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Twist Collective Blog

Darlington

Ashley KnowltonToday's post comes to us from Ashley Knowlton, designer of these wonderful tall socks called Darlington from the Winter 2011 issue of Twist Collective. You can also find this post on her blog, where you can learn more about Ashley and her many talents. You can also follow her on Twitter. This is her first design with Twist Collective.



This time of year always makes me thankful for my wellies (also called, depending on where you're from, rain boots, gumboots, galoshes, and, I'm sure, a host of other names!). I live in the countryside in the south of England, where wellington boots are worn with the same devotion with which Pacific Northwesterners wear socks with sandals year round. And as any Briton knows, wellies don't fit correctly without the proper knitwear.

Darlington, front view

Darlington, back view

So Darlington was born, partly out of necessity, partly out of my love of cables. Inspired by welly socks with their long, fold-over cuffs (the sample is even knit in a colour similar to Hunter red) and over-the-trouser fit, I wanted a sock that would stretch to fit over my jeans (they stay up better that way) and make wellies warmer and more comfortable. And I just thought that I had to share these with the world.

SketchSwatch

Kate at Twist Collective loved the idea, too, and worked with  me to create an ornate pair of stockings that look even better outside the boot. Ribbing ensures a good, close fit around the foot and keeps them from sliding down, while a pretty cable winds up to the cuff, with a matching medallion at the calf. Toe-up construction makes it easy to customise the fit and sport-weight yarn makes them knit up very fast. I loved the sample set, which meant that right after I made it (sadly, what with my monstrous calves, they don't fit me), I knew I had to make my own pair.

Ashley's handspun Darlington socks

My own handspun pair have been my constant companions during this long, cold and damp English winter, and have found their own place, nestled inside my wellington boots by the doorway. I'm sure they will keep me company right into English summertime.