I got to know Betty Salpekar last spring at the writing retreat I attended in Washington (that’s her in the back row, fifth from the right). She was there talking about her fantastic new way of knitting socks. I got to see many of her amazing creations, and have spent the intervening year trying hard not to follow her around going ‘is it done yet, is it done yet, is it done yet’ like a demented parrot (I figured it wouldn’t actually speed things along, so I refrained). But now the book is done and out, and I get to share it with you!
So, please allow me to present Solefull Socks: Knitting from the Ground Up. Betty’s done something marvelous here. She’s worked out a new way of making socks. Not top down, not toe up, not even side to side. Instead, this sock starts with the sole and works its way up your foot and leg. Betty puts it perfectly when she says she “imagined the knitting proceeding exactly like water covers your foot when you step into a warm bath.”
And she’s created precisely what she imagined. All these socks start with the sole, then work upwards, using clever built in shaping for the heel, toe, and ankle. This approach creates socks that are both lovely and practical. This construction allows you to easily reinforce the sole (or replace it down the line if it wears out) and gives you new set of design possibilities for the top of the foot. The results are stunning.
The construction is perhaps most easily seen in a plain sock knit with a long color repeat yarn:
But it plays beautifully with fancy stitch patterns too:
And colorwork looks smashing as well:
You really can’t go wrong! And once you see how these socks go together (and try one on), I think you’ll be hooked. Betty has kindly agreed to help get one of you addicted to this clever new construction. She’ll send a copy of the book to one lucky winner. If you think it should be you, just take a look at the patterns in the book and leave a comment here saying which one you’d cast on first!
Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Sunday, June 1, 2014 will be entered to win. I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send the book their way. Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner). If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them. The images in this post are from the book and are used with Betty’s permission.