My grandmother and I began this project with a kickstarter campaign to establish a knitting co-op in her hometown of Patalenitsa, Bulgaria. Because the socks are so popular, we decided to open this website and give the women in the village an ongoing marketplace to sell their knitwear.
Every pair of Bloc Socks is hand-knit by the women of the Patalenitsa knitting co-op. We source all of our wool locally and use patterns that have been passed down through Bulgarian families for generations.
Bulgaria has a rich knitting tradition. Each region has numerous patterns and styles that we soon hope to include on the site. And there's far more than just socks being knit here. We soon hope to offer you Bulgarian sweaters, scarves, and hats as well.
In the coming years we hope to expand our program to rural villages throughout the country. By bringing the tradition of Bulgarian knitwear abroad we are building community here. Many of our knitters double their pensions every month, bringing much needed revenue to their rural areas.
By purchasing a pair of Bloc Socks you can help us expand the program and include women from across Bulgaria. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy your pair of warm, hand-knit socks!
— Dimitar Apostolov (firstname.lastname@example.org)
We include a Martenitsa with every pair of Bloc Socks as a token of appreciation for your order.
Traditionally, we give these charms to friends and family in the first week of March. You wear the charm on the left side of your jacket until you spot the first sign of spring—either a bird or budding flower—and then you tie the martenitsa to a tree and make a wish.
The charm symbolizes spring, fertility and harmony. The tradition of giving and wearing martenistas dates back to the 9th century and still continues in Bulgaria today.