Thursday, August 11, 2011

Nancy Bush & Folk Socks: My brush with greatness

It's amazing how long it takes to regain your equilibrium after something as monumental as Sock Summit. Or perhaps I shouldn't be amazed... after all, it was pretty wonderful.

(It may also have been all the coffee I drank.)

I promise I'll stop blathering on about it, but wow: I got to enjoy half an hour over a beer and some sock knitting with Ann Budd and Nancy Bush, the two women I credit for me being a sock knitter at all, let alone being a professional in the industry. I just hoped they weren't judging my technique.

Nancy Bush wrote the seminal Folk Socks. This book is the reason I knit socks.

In addition to a collection of attractive and interesting designs, the book contains a history of sock knitting, and a fairly detailed technical analysis of sock construction, including all sorts of heels and toes. It's a book I keep going back to as a reference, and as eye candy. I bought the first edition shortly after it was published in 1994. (I think people think I'm exaggerating when I say I've been knitting socks for 15 years. I'm not, honestly. I bought my first yarn for socks from a store that closed in 1996.)

I watched another instructor approach Nancy at the teachers' dinner at Sock Summit and ask her to autograph a very dog-eared copy of the book... my first thought was "why didn't I think to bring my copy", and the second was "wow, hers is as well-loved as mine". Nancy herself remarked that she's seen (and been asked to sign) many very well-used copies.

The best news is that book is being updated and reissued this fall, and I can't wait to see it.

(What I didn't want to say to Nancy is that no matter how much I love her book, she is also somewhat responsible for my obsession with sock and feet sizes. All the patterns in her book are in one size, and as I worked through the book, it became somewhat of a frustration to me, as a non-average-footed knitter. Don't let this stop you from buying the book, though. It's a masterpiece.)


Diane in Chico said...

Folk Socks is the most worn book in my knitting library, and Nancy Bush is one of my inspirations. I'll get the new edition, whether or not I need it.

Thanks for the news!

Andrea said...

You... Nancy Bush AND Ann Budd? BOTH? Spent time having a BEER?
Wow. Cool.
Oh, and keep blathering about Sock Summit. It's OK!