! Good for you!

  13. fan-frakkin-tastic!
    (not worthy! not worthy! bowing and scraping)

    my knitting dockett is (sadly, pathetically) full for the year. When I get all of my birthday/mother’s day/father’s day socks and the Christmas sweaters/jackets/vests/scarves done, this is the next thing I’m knitting. FOR ME.

    This is truly a marvellous pattern. You should be very proud of yourself.

  14. Wow, super gorgeous pattern! I don’t remember the last time I started (and finished) a pair of socks, but these are going on my list, right at the top. For when I like knitting socks again.

  15. the socks you have knit are lovely i cant wait to knit more socks. i have second sock syndrome right now i love the viper pilots socks. i love bsg i so want to knit these i think they will be next in my to knit list. I am also so sad the show is ending. sigh i used to watch the original bsg when I was a kid and it is so foreign compared to todays. and oh yeah there frackin awesome

  16. Hee, BSG inspired knitting! I love it! Stuck waiting over here for the second half of season 4 to come out on DVD…

  17. LOVE LOVE LOVE! You rock, these are awesome!

  18. Melissa · ·

    Geek ON Brilliant Blogger,

    Getting ideas head-to-world makes the world a better place. Currently, my sock-skill-level is at the baby/non-existent stage, but I salute and admire from afar.


  19. […] the Viper Pilots by the wonderful and talented GlennaC. Go see them on Ravelry. Go see them on her blog. They Rock! I’m doing mine in malabrigo sock Persia, which looks pretty darn […]

  20. Obviously, the first thing I need to do when I get home in July and once again have access to Netflix is order Battlestar Galactica and knit this pattern. Because this pattern? Ohhh so cool.

  21. […] yesterday I saw Glenna C’s gorgeous Viper Pilot socks in Dream in Colour Smooshy. I decided I needed some smooshy in my life and along the way […]

  22. Nice job! I will definitely knit some of these… eventually. The WIPs are taking a bit of a hit at the moment.

    I hope it generates a lot of interest!

  23. Badass indeed! I’m not a BSG fan, but these socks are incredible. Kudos! 🙂

  24. Gorgeous design – you did a fantastic job!

  25. I am so glad I’m not the only knitter out there who is ob-fracking-sessed with BSG.

    Watching on DVD, trying to avoid any and all things BSG related as the finale is fast approaching.

    Thank you for the beautiful design. I cannot wait to make and wear them!

  26. Those are some kick-ass socks! Everybody needs socks with spaceships!

  27. Whether you’re a fan or not those are beautiful socks!

  28. knitterfly · ·

    For these I will totally learn cuff down sock making, which I didn’t see the need for until now. Gorgeous!

  29. Love these sock! I’ll be working on these tomorrow as I watch BSG ALL DAY LONG! 😀

  30. Kathryn · ·

    Love the socks, the first commenter is right, you do frackin’ rock! Just recently got lent the box set to the series and so am rather new to BSG, but loving it.

  31. Holy Frack! Glenna, these are awesome! Thanks for designing them – I’ve just wound the perfect yarn. Yay!

  32. These are incredible. I’m grabbing a copy of the pattern and letting my BSG-lovin’ knitting friends over on LJ know about this. (And I already know what yarn I’m going to use).

  33. I’m not only knitting these, I am knitting them AT work in front of my BSG crazy colleague. OK, so I have to finish a sweater first. BUT IT WILL HAPPEN! Mark. my. words.

  34. […] a marathon, but it’s not actually to my taste. Still, I could resist this knitting pattern: Viper Pilot socks. The pattern is $5 via Ravelry and I think they’re absolutely gorgeous. (Yes, I already […]

  35. Oh geez, another one to add to my queue. I’m not even going to try and fight it because they’re awesome…and I don’t even watch BSG.

