I have been knitting nearly forever and designing for almost as long. I am a benign iconoclast in my knitting and designing. I say “benign” because, while I greatly enjoy exploring and innovating, I have no compulsion to trample anything when marching to the drummer I hear. I am even glad to stop marching sometimes and listen for other people’s cadences, because they often hear interesting drummers too.

Web BioMy other creative obsession, going back even further than serious knitting, is making miniatures. That is, scale replicas of houses and furnishings; think dollhouses for grownups. Those two obsessions inevitably collided and I knitted for several years in 1/12 scale (1 inch equals 1 foot) at gauges ranging from 25 stitches per inch on up (or down!) to 50+ stitches per inch. In 1999 I was elected to Fellow status in the International Guild of Miniature Artisans (category: knitting), and some of my pieces are in the Kansas City Toy and Miniature Museum (soon to become the National Toy and Miniature Museum). You can see some of my miniature knitting here: bettysalpekar.com

Lately, I’ve done only full-size knitting. I developed what I call solefull sock architecture for my Leopard Spot Socks in the Think Outside the SOX contest. Since the contest I’ve been simplifying and refining that architecture — which is neither top-down nor toe-up;  the sole is knitted in full first. This easier, more intuitive method really opened floodgates to new designs! That flood has become a book, in fact: Solefull Socks, Knitting From the Ground Up. It’s newly released in late January 2014 and available for order on Amazon: Solefull Socks

10 responses »

  1. Sandra says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!! Am looking forward to your book and trrying your method of knitting.Have been a machine knitter since 1969-knew I’d NEVER get 8 ski sweaters done – before my then 2 yr. old – youngest child – would be out of college!! Have mostly designed my own patterns..really looking forward to your new ideaas on sock knitting.Need a test knitter?

    • Thank you for your interest! And thanks for the offer to test knit; I’ve added your contact info to the list.

      Enjoy your designing — it is the best fun of knitting, in my opinion.

  2. Patricia Norris says:

    I just received delivery of your book today, and can’t wait to start on the first pair! Your technique is so amazing and innovative – thank you so much for sharing in this wonderful book.Your miniatures are equally impressive and beautiful. I will let you know how it goes with the first pair. Thanks again and best of luck with the new book! I will be sure to leave a review of it for you.

    • Thank you, Patricia! I hope you enjoy these socks as much as I do. I’m in the process of figuring out how to start a support group on Ravelry as a place for me to answer questions people may have as they knit the socks. Can’t be that hard . . . and all these learning opportunities are supposed to keep me young, so I hear!

  3. Jackie Ayres says:

    Betty I am having difficulty with the Zip Line. I I don’t understand how to start the cdds. I am in the right position. Jackie

  4. Please please Betty where do I go from page 29 where it says Go to Foot. I have managed to do the BOR in the middle and done the 2 separations with 12 stitches on either side and marked them and now I am truly stuck.
    Where you say: even numbered Rnds 2-22 and end NA for the small size. I am sorry to bother you again but I keep getting stuck at this point. I hope you can put me right as the American explanations are very different from the English ones. It would be nice if you could do a video on You Tube and take us through that little bit. Look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely Penelope

    • Hi Penelope — No problem to answer questions! Let’s just reiterate a bit first: Your BOR (beginning of round) is now at the center of the heel. Your two marked stitches are at each side of center front (meaning the toe end of the sole), opposite the heel end where the BOR is.

      The “NA” for small size that I think you are asking about means “Not Applicable.” So for size small, you will knit every odd-numbered round (rounds 1-21) and do the toe-shaping decreases (CDDs), as described in that instruction, on every even-numbered round (rounds 2-22). The larger sizes get more decrease rounds than the small size, so that’s why those extra decrease rounds are “NA” for size small.

  5. Jan Kessler says:

    I am having a problem with the zip line. It says to slip next 15 stitches to the right needle, then slip 17 stitches to a temporary left needle. Take a separate strand and knit 2 together. Which 2 stitches? I tried it with the farthest one, working my way back to the center toe and my zip line ended up way on the left side! Can’t quite figure out that part.

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