Wednesday, March 15, 2006

New Arrival: Sol Mate Socks!

Ready for some Spring color?

Come on in and get yourself a pair of Sol Mate Socks!

These colorful cotton socks, introduced in a previous post, are just the thing for these cool, pre-Spring days, reminding us that crocuses and daffodils are just around the corner.

Kids socks come in 3 sizes and are sold in groups of 3, or "a pair with a spare," for $18. Adult socks also come in 3 sizes and are $16 a pair.

And now, here's more than you may ever have known before about a pair of socks...

Sol Mate Socks are the invention of Marianne "The Sock Lady" Wakerlin of South Strafford, Vermont. Marianne started knitting when she was nine years old and her family moved to Spain. “I didn’t speak Spanish at first and was too timid to go play with the Spanish children in the neighborhood. It was during those first few months that my mom taught me how to knit.”

Her mother’s name was Sunny, “and since she taught me how to knit in Spain I named my company after her in a playful way I think she would have appreciated. The Spanish word for sun is ‘sol,’ so Sol Mate Socks is very much rooted in those early experiences with my mother. I don’t know what my first knitting project was, but I do remember that the yarn was blue and that it was hard to keep track of which side of the stitch to go into. I felt challenged.”

Marianne has been knitting now for over 40 years, but it wasn’t until she attended a weekend workshop on knitting socks that her passion was born. ”I found it exhilarating, designing a pair of socks that didn’t match and were knit in random patterns with multiple colors… There were some outrageous socks that came out of these experiments, and I liked the way a pair of mismatched socks could still appear related. The reception to my hand knit socks was so enthusiastic that I simply had to try it as a business.”

That was five years ago. Since then Marianne has stewarded Sol Mate Socks into a robust business. Marianne no longer makes all the socks herself, but she continues to knit by hand to develop new patterns and color combinations, which she uses for designing new sock styles. She employs the able assistance of a small workshop of machine knitters in North Carolina to make the socks, and a group of home-based sewers in Vermont to transform sock overages into dog coats, hats, and scarves. As for materials, the cotton socks have a little nylon and lycra blended in for comfort and durability. Sol Mate Socks are machine washable and dryable and do not shrink or run.

We think you’ll love Marianne’s delightful creations for their quality craftsmanship, comfort, and beauty, and besides as The Sock Lady says...

“Life’s too short for matching socks!”

1 comment:

Mad said...

I have a bunch of these socks and love them. My 10 year old has a bunch and my husband. Born to mix and match...