  36. Lisa Goodwin · ·

    I don’t suppose that I should pick this pattern for my very first pair of socks….hmmmm

  37. I don’t even watch BSG and I would love to knit these! Beautiful, beautiful, BEAUTIFUL!!!

  38. Lisa, probably not the best choice for the very first pair – but maybe the second if you’re an experienced knitter familiar with the stitches and techniques. My suggestion: Get the pattern, print out a copy of the photos and post in place where you will see them while knitting the first pair of plain, rib cuff socks, for inspiration. Because, ya know, these socks frakkin’ rock, as was stated above. 😀

  39. […] then yesterday afternoon Stephanie blogged about my super fannish little sock pattern, and then my blog stats exploded and I logged on this morning to discover that the number of Viper […]

  40. […] Journal   The last pair of socks took about 8 months.  Today I cast on the first sock of ‘Viper Pilots’ in my Wilmington ‘Poseidon’s Palace’.  They are going to look great!  And since […]

  41. Frak me! These are awesome … now I just need to learn to knit cables and socks … well once BSG is over I’ll have another hour on my hands! Until Caprica starts up of course!

  42. frak, frak, frak! these are the finest socks i have ever seen in my life! i may just have to learn to knit now (me be a weaver)…for i am wonder-filled! my gods…i think you must be channeling starbuck herself!

    well, in common english: these socks rock – so say we all.
    thanks so much for sharing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  43. I LOVE THEM!! I immediately went and bought the pattern. I can’t wait to knit them!!! Thank you!

  44. wolfboymom · ·

    Is there a wasy to get the pattern without going through Pay Pal? They aren’t the most secure site, and they aren’t overly user friendly. . . .

  45. Lindsey · ·

    I am a brand new knitter that has been reading your site, and I have to say – I can’t wait until I can knit these socks!


  46. Seriously…not what I expected, cooler than what I expected. I’m even more amazed at how many other people commented on the post.

  47. Frackin’ AWESOME!

  48. Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful, and a fantastic way to see the season out. (I’m a Brit, we work on funny timelines here.) Thankyou.

  49. I love these socks – great work! I can’t wait till seasons 4/4.5 are out on DVD – I know what I’ll be doing while I’m watching.

  50. Gorgeous socks!

  51. Melissa · ·

    Suitable for Skinjobs!

    so say we all.

  52. Lisa H. · ·

    I interrupted my regularly scheduled sock knitting to knit the Leyburn Socks in Eye of Jupiter, so I have to finish those and do at least one queued sock–but these are SO going in my queue. I might even try knitting a pair for my husband, if I can figure out the changes to do a pair of size 15’s.

  53. I love, love, love BSG! So happy to have stumbled upon this pattern! Thanks a million.

  54. […] aborted a start on Viper Pilot socks during the BSG Series Finale.  I scrambled on Friday to find yarn in the stash (only found […]

  55. […] I see the finished socks (photo to the left ~ from Glenna C ’s website), all I imagine Apollo and Starbuck taking off  in their vipers and going through […]

  56. Glenna, Viper Pilots are a real piece of art! I saw them on first. It has been the most beautiful pair of socks I’ve ever seen. I bought a pattern right away. I have already started making them, finished a leg part and got stock on one of the rows in the beginning of the heel. Is it possible to ask you a technical question concerning your pattern (that particular part of the heel)? Thank you.

  57. Oh. Mah. Gawd. I loved the finale and I love those socks. Thanks for such a cool pattern!

  58. harriett · ·

    I seem to be obsessed with the prospects of knitting these too, but alas I”m also not an online buyer. I will continue to check up on your blog for news that it can be purchased another way. How about at your local yarn shop? I’m a Toronto girl and would be happy to make the trek.

  59. […] something that has caught my eye, any BSG fans reading or just fans of pretty cabled socks please drool over this lovely knitted socks of geekiness!  I know I shouldn’t be starting any more projects but I saw the first clue of Knit & […]

  60. Those are really frakkin cool socks! Well done. I might just knit it in the Eye of Jupiter colorway 😉

  61. I’m not a Ravelry member. Is there any other way I can buy this pattern?

  62. […] geek, this is a big event. And to celebrate, I’m absolutely positively detemined to wear my Viper Pilot socks to the event. I still have about 25% of a sock left though, and I’m working all day […]

  63. […] of Jupiter” yarn for all of you Battlestar Galactica fans?   Or knit yourself a pair of Viper Pilots socks designed by Glenna C.    Dr. Who fans can knit themselves a “Dr. Who” scarf ,  […]

  64. […] but I did do quite a bit. I delved into pattern sale publishing for the first time with the Viper Pilots socks, and now more than a hundred other knitters have been tortured challenged by that pattern just as I […]

  65. […] I see the finished socks (photo to the left ~ from Glenna C ‘s website),  I close my eyes and visualize  Apollo and Starbuck taking off  in their […]

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