UPDATE 8/4: Congratulations to reader Lorinda! Check your email for further instructions!
It's always fun to cheer on fellow knitters when they release a new book! It's especially fun when the author is someone you've worked with and consider a friend. Anne Merrow and I have worked together in the past on the Knitting Daily TV set and she's just released a new book, Sockupied.
Now available for the first time in book form, Sockupied brings you a collection of 20 sock patterns specially chosen from its first 10 issues of the magazine! This unique book features 6 toe-up patterns as well as standard top-down construction, and projects that include basic socks for beginners. Inside you'll find patterns featuring cables, lace, colorwork, and textured patterns. Enjoy projects from your favorite sock designers Cookie A, Star Athena, Ann Budd, Cat Bordhi, Deborah Newton, and others!
Anne was kind enough to sit down with me for an interview about this wonderful sock book she edited...
Tanis Gray (TG): Some knitters think of projects as socks and everything else. Why do you think sock knitting is so beloved?
Anne Merrow (AM): What's not to love? :) For me, it was the yarn. I love sock yarn, and I love buying 1 skein and knowing that's plenty for a project. But they're also accessible for any skill level. You could put together a whole knitting curriculum just based on socks.
TG: How many socks do you think you've knit in your lifetime and any favorite patterns stand out?
AM: Not enough, based on my yarn stash! Really, just a few dozen. Our readers put me to shame. One favorite is Deb Barnhill's Speed Bump Socks, which were simple but addictive.
TG: Can you tell us about your process of deciding which socks would make the cut for the book?
AM: It was difficult! We looked for a good variety of easy and challenging, toe-up and top-down, and major techniques (cables, lace, colorwork). Some we couldn't use because they were simply too long, which isn't a concern in digital publishing.
TG: What advice do you have for someone looking to knit their first pair of socks?
AM: We've had a couple of great posts with knitting advice on the blog, but here's my basic info: http://www.knittingdaily.com/blogs/inside_e-knitting_magazines/archive/2013/10/29/socks-for-beginners.aspx
TG: Are you a fan of knitting 2 socks at once or do you knit them one at a time?
AM: I really only knit 2 at a time. I tend to put things down for a long time and then forget what I was doing, at least if they're two at a time they match!
TG: How long have you been knitting socks?
AM: Since about 2001-2002. I've told this story before, but… My Dad asked for a pair of socks for Christmas, and I learned to knit socks to make them. He promptly felted them. It took a few years before I learned about superwash.
TG: There are so many types of sock heels! Can you talk a little about this?
AM: Sock heels are pretty ingenious. One thing I say at every photo shoot is, "Feet are weird!" They turn a corner and have this bulbous thing at one end. So whether it's with short rows or picking up stitches along an edge or both, there has to be some way of making this flat fabric curve in several ways at once. I think the fact that there are so many ways means that there isn't a single perfect way, and knitters invent their own. It's also something you really need to experiment with to see what fits you best.
TG: Could someone looking to tackle their first pair of socks find something their speed your book?
AM: Absolutely. Ann's Go-To Socks (the first in the book) is both really basic and really addictive. Ann Budd is a sock knitter beyond compare, yet when she starts a pair of socks for herself, this is the recipe she builds on. Speed Bump Socks are a close second—they add a really easy to memorize stitch pattern to the basic sock structure.
TG: What's your favorite pattern in the book?
AM: Favorite I've knitted so far? Speed Bump Socks by Deb Barnhill. On the needles now? Muscadine Socks by Star Athena.
Socks I'm most eager to make when I can really focus on my knitting? Tied: Cataphyll by Hunter Hammersen and Our Paths Cross by Lorilee Beltman.
I'll be giving away a copy of this book to one lucky blog reader. Answer the trivia question below in the comments section (US residents only, please) to be entered for a chance to win. A winner will be chosen at random on Monday:
Where was the oldest pair of socks found?
Sockupied is available here. Until then, happy sock knitting!