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Updated: Sep 5, 2023

Socks are a fantastic piece to knit on commuting or between projects. You always need more socks, and they are great gifts. And everybody knows that the sock yarn stash doesn’t count…

Recently, Laine Publishing released a sequel of their mythic 52 Weeks of Socks, conveniently named 52 Weeks of Socks Vol. II. How could it be possible? I wasn’t even halfway through volume I, and they convinced me to buy another collection of printed patterns.

I could write for hours about the evolution of Laine Publishing over the last five years, how you could see the maturation of their editorial lines through their publication and their collaborations, and how 52 Weeks of Socks Vol. II is reflected in such evolution. But life is short!

I’ll therefore focus on a very special detail from this book. It contains an index that sorts socks according to their knitting direction: Cuff-Down, Toe-Up, and Other. The first two categories are well-known to experienced knitters, and most have their favorite (Toe-Up team here, I love Judy’s Magic Cast on, but I am not a huge fan of grafting).

Let’s review together the mysterious “Other” category comprising five patterns.

Ofidi slippers by Elena Solier
© Laine Publishing

Ofidi is a pair of comfy slippers originally knitted in gorgeous rustic yarn. You’ll need between 100-125 yds (92-115 m) of one color and 95-115 yds (87-106 m) of a contrasting color of DK-weight yarn. They feature colorwork and are knitted from heel to toe. The foot opening is finished afterthought, while an i-cord reinforces their construction.

Hilda slippers by Kristin Drysdale
© Laine Publishing

Embodying Scandinavian heritage, Hilda slippers feature a traditional colorwork pattern. You'll need 67-75 yds (61-69 m) of the main color and 69-77 yds (63-70 m) of a contrast color of DK-weight yarn. These slippers are knitted flat from the heel with increases for the instep and then worked in the round. The heel flap is sewn afterward to ensure durability.

Spadock slippers by Anna Radchenko
© Laine Publishing

The Spadok slipper pattern draws inspiration from traditional Latvian motifs and features a colorwork design. With yarn requirements of 92-145 yds (94-133 m) of the main color, 31-54 yds (28-49 m) of a first contrast color, and 46-69 yds (42-63 m) of a second contrast color in DK-weight yarn, it's an excellent project for using up yarn leftovers. The slippers are worked from heel to toe, with a sturdy I-cord edge finishing the leg opening for added durability.

Grid socks by Keiko Kikuno
© Laine Publishing

The Grid sock pattern is characterized by its clean, graphic design featuring a grid-like texture. To knit a pair, you'll need 230-310yds (210-285 m) of a main color and 70-100 yds (65-95 m) of contrast color in fingering-weight yarn, preferably in a solid or tonal colorway to emphasize the pattern. The socks are worked flat side to side from left to right of the foot with the intarsia technique and sewn afterward.

Alegría socks by Rebekka Mauser
© Laine Publishing

These socks are genius. Suppose you would ask a newbie knitter that never has knitted socks about how socks are constructed. The newbie might explain the Alegría construction—irreverent, fun, logical, and intuitive! These socks start with a provisional cast-on for the heel flap in one color, then turns for the sole and knit to the toes in a second color. Then it continues in a third color through the instep until the cuff, where the provisional cast-on is unraveled to keep knitting in the round to the cuff. These socks are made in three colors 72-94 yds (66-86 m) of color 1, 66-88 yds (60-80 m) of color 2, and 148-208 (yds) (135-190 m) of color 3 in fingering-weight yarn.

In conclusion, stepping outside your knitting comfort zone can lead to discovering new patterns and techniques you never thought you would enjoy. These patterns offer an exciting challenge for experienced knitters but also a great opportunity for beginners to expand their knitting skills. Whether you prefer cuff-down or toe-up socks, trying out new patterns and techniques will help you grow as a knitter and keep your crafting experience fresh and exciting.



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