The Amberwing Socks: A knitting pattern that uses traditional Estonian Inlay (Roosimine) techniques!

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Sometimes, I just want to sit down and knit a regular old sock – no fuss, frills, embellishments, textures, lace, cabling, bells, whistles, accoutrement, etc.,. I just want miles of stockinette from the cuffs to the toes so my brain can take off on pleasant adventures (of course more often than not, my brain eschews pleasantries to instead tunnel down to the pits of anxiety hell where it can call forth nightmarish scenarios involving undiagnosed illnesses that will lead to my untimely death).

But! Most of the time, when my sock needles are free, I want a challenge! I want to learn and grow as a knitter! I want to create something new and different for my feet, and I want to occupy my mind with something that requires most of its attention.

I still want an enjoyable knit, though. Engaging it must be, but fussy and difficult to keep track of, it must not be. Enter Estonian Inlay Knitting, called Roosimine (the finished product is called Roositud). Not only is it a delight to knit, but its also quite easy (at least one-color Roosimine – I haven’t attempted multi-color Roosimine yet, but will report back once I do!). It’s just engaging enough to keep your work interesting, but not so challenging as to result in listless abandonment of WIPs. And it’s pure magic watching a lovely design materialize right in front of your eyes just by stranding some yarn across the front of your work.

The Amberwing Socks pattern (which you can grab on Ravelry HERE, and on Etsy HERE) is the result of my experiments with simple Roosimine knitting. The pattern includes plenty of tutorials to walk you through it (plus links to video tutorials so you can actually watch me demonstrating the techniques).

If you are familiar with fair isle and colorwork knitting, Roosimine will be quite easy. The charts are almost identical. Below you’ll see a standard fair isle chart on the left, and a Roosimine chart on the right. Notice the Roosimine chart has bars of color, rather than individual little boxes of color. That’s because you are literally creating “bars” on your work with strands of yarn!

To learn more about Estonia’s rich knitting heritage, here’s a fantastic article!

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