The highly patterned colourful socks from the Sivas province of Central Anatolia, (the Asian part of Turkey) are some of the most beautiful socks made in Turkey. The over 150 charted designs were compiled from socks made by a cottage craft industry, situated in a village just outside of Instanbul.
There is a chapter on elements and origin of pattern design in socks, interviews with knitters about the meaning and use of stockings in their lives, and the effect of modern life on both the knitting, and perceived value of this traditional art.
In the over 80 page section of charts there are patterns of varying design complexity, all with both their Turkish and English names, (from Apple Slice to Bird Foot, Earring to Nightingale Nest) many with several different versions of the same design name. Their geometric shapes and combinations of repeating shapes draw on a rich history of Islamic design and art.
The characteristics of specific design elements are expained in black and white drawings and descriptive text – how pattterns are manipulated to cover the sock, the use of borders, and use and reasoning behind these abstract symmetrical designs. The making of socks goes beyond the obvious need for warmth, and into the heart, imagination and memories of tradition in the individual knitter. She knits the patterns that have been passed onto her from her mother, incorporating her own creativity through her choice of colour, and designs. The designs have been created based on inspiration from both the natural environment and the man-made resources of Turkish carpets, painted tiles, or other textile arts. In examining different theories on the use of sybolism in stocking patterns, the author interviewed many of the knitters first-hand with interesting results.
With increased exposure to Western advertising and technology, the traditions of sock knitting are being threatened. Appreciation of the beauty and craftsmenship of sock design, while increasing from foreigners, is diminishing from Turks. The patterns presented in this book were drawn from those knitted by members of a cottage craft industry that was developed in order to keep these beaufiful patterns from being lost. This industry encourages the knitters to develop their own skills and sense of self worth, while maintaining their ties to the past in a changing world.