| 83 The novel of woollen socks was created by the double-knit patterns of our village weaver. Itwasnocoincidence thather subjectwasa ower,abud,grapes, agentlepetal, a leaf, a star, apigeon, achicken, all themostbeautiful things thatexists innature, aroundus,withinus, everything that surrounds us in the heavens, and that exists in the cosmos, and in a microcosm,” said Svetozar Popović, professor of literature, speaking way back in 1968. He, together with his spouse Vidosava, who was also a professor of literature, deserves credit for the fact that Serbia has a rich and valuable collection of naïve folk arts. This married couple were fascinated and inspired by what they saw in over 180 villages of themiddle and upper Timok. In the Knjaževac region, double-knit ornaments reached the peak of aesthetic development, when it was almost impossible to nd two pairs of socks featuring the sameornamentsandpatterncompositions. This colourful and warm collection is preservedat theHomelandMuseumofKnjaževac. It contains308pairsofdouble-knit socks, aswell asuniquealbums containing sketches of 240 socks in their original sizes and colours. As such, thismuseumof double-knit socksproduced in theTimokFrontier region between the 18th and 20th centuries represents a true treasure of Serbian ornamental design. The socks were made from two colours of domestic wool, which ledtothembeingnameddouble-knit. And themethodof producing the sockswas also speci c, because they were knitted from the top of the foot towards the heel. From there,thewarmwoolcontinuedtotheupperpartwith di erent colours andpatterns, protectingthelegsfromsnow, ice and the raging winter. Every sock hada“podveska”- akindof tourniquet to prevent the sock from falling down. Touringthismuseum, youcandiscover the history and the journey of these socks. Ancient Slavic peoples of Central Asia are saidtohavebroughtdouble-knitclothingto Central Europe and theBalkans during the greatmigrations. Examining the socks, it is noticeable that men’s socks came in both long and short variations, while those for womenwereonly long.Men’ssocksaresimpler,withlesscomplicatedpatterns, smaller dimensionsandonly inonecolour.Thiswas most commonly a red pattern on a black background. Thewomen’swere neverthelessmoreornate,withthemainpatternand ornamental designs representinganything fromponies, owers, petals, branches and the like. Such socks were not woven for children, becauseeach larger pattern required the thick intertwining of two yarns, so the socks would be rigid and prickly for children’s tender little feet. New double-knit sockswerewornonly for national holidays, at weddings or when making formal visits, while older ones were worn on a daily basis. Those intended for work and homewear were more rarely knitted, and done so using coarse wool and scarce patterns. Village women usually knitted themwhile in the saddle, during the journey fromtheir home tothe elds, orwhileguardingcattle, or during their rest time after a hard day’s work. And who knows what wishes they spun into them that made these socks so playful and cheerful. “Intheirnotes, thePopovićswrote that inthe1950s, inthechestsofoldladyknitters knitwear, the oldwomenwere still numerous pairs of socks, noting that there were only worn by older people during late autumnandwinter,whilework inbarns, elds and forests. A large number of socks were kept in chests, presented as gifts for weddingguests andvisitors,while theywerealso given to Roma craftsmen who repaired boilers, kitchenware or agricultural tools. And fortune-tellers would happily accept them for their services, seeking and taking the prettiest and most decorative, which they would then re-sell. These patterned socks were bought on the Niš market by mastermasons frompoormountainvillages, because the thickness of the knitwear protected the feet from lime and mortar. However, there was also one type of double-knit sock that the elderly knitters preservedas theholiest object; thosewere the most select, the prettiest and most archaic. In their wills they would instruct members of the household to wear themwhen they or their elders died, while they should place the rest beside them in the co n,”as explained in the catalogue of Dušica Živkovic, who formed the KnjaževacMuseum’s rst collection of socks. Due to its cultural importance, this collection was declared a cultural good in 1965. Already from the end of the 19th century, and by themid 20th century, knitwear started to disappear. Due to their beauty and authentic craftsmanship, these socks are listedas itemsof intangiblecultural heritage, and the Knjaževac HomelandMuseumholds workshops in its summer school for making double-knitted socks, in order for people today toknowhowtoknit these ne, gentle andwarm threads, and to heat their nearest and dearest. The Homeland Museum of Knjaževac organises a school of traditional crafts, in order to preserve invaluable cultural treasures and intangible heritage Zavičajni muzej Knjaževac organizuje školu tradicionalnih zanata kako bi se sačuvalo ovo dragoceno kultruno blago i nematerijalno nasleđe