In this post there is a picture of my sock drawer. Julia spied
what she thought was a non-hand knit sock and
accused queried by saying it
looked 'suspiciously commercial'. There are several socks in the drawer that were
not knit by me, but ALL of the socks were hand knit. The purple socks with red stripes were knit by Susan and two pair were knit by my Sockapal’s. There are also two white socks, and it was the one with red stripes that raised Julia's suspicions. (It is beautifully knit, afterall.)
While traveling and researching the book Folk Socks, Nancy Bush made her first trip to Estonia. It was then that she fell in love with the country, the knitters and the knitting. She knew this would be a great place to study the history and techniques of their ethnic knitting. Her next book was Folk Knitting in Estonia. This is a fabulous book which details many of the unique knitting techniques Nancy found in this small Baltic country. It hasn’t sold as well as her other books because of some of the hard to find yarns, but most pattern use fingering weight yarn. Nancy has been instrumental in reviving hand knitting in Estonia by
sharing the unique ideas found there with knitters around the world. You can find Estonian techniques in most of her sock patterns.
The white socks in my drawer are very special socks that were knit by women Nancy met while traveling in Estonia. They send socks, gloves and mittens to Nancy which she then sells to help supplement their meager incomes. I have two pair and I love to wear them on cold days. Both have a small design on the cuff in a technique called Rosetud, which looks like embroidery, but it is actually worked while knitting. Each pair has a very different lace pattern down the front of the foot. The sock trimmed with gray has a lace design very similar to the French Child’s Sock from Vintage Knitting. The red trimmed sock has a mock cable pattern which runs along the side calf and heel. Smith also has a pair of Estonian socks which has a bit of Rosetud and an interesting cable design down the front. The Estonian wool is a little scratchy but very, very warm. We wear the socks with boots during the coldest winter months.
I also have two pair of gloves from Estonia. The pair in two color knitting has been worn for several winters. They are warm and tough, but because they have been worn so much I have had to replace several finger tips and the thumbs. I will continue to do repairs, as long as the gloves hold up, as I enjoy wearing them. (This is the only knit item I have bothered to repair, ever.) The gray pair is new and rather elegant with the lace pattern on the hand and fingers.
Thanks Julia for asking about the socks and spurring me on to explain.