01 October 2014

a conversation of heels and toes

A few weeks ago I said I'd speak to the importance of socklets, and so I shall today. I'll also just note in passing that patterns for socklets are tragically rare.

I checked last week, and there were over 21,000 sock patterns in Ravelry's database. Over 16,000 of those are "mid-calf" -- that is, what are commonly called 'crew socks' or 'trouser socks' in the U.S.

Now, crew socks are a good and necessary thing, and I don't want people to think I'm bashing them. I have a pair on the needles now. Long live the crew sock.

But crew socks are not suitable for all occasions. When not knitting, cooking, or pottering about in my garden, I am a professional with Academic Qualifications working at a Serious Job, in an Office, and frequently with Senior Officials. I have to dress the part. This means appropriately conservative dresses or skirt suits, and well-polished and maintained dress shoes. Crew socks are out of uniform.

(I exclude pantsuits because I have always had difficulty finding trousers that fit me well and are flattering. That's me. If you like pantsuits and wearing crew socks beneath them, please continue to rock on with your bad self).

And yet I am only human. My feet get cold in winter, and there is nothing about nylon hose or tights that keeps you warm in a biting wind.

One solution is to knit knee socks, but those take a long time. Furthermore, if my skirt is anything shorter than below knee you see the top of the sock, and that pushes the edge of 'out of uniform.' The image is supposed to be Serious Professional, not School Girl.

This is where the wee footie socks come in. They are quick to knit, take very little yarn, and add a little warmth and cushioning without being obtrusive. Why are patterns for them so rare?

I was overjoyed to find Sheila Toy Stromberg's Limonada Collection, an e-book of tiny socklet patterns. These are the sling back socks, knit in some leftover KnitPicks Stroll Tonal, on size 1 needles (0 for the ribbing). It took less than 20 grams of yarn to knit the pair.

Slingback sockies

They do show a bit under my shoes, but not enough to worry me.

Slingback sockies (with shoes)

Anne Sexton


  1. Those are cute. And if you're especially organized you can wear colors that coordinate with your outfit.

    1. Funny enough, I have a blouse in the same peachy pinks as the socks.

      I'm also planning to make a couple pairs in black (shoe colour) and paler-shade-of-beige (approximate skin colour) so I'll also have some that don't stand out too much.


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