Some Turkish Socks

A friend of mine from the East Black Sea recently opened a cafe. His mom is the one who made the Hemshin socks I posted several months ago. She's now selling some of her socks and working in the cafe, so I thought is show you some of them. (And I hope I can get her to explain how she does her heels--I pretty much see but I'd rather not get it wrong and have to frog back brought all that color work.)


SAPBrown's picture

Wow such beautiful craftsmanship.

I assume they are double-knit? I would hate to snag a strand putting them on.

Could it be possible to get a side-view pic?
I would like to see her heel technique you mentioned.

Thanks for sharing,

bobinthebul's picture

They are not double-knit; they're just stranded knitting. I forgot to check if she anchored but I'll look at it again next time I'm there.

The heel is a square heel. That is not to say that it is "authentic" for the region; old Turkish socks tend to have a flat foot with no turned heel. The mother of a friend from Sivas who also knits very complex socks had never done a turned heel (either top down or toe-up) and found the concept very confusing.

The socks are toe-up, and usually start with an 8-stitch Turkish caston, though I like Judy's Magic Cast-on. The cast-on gets extended and becomes the band around the edge of the foot; the actual top and bottom of the sock comes from increases added as the "band" grows longer.

BuduR's picture

Beautiful! I too would love to see the heels.

I fear colorwork. I love it, but I'm always too tight with the floats and I'm really unsure about how many stitches you should carry a float before anchoring it some way and and and. I have a million excuses, I'll just stop here for now ^^

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bobinthebul's picture

I did see how she knit: Continental style, both colors on one finger, just picking up the one she needed. I think getting the right relaxation is something that comes with practice.

In the little color stuff that I've done, I mostly don't go more than 4 without anchoring. But I know Sara Katsan has looked at a lot of traditional Balkan/Greek stuff and it seems they didn't anchor much at all; there are some very long floats. On the other hand they use a much stiffer yarn so perhaps it doesn't matter as much; there is very little stretch to that.

ronhuber's picture

The socks are amazing. They deserve to be worn without shoes. Are they made to be worn much like slippers?

bobinthebul's picture

Traditionally the tall socks would be worn with a sort of sandal-like show called çarık. The ones with a shorter leg or no leg are more like house slippers (called patik in Turkish). These are used a lot as you always take your shoes off when you enter a Turkish house, and when you do, you're offered either slippers or patik.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Those are great. I hope you can tell us more about how the heel is done.

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bobinthebul's picture

The heel is a basic square heel. If you've done a reverse Dutch heel with a 6- or 8-stitch tab and then knit back and forth around it, doing an SSK and a P2tog on either end, you've done something similar in principle. However for the square heel you knit farther toward the heel, then basically divide the sole stitches into three groups. The center group will be the heel "flap" (though it's not created alone first), and the group on either side will be the sides of the heel. For example you might divide the sole stitches into almost equal groups, then knit across the center bunch and on the last stitch, SSK, then knit back and on the last stitch of the center bunch, P2tog, and so on until all the side stitches are used up. You end up with a heel that is, as its name describes, square.

How you divide the stitches depends on the overall construction of the sock, but the principle is the same. You can see one here:

This is a "patik," and the heel "flap" is the entire back of the sock. Here's another view:

The caston for these was much wider, so the heel is the last step and simply closes up the back end of the sock all the way to the end.

On the socks with a cuff-leg, the heel wouldn't go so far; you'd leave the "band" around the side and the top patterned section live, and just work with the sole stitches, till you exhausted them. This would leave you with stitches ready to knit on the top and "band," and on the heel flap, but still horizontal on the sides of the heel (the two side groups in the square heel construction). So you'd then pick those stitches up along the sides and you'd be back in the round.

I don't know if this makes a lot of sense without actually seeing it; maybe I can do a little sock just to illustrate it.

New York Built's picture

I am also curious about the button closures as well as the heel...the tension is perfect, the colors just right, the patterns are inspiring. Thanks for sharing the footwear AND the environs...sells the item and the pattern!

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