Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: Sockupied Fall 2015

photo credit: Sockupied/Harper Point Photography

A while ago, a designer friend and I got to talking about hobbies. Doing what we do is tricky, because knitting started out as a hobby for all of us but now, it’s our work. My friend was saying that for her, because knitting is no longer a hobby, she took up cross stitch, and I said that for me, sock knitting is my hobby. Socks specifically because I don’t design them, and I’ve got a lovely collection of sock yarn, so I get to make socks just for me, for fun. In my head I can separate Work Knitting from Sock Knitting, so it feels like Not Work, and I have totally different mentalities when knitting socks than when knitting work stuff. I love making socks. I haven’t had time to knit socks in months because I got myself into some deadline situations, but I think that really soon, I can cast on a new pair. I am SO EXCITED. I got out all of my sock yarn the other day and petted it, thinking about which one I wanted to knit with first. So when I was offered a review copy of the Fall issue of Sockupied, I thought, “Perfect timing. There’s probably a sock pattern in there I’ll want to make, so yes! More socks!”

This is a lovely digital magazine. I do love magazines. I think I get like 10 different magazines as subscriptions. My husband says they appeal to my short attention span, but what does he know. I just like them. This magazine has two articles, including a rather educational one about the history of Russian socks, and 6 sock patterns for a whole range of skill levels. (Side note: I say “skill levels”, but I don’t like that term- I believe that any knitter can make any thing she wants, so long as she’s willing to learn along the way. So we’ll say “challenge options” instead of “skill levels.”) There are two colorwork patterns, one lace, two knit-purl, and a cabled pattern- a really excellent variety. 

Hominy Socks
photo credit: Sockupied/Harper Point Photography

My favorite type of socks to knit are simpler socks. If you know my crazypants style of design work then you probably think this is lies. I’m just happier making plainer socks! It should be no surprise, then, that the pattern I like best in this issue is the pattern geared towards beginners- the simpler knit-purl Hominy Socks by Marie Godsey. I think those will be my next socks. A word of caution: these socks are only written for one size. That's not a problem for me, because I (ahem) never actually follow sock patterns, and I almost always change the stitch count of socks to suit me. BUT: I could see how new sock knitters might be put off by the one size only. (The rest of the patterns are written for at least 3 sizes, and Kate Atherley's pattern is written for SIX sizes because that's how she does.)

I do really like the cover pattern- the colorwork Electrostatic Lines Socks by Jennifer Raymond- and I could possibly see knitting them with black and orange as Halloween socks or something, but probably not as knee socks. This is Louisiana. I have no need for knee socks. But regular length Halloween socks? Yes indeedy. 

Electrostatic Lines Socks
photo credit: Sockupied/Harper Point Photography

Also nice about this magazine: there's a glossary at the end with instructions for Jeny's Surprising Stretchy Bind Off, Judy's Magic Cast On, and the Kitchener Stitch, among other useful things. Most likely you, like me, cannot seem to remember one or more of these things no matter how many times you do it, so it's really great to have the instructions right there with the sock patterns.

My only deal with this magazine is that the socks I like are only written for one size, but I'm experienced enough that I can deal with that. Overall, the verdict on this magazine: it's terrific. If you love socks, Sockupied is right up your alley. If you'd like to get a copy for yourself, here's where you can do so- for only $11.99, which is a steal when you consider what one sock pattern would cost you on Ravelry. And now if you'll excuse me, I need to go get out all of my sock yarn and arrange it by color on the floor. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Yarn Talk-New Book-Lots of Excitement

I don't know if you've heard yet, but the book I'm part of (!!!), Midwestern Knits, was released yesterday. It's all just been TERRIBLY EXCITING over here, even though the copy of my book hasn't come in the mail yet- boo. But I do have my copy of the e-book, and I'll admit that I nearly cried when I looked at it on my pooter. It's so pretty. So, so pretty. My pattern from the book, Blowing Snow, has proven really popular on Ravelry so far- there is almost nothing better than seeing knitters get excited about your design. Eeee!! I can't wait until someone starts knitting it. I think there's actually a KAL (knit-a-long to all the Muggles out there) starting sometime in September.

As part of the blog tour for the new book, I got interviewed by editor Allyson Dykhuizen for her podcast Yarn Talk as the Designer Crush.... talk about flattering! If you want to see me jabber about my design and get a glimpse of my super huge, super fluffy cat/teddy bear hybrid, head on over to and check it out. I hope I didn't say anything stupid. Eesh. You can also win a copy of my pattern, or, if you already have a copy of the book, you can win a copy of any of my other patterns, winner's choice.

The link below will take you directly to the pattern giveaway!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you want to check out the rest of the blog tour, here's a schedule. I'll be back on September 1st to talk more about my design!

Blog Tour Schedule:
Aug 17: Launch:
Aug 19: YarnTalk Show
Aug 21: @FrenchPressKnits on Instagram

Aug 26: DoogKnits
Aug 28: @ChooseBatman on Instagram

Aug 31: Knitspot

Sept 9: @juriface on Instagram
Sept 10: Brown Sheep Blog

Sept 14: Weaver Knits
Sept 16: Subway Knits

Sunday, August 2, 2015

New Pattern: Oileán Hat

I'm having A Thing with Fair Isle right now. 

Oileán (pronounced ill-lawn) is a modern, bold Fair Isle hat for the whole family. I knitted a baby-sized hat on a whim a few weeks ago, because we were going to visit some good friends who are expecting. Usually I make babies a Viking Hat, but I just wanted to mix it up a bit. I had just gotten a vintage Fair Isle book in the mail, I had a bag of worsted leftovers and a free evening, and ta-da! Modern Fair Isle baby hat. I fully intended to give the hat to our friends, but once it was finished, I couldn't. I loved it so much that I knew it had to be a design. So the next night, I dug out the larger bag of worsted leftovers and made a me-sized version. 

And now it's my newest pattern. The pattern is written for Baby through Adult Large, so you can make a hat for everyone in your life! 

One thing to note: three rounds at the beginning and three rounds at the end of the color work motif have three colors per round. It's not as scary as it sounds, and there's a note in the pattern to walk you through it. Yay, a challenge! Because the color work requires so little yarn, this is a great use of all that leftover worsted. I have a large tote bag full of partial balls of Cascade 220 and Knit Picks WofA. Always looking for more uses for that bag! 

Baby, Toddler, Kid, Teen/Adult S, Adult M, Adult L
Finished Circumference: 14.5 (16, 17.5, 19, 20.25, 22) inches/ 37 (40.5, 44.5, 48, 51.5, 56) cm, to be worn with 1-2 inches/ 2.5-5 cm of negative ease.

Cascade 220; [100% Wool; 220yd/201m per 100 g skein];
Baby Hat Shown in:
Main Color (MC): 8505 White: 1 skein
Contrast Colors: 7827 Goldenrod, 9421 Blue Hawaii, 8555 Black, 9404 Ruby; small amount of each
Adult M Hat Shown in:
Main Color (MC): 7818 Blue Velvet, 1 skein
Contrast Colors: 8505 White, 9421 Blue Hawaii, 7802 Cerise, 7803 Magenta; small amount of each

Until August 7th, get this pattern for just $2.50 on Ravelry.