Anna Zilboorg Visits with Sockupied

There are great moments every issue of Sockupied—the excitement of projects and articles landing on my desk, of receiving the yarns and products for review, and of seeing the app take shape for the first time. But one of my favorite moments of the Fall 2013 Sockupied wasn’t part of the issue at all. It was back in December 2012, when Anna Zilboorg came to town and I asked her to be our featured designer.

I’ve loved Anna’s work since I first saw her Turkish Socks in an early issue of PieceWork magazine. It’s fitting that Turkish socks were my first introduction to Anna’s work because they were Anna’s first sock love, too. When she came across a book on Anatolian sock patterns, Anna discovered the joys of knitting socks toe-up, a technique that she uses in her free-sole sock knitting technique.


Anna was here in Colorado to film her video workshop, Knit Free-Sole Socks, which demonstrates her method of knitting fully repairable and resoleable handknitted socks. By working the sole and instep separately, you create a sock that can be invisibly and perfectly fixed wherever it wears out. The technique was so cool that I asked her to design a pair of free-sole socks for Sockupied, which became the Ovis Socks in this issue.

Anna Zilboorg’s Ovis Socks combine a colorwork pattern with her free-sole sock technique. Photo by Harper Point Photography. The free-sole sock technique combines toe-up sock construction with a replaceable sole for socks that are delightful to knit and wear.

Anna taught a class with Blue Moon Fiber Arts proprietor Tina Newton on working with color at the 2009 Sock Summit. Instead of following academic theories, Anna encouraged her students to follow their instincts and “color desires.” The Ovis Socks blend two richly colored skeins—one that looks black but contains green, magenta, and browns the other skein richly colored with red, white, orange, and purple—in a playful design that reverses the color patterning within the pair.

It can be daunting to meet a long-admired teacher, but Anna is easy-going and delightful. Read Julia Farwell-Clay’s insightful profile in this issue of Sockupied and meet Anna for yourself.

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