A Travel Memoir in Stitches

We asked Louisa Demmitt, an instructional designer for Interweave, to tell you about PieceWork’s newest eBook. Here’s Louisa!

The original socks Mimi Seyferth purchased in Albania. Photo by Joe Coca.

The original socks Mimi Seyferth purchased in Albania.
Photo by Joe Coca.

One of the most magical things about knitting is the different forms it takes in various countries and regions. Regional motifs reflect different traditions, landscapes, and structures, and they often tell fantastic stories about the histories they showcase. PieceWork’s new eBook, 5 Traditional Albanian Socks to Knit: A Travel Memoir in Stitches by Mimi Seyferth is a look at some of the beautiful stories (and socks!) the author encountered when traveling in Albania.

Mimi purchased eighteen pairs of handknit socks on her journey, showcasing dynamic color combinations and delicate patterns. She then created patterns from five of the originals. Reading through these patterns is like walking along with the author, learning about where she bought the socks, what the shops and artisans were like. We also learn about the different constructions of the socks, how they were worn and how design elements were incorporated for aesthetic as well as functional reasons.

Butrint, Albania, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre that was—at different times—an ancient Greek colony, a Roman city, and a paleo-Christian bishopric. Mimi Seyferth purchased the original socks at a Butrint craft stall. Photo by Mimi Seyferth.

Butrint, Albania, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre that was—at different times—an ancient Greek colony, a Roman city, and a paleo-Christian bishopric. Mimi Seyferth purchased the original socks at a Butrint craft stall.
Photo by Mimi Seyferth.

Yarn crafts are one of the best folk art traditions for learning about a country’s history and current trends. They so often pair fashion and function, creating rich context for what life was, and is, really like. Mimi’s interpretations of existing patterns show respect for and appreciation of these traditions while also using more modern techniques and supplies. Explore the beauty, history, and lore of Albania, and knit some beautiful socks along the way!

Yours in knitting,
Louisa

Featured image: Mimi Seyferth’s version of the socks that she purchased in Albania.
Photo by Joe Coca


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