When Jennifer Crowley of tinkingturtle.com asked if we could discuss our socks from the Sockupied Spring 2013 issue on each other's blogs, I thought it sounded like a fabulous idea. My interview on her blog is featured here. But you have already chatted with me, so let's discuss Jennifer's clever, striking sock, Totem:
She even used one of my all time favorite yarns for these lovelies, Adorn Sock from Three Irish Girls Yarns (remember my CLAP! mittens?). Adorn is a delightful sturdy yet soft sock yarn, perfect in every way and available in a seemingly undending selection of hand-dyed colorways.
Jennifer and I answered a myriad of questions for each other, so here she is:
How did you come up the Totem pattern?
I talked a little bit about my inspiration for the Totem pattern here. Basically, I'm really fond of learning a new technique, and then pushing it to see how far the idea can go. It comes from the part of my background in theatre and art sculpture. When you learn something new, you test it to see what the limits of the tip or trick can be. In addition, I love designing patterns that work with both solid and highly variegated yarns. As someone who loves to buy yarn and then afterwards say, "now what?" having patterns in my arsenal that work with nearly anything is incredibly valuable.
How do you come up for names for your pattern?
A lot of the time I ask my social networks, or I have my fiance name them. By the time I'm finished with an idea, I'm so close to it that it's hard to separate myself from the name I have in my head, even if I know it's not a good one. That's why I use my friend and family's collective intelligence.
What is inspiring you right now? Do you have pictures, patterns or motifs?
Oooh, boy! Well, if you want to see what I'm liking right now, check out my pinterest board, my knitting, crochet, brainstorming for submissions, or nature patterns. I use pinterest a lot, because I'm a very visual organizer. When I was a child, what I did on pinterest happened on cork boards in my room - until they fell off the wall because there was so much stuff on them. Pinterest is much tidier. The other thing that is inspiring me right now is some new yarn - I got my hands on some yarn with a fine filament of steel running through it, and it holds its shape when molded. Finally, I'm reading the book The New Tunisian Crochet - and I'm absolutely fascinated!
Why do you like to design socks?
I love the portability of socks. Also - my feet are one of the favorite parts of my body - why wouldn't I want to adorn my feet with beautiful things. I love that in socks you can have stitch patterns that in this day and age would be too outrageous for a whole outfit.
(We take a momentary break for this Totem action shot.)
What do you hope to design in the future?
I'm working on a series of shawls I'd like to publish next year. I also am developing a series of small crochet fruits and vegetables to be (hopefully) released monthly starting this summer. I'm also under contract for several designs I can't talk about too much right now - I have to keep them a secret. If you want to know what I'm working on and what is coming up in the future, take a look at my pattern page, or sign up for my newsletter!
What is your favorite item to knit?
Socks and Mittens for small items, or pullovers for large. I'm a selfish knitter - I don't often knit for people other than myself or companies that are paying me. When I do knit, I want something I will use a lot - and I have so many accessories at this point it's silly. Thus, socks and pullovers.
Is there a favorite time of day you prefer to knit?
I prefer to stitch whenever I can! Unfortunately, my days are structured so that I don't have a set time I can knit or crochet. I have trouble keeping my hands still, though, so there's hardly a day that I don't stitch at least a little.
Quick, your an animal! What are you? Why?
A cat! Because then I could get head scratches all day. And that would be AMAZING. Also, then I wouldn't be a clumsy.
Jennifer Crowley is a knit and crochet designer who creates quirky yet classic garments. Located outside of Washington, DC, she teaches classes up and down the East Coast. Recent and upcoming publications include Knitpicks, Three Irish Girls and Classic Elite Yarns. Visit her at www.tinkingturtle.com or her ravelry page.
Thanks, Jennifer! I appreciate you taking the time and look forward to seeing more of your designs in the future. Knit on!
I am thrilled to show you my first design for Interweave:
These cable numbers are officially called Bowden Cable Socks (Rav page). Doesn't that sound very regal and official? (All sock pictures are copyright Interweave.)
Three sizes of this pattern make life easy for most anyone at 7.5, 8.25 and 9 inch circumferences with instructions on customizing the length. Knit from the cuff down, the cables make the fabric of these socks super stretchy.
The beginning cables transition seamlessly from the ribbing. My favorite part of these socks is the heel:
The main cables just keep right on truckin' from the leg of the sock to make the heel flap.
Working cables without a cable needle can be so handy, and these are the perfect socks to try that technique. The main cables are the classic 4 stitch cable and all those other ones winding around at the cuff are 3 stitch cables. You will have no problems at all.
The only thing better than sock knitting with sock weight yarn is sock knitting with DK weight yarn because they work up so fast without being too thick. These socks fit the bill as well because at 6 stitches per inch, these will happily clicking off your needles.
The yarn for these socks is one I hadn't worked with before: Merino DK from String Theory, color Eureka, with a whopping 280 yards per skein in this luxurious superwash yarn. It is a high-quality multi-ply yarn, sproingy with incredible hand-dyed colors:
Here are a couple more patterns from the issue to whet your appetite:
Best of all? There are FIVE designs for only $7.99 in this issue of Sockupied available here!! A sock knitter's dream for sure. Sockupied is an e-mag of Interweave's and I was pleasantly surprised how much info is in this delightful e-mag. I hope you will be pleasantly surprised as well if you haven't purchased it before, available in PC, Mac and I-pad.