Why do you call these socks “solefull”?
Because the sole is knitted in full first, before any of the rest of the sock. Also because I like the play on the word “soulful!”
How do you get the sole to be a different color than the top?
By knitting the sole by itself without having to knit the top at the same time.
In what other way are they different?
They are neither top-down nor toe-up. You cast on at the center of the sole, knit in the round outward to the perimeter of the sole, then just keep knitting in the round upward. Your knitting progresses very intuitively, like warm water rising gently up your foot and leg when you step into a bath. That comfortingly logical knitting direction doesn’t make you turn corners, so you always know where you are.
What sizes are they?
Fifteen of the eighteen patterns in Solefull Socks are designed for three sizes — small, medium, and large — with these measurements:
small (S) – sole about 8.75” (22cm) long, for women’s US shoe size 5-6, Eur size 35/36
medium (M) – sole about 9.5” (24cm) long, for women’s US shoe size 7-8, Eur size 37/38
large (L) – sole about 10.25” (26cm) long, for women’s US shoe size 9-10, Eur size 39/40
One design had to be sized for medium and large, and two designs for medium only. Keep in mind, though, that knitting is flexible and that negative ease is desirable in a sock. So each size will comfortably fit quite a large range of feet.
Why did you start knitting socks this way?
Because the only place my handknitted socks used to develop holes was on the sole — most often at the ball of the foot and sometimes at the bottom of the heel. With either top-down or toe-up construction, it was difficult to carry along reinforcement yarn in those places.
What are the advantages of knitting socks solefully?
- You can carry reinforcement yarn and sock yarn together on the whole sole. That way you avoid the annoyance of having holes form right where the reinforcement yarn ends. Also, you don’t waste any reinforcement yarn on the top of the toe where it isn’t needed anyway.
- You can make the sole thicker, warmer, and more cushioned than the top if you want to.
- You don’t have to pick up stitches anywhere, so you don’t risk getting those loose stitches at the sides of the heel flap.
- The whole sock is knitted in the round except for a short row at the toe area of the sole, involving less than 50 stitches.
- Stitch patterns can cover the whole top of the sock including the toes. See the photo at the top of this page? Notice how the stitch patterns don’t stop at the toe. On the contrary; the toes and foot tops — exactly the parts that you, the wearer, see the most — are the most interesting parts! That happens because of the way simple decreases shape the toes and foot tops.
- You can make your socks as tall or short as your yarn quantity allows, because the cuff is last.
- Stitch designs can merge, diverge, and arc on the sock top in beautiful and intriguing ways, which adds to the enjoyment of both the knitter and the wearer.
What kind of heel do they have; flap or short-row or what?
None of those; the heel is an integral part of the sock top with no special construction necessary. You can, of course, use any of the usual heel reinforcement stitches on the heel area if you like.
The toe construction on your Leopard Spot Socks was pretty difficult; are these like that?
Nope, not at all. In fact, the reason this book came into being is because I devised a much easier way — after the SOX contest, unfortunately — to shape the sock top. And happily, the new easier way also opened up many intriguing design possibilities.
Where can I buy the book?
Your favorite local yarn store should have it before long; if not, please ask them for it. And it is available on Amazon: Solefull Socks.