My interest in knitting socks began many years ago and was encouraged by Elaine Rowley at Knitter's Magazine. Elaine published my first sock patterns and gave me the opportunity to begin thinking about feet in a whole new way.
This book seemed a natural progression after Folk Socks and Knitting on the Road (Interweave Press, 1994 and 2001). Looking back at history has always been one of my greatest pleasures, and thinking about nineteenth-century knitters while I worked on this book has been intriguing. I wish to thank Marilyn Murphy and Linda Ligon at Interweave Press for agreeing that the idea for the book was a good one and for their enthusiasm for the project, also Jeane Hutchins, who encouraged me to take a closer look, answered many questions, and gave me advice about this period of history.
I had a lot of help, advice, and encouragement at Interweave Press from Betsy Armstrong who welcomed me as I pursued my quest. I was thrilled to be able to go through all the original volumes of Weldon's and to discover the many interesting sock patterns they contained.
After deciding which patterns I wanted to use, I spent many hours deciphering a sea of small gray type while I translated the patterns from nineteenth-century English to today's knitting language. Then came the knitting. 1 had a wonderful group of skilled knitters to help me—knitting sock mates and checking patterns to make sure I didn't leave anything out. With heartfelt appreciation, I wish to thank Betsy Campbell, Jill Dahle, Margaret Hevel, Karen Hevel-Mingo, Bnth Otterud, Margene Smith, Fritzy White, and Marge Yee-Norrander for all their help and advice.
Many thanks to my friends Patrick cle Freitas, who gave much needed advice and explanations about English language and history, Vonnie Wildfoerster, who was available at all times to help me make decisions and listen to my musings, and Marsha Thomas for her wise advice.
I had many questions about yarns from the past. From Britain, Rowena Edlin-White sent me the Walker Bell Gauge and much appreciated information on yarns and needle sizes. I also had help from members of the Knitting and Crochet Guild in the United Kingdom, including Rita Taylor and Lesley O'Connell, who offered thoughts and information on yarns of bygone times.
This book would not be nearly so wonderful or beautiful without the experts at Interweave Press. Editor Ann Budds good sense and humor made every part of the process a treat. She took great care with every detail and knitted a few of the mates as well. Technical editing is something that I am in awe of, and Lori Gayle did a fantastic job of that. Many thanks to Bren Frisch, who created the cover and interior design, to Ann Swanson for photo-styling, to Gayle Ford for illustrations, and especially to Joe Coca for his (always) exceptional photographs.
I appreciate the attention to detail by Dean Howes for the production work, Stephen Beal for copy editing, and Nancy Arndt for proofreading and indexing.
1 had constant attention while I worked on this book from Mac, the newest canine member of our household, and was lovingly reminded many times to "go knit" or to "come for a walk" by my sweetheart, Joe. Yet again, Joe, I couldn't have done it without you!
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