It’s been awhile since my last blog. I’ve been working on lots of interesting, but secret, things which I’m planning for autumn, but I know that’s ages away for you!
Today I’d like to talk about the latest issue of Sockupied (Spring 2015).
Sockupied is a smaller-scale magazine dedicated solely to the joy of socks. I was lucky enough to get a review copy, which I’ve been having fun browsing through.
I love teaching socks myself – and I’ve got a few sock workshops coming up if you want to learn. I think they’re one of those projects that makes a knitter feel accomplished. The heel is a little bit of magic, no matter how many times you’ve done it before. They’re a great travel project, well-suited to immortalise that amazing wool you got at the yarn festival last year, and perfect for the warmer spring/summer period (no big jumper sitting on your knee while you knit and sweat).
The Spring issue of Sockupied represents a first for them – their first issue which is PDF only.
I have to say I really like this. While sometimes it’s nice to have a hard copy, I almost always prefer a PDF, as long as it’s still cleverly designed and laid out, which Sockupied is. I prefer PDF for lots of little reasons: you can download it again and again, save it where you want, use it on your laptop/tablet/phone (or all 3!), and you can annotate or print as much as you want. (If you’re a fan of PDFs though, do respect designer’s copyright by not forwarding and sharing the document with others.)
The Spring Sockupied collection features a ‘sinuous’ theme
with patterns morphing and changing in waves between the toe and the leg of the sock. There’s an a nearly equal division of toe-up and top-down socks. So, whichever direction you prefer to knit, there’s a sock for you. Or use this as an opportunity to try something less familiar and learn some new techniques in the process. To take advantage of most of these sock designs, you’ll definitely need to be able to read a knitting chart. These are good charts to start with – a clear, visual pattern and simple symbols.
- If working from a printed chart, use a post-it not under the line you’re working on to help you read across the line.
- On your tablet or phone, I can’t recommend the Good Reader app enough – it’s let’s you annotate the pattern and add coloured lines to your charts to mark your spot.
- You can get some tips and tricks on chart reading here.
This issue features sock designs by the irrespressible Rachel Coopey, the inimitable Kate Atherley and more.
Laith (Rachel Coopey) features a travelling stitch pattern which jumps across socks – try it out to see how it’s done. I’ve always found Rachel’s patterns to be very well-written, with clear instructions, so it’s easy to know where you are. And she has a penchant for charts (which I happen to love).
Washington State Knee Highs (Kate Atherley) are a great first knee sock pattern. Knit in a thicker wool, these will go faster – and there’s just a little cable to keep things mildly distracting. Do check out the final feature article on how to simply calculate your very own custom-fit knee sock. Not an easy thing and yet, Kate makes it seem effortless by explaining all the niceties of sock fitting (i.e. how to make sure they stay up!). No complex maths (promise).
Butterfly Socks (Jennifer Raymond) take an entirely different approach to sock construction with a sideways knitted leg – how fun! If you’ve knit loads of socks before and are feeling like you’ve knit your last – try these for something entertaining. Don’t these look great with sunflowers?
Mill End Socks (M Nance) start off with a plain foot for easy knitting, then the swirling patterns take over and carry you across the sock, creating motion underneath your needles.
Chain Socks (Mona Drager) use a slipped-stitch pattern with occasional cables to make them look absolutely fabulous in all sorts of yarns, including that incredible hand-dyed yarn that you haven’t knit anything with yet because of all the pooling. You know the one. (Check out the projects for these on Ravelry to get an idea of how it works with different yarns.)
Want to explore more? You can see all the designs in more detail on Ravelry.
Already inspired? Get Sockupied through the Interweave Store here.
Taking the Nod
Knitty.com and Twist Collective started the idea of a designer insight page – where they ask designers random biographical facts and preferences. I love these sections as they give us insight into how designers think. Sockupied has asked Rachel a few questions for a bit of fun.
I was taken with the question of how to spot a particular designer’s pattern. Without being too presumptuous, here are my answers too:
- A stitch pattern or decrease/increase motif that is repeated – I like a bit of effective-looking, yet simple to do, knitting. Not everything should be complicated! (Like the Simples Collection here which is a great follow-on from learning to knit.)
- Cables – I’ve always loved how they look and when I learned to cable without a cable needle I started to love knitting them. Now they’re everywhere… Oliver jumper, Curvy Cables vest, and Amber Waves socks.
- Some different construction methods may stand out – like Oliver and Olivia with their options, like Victor and Victoria without any seams.