FO: Zauberball Socks

Technically it’s November 1st, but I think it still counts as a Socktober win. One pair of plain vanilla socks in Schoppel-Wolle’s Crazy Zauberball!  

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The yarn is so interesting by itself that I didn’t want to add a stitch pattern into the mix. The colours don’t repeat, so I have fraternal socks instead of identical twins.

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They’re soft even before blocking, so I have a feeling these ones are going to be worn a lot. The fact that they’re a combo of my favourite colours doesn’t hurt either.

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The next sock mission? Two at a time socks! Now I just need the right yarn…

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Review of Sockupied Fall 2015

I was invited to review the Fall 2015 issue of Sockupied by the lovely Amy Palmer. Here is what you need to know!

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What is it?

This Sockupied issue contains six original sock patterns as well as some interest stories, including one about designer Debbie O’Neill and a piece on the history of sock knitting in Russia. The patterns are moderate to advanced in difficulty as far as sock knitting goes, and feature some really interesting colour work, textures, and constructions. The patterns might be a bit daunting for a brand new sock knitter, but for any established sock knitters out there this might be exactly the thing to spice up your pattern collection. There doesn’t seem to be a theme to the issue (unless the theme is “yarn colours Nicole finds personally offensive”) but the lack of theme kind of works. Not everything needs to be thematically connected, and what it means is six very different and unique patterns. So, along those lines, let’s talk…

Patterns

The backbone of any knitting publication is the patterns. This issue of Sockupied contains six sock patterns from various designers including Kate Atherley and Debbie O’Neill. What makes me excited to buy a pattern book is often the opportunity to experiment with new techniques and here the issue is really great. In terms of colour work you have the electrostatic lines socks (featured on the cover), as well as these checkers socks.

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Okay, so I am never going to love that colour combination, but those are some seriously rockin’ socks. The back of the leg, heel and sole are all worked flat, and then joined with the front of the sock. Colour me impressed. Pun absolutely intended. I personally would buy the book just to learn how to do that, but that’s me.

There are some texture based patterns including the walking in the woods socks, the riband socks and the hominy socks. The hominy socks are a little simpler, for those of you looking for something more straight forward.

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My personal favourite are the Gladys Thompson socks by Kate Atherley. Inspired by classic Gansey stitch patterns, the look is classic and not too busy (a.k.a. I will actually wear them.)

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Aesthetic

Sometimes the appeal of something (yarn) is in what it looks like (yarn) or feels like (yarn) to you. I have bought pattern books on occasion solely because they were very beautiful, and I wanted to be able to flip through them for inspiration. Photography plays a big role here, as does layout. The photography of the book is good, but not knock-your-socks-off groundbreaking. I will say this though: the layout is excellent. If you are the sort that likes to print off your patterns, a clear effort has been put in to make them very easy to follow and printer friendly. A tip of my cap to whoever was responsible for that, very well done. Bonus points as well for the glossary at the back explaining the some of the techniques.

The Verdict

Let’s get down to brass tacts, is this something worth your $11.99? If you are an avid sock knitter that likes trying new things, or are looking to dive back into sock knitting with something exciting, this issue is absolutely worth it.  I would caution beginners away from it, unless you are particularly ambitious (and patient with yourself). Overall it’s a very solid collection and the side articles were interesting and well written. If you are interested, you can purchase the issue from Interweave Knits here.

Do you like to knit socks? Have any sock projects lined up for this coming autumn? Let me know in the comments. Happy Knitting!

**Please note that all photography in this post is credited to Sockupied/Harper Point Photography**

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Skittle Socks

Ladies and gentlemen I have finished my skittle socks. See?

The Skittle Socks

Yarn: Kroy Sock Yarn, dyed by Cassie and I with Kool Aid and food colouring. In the colour of classic skittles of course: grape, strawberry, watermelon, orange, lemon, kiwi-lime and blue raspberry.

Pattern: Grumperina’s Jaywalker pattern which I modified to be toe up instead of cuff down. Not very eloquently  either I just threw in my own toe, heel and cuff.

These socks were over 2 years in the making. In my defense. somewhere between the acquiring the white sock yarn and these finished rainbow-y goodness I was distracted. I put the socks down and knit other things, a sweater, some mittens, an entire dress. The first one was exciting and between the zigzag-iness and the colour changes I will admit, I was quite amused. And then it was finished and I was most delighted. I took a picture of it and gleefully showed it to all my friends.

The lone sock

And then I stopped.

I always told myself that I was just taking a little break, that I would finish them up right away just one more project….just one more…

From then on the new sock was cast on but not worked on. Only when complete frustration at other projects had set in did I go back and knit a few more rounds. It was boring I thought, just the same two rows over and over. And besides, I reasoned, I already know what it should look like. And so the sock was abandoned. It was always there waiting. Waiting for me to decided that lace was too complicated to knit in front of the TV or that my thumb gusset shaping on the latest mitten was too aggravating. Very slowly the second sock grew until I came to the heel and realized that the orange was going to come mid-heel turning and not after like it’s mate.

Damn.

Rip rip rip.

It took 5 tries before I got the colours to work out. I have no one to blame but myself seeing as I dyed the yarn and I was so very imprecise with the measuring. From there I continued knitting it much as it had before. Intermittently and at a painfully slow pace.

But soon the new year came and I had just a few dozen rounds left. There was no reason not to finish them now and so I finally completely overcame my massive case of second sock syndrome. Or at least massive second sock resentment.

Now that they are finished I see why I cast them on in the first place. Those are the brightest, happiest, spring-i-est socks I could make. I love ’em. I get a kick out of them every time I see them now.  Which is weird because for so long I always was a process knitter and this project brought out the product knitter. Perhaps a little balance is a good thing. The point is they delight me and when the temperature is stubbornly below freezing this time of year, bright wool rainbow socks are pretty much pure happiness.

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