Timely Tibetan Socks

Cat Bordhi's book New Pathways for Sock Knitters is a feast of possibility if socks are your thing. She features eight sock architectures, each interpreted in several different ways, and each that solve the essential engineering challenge of the sock in a nontraditional way.

The challenge of the sock? The leg and the ball of the foot are about the same diameter, but the sock needs more fabric at the joint, where foot and leg meet. Traditional sock designs add and then subtract the extra fabric at the ankles, in a triangular wedge called the heel gusset. One day, Bordhi rotated a partially completed sock around her foot, and noticed that the gusset form could be put anywhere on the foot, and the engineering still worked. The socks I blogged about recently, her "Spring Thaw" socks, adjust the sock width on the sole. The pair I just finished, "Tibetan Socks", make their adjustment on the top of the foot.

These socks are knit with a double strand of sock yarn. I chose Imagination yarn from KnitPicks, using the Gingerbread House colorway. Brown is the base color, with short random shots of color - much like knitting with a box of Crayola crayons. The colors combined at random, and there was always a visual surprise a few stitches away.

Because two strands of yarn are used in the pattern, the pattern uses larger needles and fewer stitches than many sock patterns do. I am used to knitting 60 to 70 stitches around a sock. These socks, in a large woman's size, are only 50 stitches around. Plus they have a short cuff. As a result, the knitting flew. I started them on December 16 and finished them on January 4. That's practically instant gratification.

They were commissioned by my daughter, both pattern and yarn. I finished them at about the same time that we crossed the Montreal city limits as we took her back to university. My one word resolution for this year is "timely", and these certainly were a just-in-time project.


  1. Wow! Two weeks to knit a pair of socks is fast?! Who knew? I thought socks would be a one day project. Shows how NOTHING I know about knitting, huh?


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