Tsock Tsarina logo

The Tsarina of Tsocks


Art for your Feet
Over-the-top sock knitting kits
with plenty of literary juice....

Tsock Tsarina logo

About Me  

What the Tsarina Tsays
(AKA my Blog)

    In celebration of Sock Summit 2011, the Tsarina announces the latest monstrous creation of a decidedly Abby Normal brain:


    Fronkenshteek may well be the craziest development yet in the growing field of modular and communal sock knitting. There is a reason it was NOT chosen for the Fleece to Foot challenge at the 2011 Sock Summit... but the boldest knitters will not shrink from it. That's you, right? (Yes, it is. There are half a dozen KALs sprinkled all over Ravelry, including a big hilarious international one with teams swapping segments by mail. Also - watch this space for the Fronkenshteek video, coming soon to a YouTube near you.) Go find out.

    The Full(ed) Story: Fronkenshteek on the Blog

    Fronkenshteek on Ravelry

    Fronkenshteek is available NOW for download from my Ravelry store.

  • About the Tsock Kits:

    The "Art for your Feet" Tsock Kits have been admired, knitted, and/or blogged by the Yarn Harlot, Lucy Neatby, Cat Bordhi, Sandi Wiseheart, and the Twist Collective. The designs are original and shamelessly over-the-top, stopping at nothing in the pursuit and enhancement of the theme or joke, form following function to its logical extreme and beyond. The kits are not necessarily for the faint of heart: with the one notable exception of our gentle and seductive "Tsocks 101" kit, every one of them presents exciting (and yes, occasionally maddening) challenges for the knitter. If you thought socks were all the same, if you thought they were dull and repetitive... think again. If you thought you'd seen it all where sock architecture and patterning are concerned... take a closer look. The Tsarina of Tsocks unhesitatingly invents new structures and stitches when she needs to - but never for their own sake; always in service and in scale to the all-important theme. These are socks that will keep you awake, stimulated and thinking; this is knitting on the edge of your seat.

    Each kit contains a pattern booklet and enough of our custom-blend wool/silk sock yarn to make a pair of socks in Women's Medium or Large, depending on kit size (custom-size skeins and pattern modifications are also available - please don't hesitate to ask!), as well as all other materials that may be called for by the design (such as beads, buttons, ribbons, skeinlets of laceweight, etc.). Some kits are also offered in Spin-Your Own versions - for these we supply the same blend of fiber, in the same colorway(s), but unspun. Some kits come in multiple colorways or "flavors." Much of the yarn and fiber is dyed by Elizabeth Murphy of Moose Manor Handpaints, but we will often feature "special guest-artist" indie dyers for particular kits.

    The booklets are 5.5" x 8.5", comb- or spiral-bound so you can use them like flip charts. They are copiously illustrated and include complete tutorials for every technique called for, as well as thorough explanations of the designs and themes; each is a theme-driven masterpiece, as well as a small master class in technique and fit. Pattern stitches are written out step by step but are also charted; you'll find the charts and a glossary of abbreviations on cards at the back of the book, so they can be removed and used separately if you like - placed on a chartkeeper, etc.

    The Tsarina's special custom base yarn is a 4-ply blend of 70% superwash wool and 30% silk, spun to a high hosiery twist so it is both resilient and durable without sacrificing softness, and has beautiful stitch definition. The wool is grown and the yarn spun in the USA, to our exacting specifications.
    Typical gauge is 8 sts x 12 rows = 1" on US #1 needles.

  • A Tsampling of the Tsocks:
    (Click on any thumbnail or title for details and photographs.
    Please note: Most of these are posts from my blog; a few are from my old web site, so they may contain obsolete information as to availability; this will all be updated in the course of 2011.
    A complete listing of designs, with links to comparable pages, can be found on my design page on Ravelry)

    The Abbey
    The Abbey An abbey! Yes, it was delightful to be really in an abbey! But she doubted, as she looked round the room, whether anything within her observation would have given her the consciousness. To an imagination which had hoped for the smallest divisions, and the heaviest stone-work, for painted glass, dirt, and cobwebs, the difference was very distressing.

