From farmers ‘cushioning the insides of their hide boots with felt’ in 700 BC to hand knitted fragments, recognizable as a sock found in Syria in 200 AD, there are many references to the humble sock throughout history.
Some argue that knitting made its way to Europe from the Middle East. Early knitted cotton fragments were found in Spain from 1275, which at that time was held by the Arabs, and had ‘Allah’ knitted into them. At that time it was the Islamic world that had wide spread literacy, not the Europeans. Also cotton was much easier to come by in the Middle East. The Europeans are more likely to have used wool or linen. Also we knit right to left, just like how Arabic is written, further adding to the argument. Knitty has a more in-depth article about this.
Regardless of its exact origins knitting has been a wide spread craft for centuries and has hugely developed and advanced in terms of materials, colours and techniques, especially when it come to knitting socks.
|I love these patterns - sort of Scandinavian style|
|This is a yarn stash from Carole Knits - and I though I was bad!|
|Such a gorgeous pattern! from Sock Yarn Shop|
Little did I know how obsessed people can become with knitting socks until I joined a local knitting group and just about everyone was knitting or had knitted a pair of socks at some point. The clincher was when one of my new knitting buddies said she only ever wore knitted socks that I realised this was something that I had to try.
So a trip to my local knitting treasure trove Fibre Flurry to pick up some supplies and I was ready to go!
Despite my pattern being titled 'simple sock pattern', at the time it really felt like anything but simple! I've had to figure out how to knit in the round, and with 5 needles!, dropped stitches, managed to end up with a few holes and unfortunately my tension isn't quite consistent - I think it all just adds to the charm, at least that what I'm telling myself. But with a lot of help from my sock expert knitting friends, a little perseverance (once I've started something I really have to finish it no matter what) and determination I have finally finished my first sock!!
Even with all its imperfections (the stripes didn't really end up as stripy as I'd hoped) I'm still pleased with it. When I tried it on my foot really did feel warmer instantly, so I can't wait to get the other one finished too!