    Blessed Thistle
    Blessed Thistle The tender-hearted artichoke dressed in its armor, built its modest cupola and stood erect, impenetrable beneath a lamina of leaves, burnished to a pomegranate glow. And then one day, with all the other artichokes in willow baskets, our artichoke set out to market to realize its dream; life as a soldier....

    Daughter of the Regiment
    Daughter of the Regiment Meet Marie, the adopted daughter and spoiled darling of the Magnificent Twenty-First; every inch the Napoleonic vivandičre, from her dainty little army boots to the brass buttons on her jaunty military jacket.

    The Firebird
    The Firebird It can light a dark room with the brightness of its plumage. It kills deathless demons; it restores the dead to life. Capture the elusive Firebird; hold it fast until it promises to stand your friend. The journey will be long and the obstacles daunting, but the magical creature will bring you good fortune at last.

    Full Fathom Five
    Full Fathom Five

    ...thy father lies;
    Of his bones are coral made.
    Those are pearls that were his eyes;
    Nothing of him that doth fade
    But doth suffer a sea-change
    Into something rich and strange.

    Golden West
    Golden West Now - let's talk business, just you and me. What are you, Jack Rance? A gambler. Johnson? A bandit. Me? I own a bar and a gambling den, I live off whiskey and gold. We're all the same! All bandits and cardsharps. Well, then - here’s my stake. I’m offering you this man - and my life! One game of poker! If you win, you can take him - and me. But if I win - on the honor of Jack Rance, gentleman - then this man is mine, MINE!

    The Green Fairy
    The Green Fairy The man let the water trickle gently into his glass, and as the green clouded, a mist fell from his mind.
    Then he drank opaline.
    Green changed to white, emerald to an opal: nothing was changed.

    The Lord Chancellor's Nightmare
    The Lord Chancellor's Nightmare But this you can't stand,
    So you throw up your hand,
    And you find that you're cold as an icicle,
    In your shirt and your socks
    (The black silk with gold clocks),
    Crossing Salisbury Plain on a bicycle.

    The Nine Tailors

    Quantum Paratsox "You have seen the puzzle of the Paper Ring? Where you take a slip of paper, and join its ends together, first twisting one, so as to join the upper corner of one end to the lower corner of the other? The Ring has only one surface, and only one edge. The Sock is just like that, isn't it? Is not the outer surface of one side of it continuous with the inner surface of the other side? Whatever is inside that Sock, is outside it; and whatever is outside it, is inside it!”
    RoxieYou know who I mean. Jazz-baby. Murderess. The beauty of the cell-block. That sweet-faced little flapper you want to take home to mother - after you bust her out of the clink. Yeah. That Roxie.

    Sahasrara - Crown
    Ajna - Third Eye
    Vishuddha - Throat
    Anahata - Heart
    Manipura - Solar Plexus
    Svadhisthana - Sacrum
    Muladhara - Root

    The Snow Queen
    “Are you still cold?” she asked. She bent and kissed his forehead with a kiss colder than ice, and the chill of it shot straight to his heart. Though his heart was ice already, her kiss made it colder still. For a moment he felt he might die of it. Then he felt better. After a while he didn’t even know he was cold any more.

    Tsocks 101
    Tsocks 101Not a sock knitter yet...? You WILL be assimilated, and this is how.

    Just you watch. We'll make a sock pro of you yet.

    Two CassandrasApollo, my destroyer, for you have destroyed me ... Have I missed the mark, or, like true archer, do I strike my quarry? Or am I prophet of lies, a babbler from door to door?

    When I was young,
    at my mother’s breast -
    Sing ho! for the wind and the rain -
    A vintage wine was my sole request,
    For the rain it rain’d and rain’d ev’ry day....

    York and Lancaster
    York and Lancaster
    And here I prophesy: this brawl today,
    Grown to this faction
    in the Temple garden,
    Shall send, between the Red Rose
    and the White,
    A thousand souls to death and deadly night.

Copyright © 2006-2014 Lisa Grossman. All Rights Reserved.