Summer of Socks Eye Candy

Wow! It sounds like you had a brilliant time at both Unwind and Fibre East. What treats!

I'm knitting along on my Betula socks, but I have to admit that they aren't growing that fast. There's just been so much going on for the last few weeks that knitting time has been a scarce commodity. Anyway, I thought I would while away a bit of quiet time seeing what everyone else has been up to in the Summer of Socks thread. What a feast of inspiring patterns! Have you been looking at them?

I love how seeing a pattern in different yarns can show you a whole new side to a design. Take these two pairs of Pavilion socks, for example...

CelticCastOn's Pavilion Socks knitted in Wandering Cat Yarns Alley Cat BFL.

These Pavilion Socks knitted by CelticCastOn look cool, calm and inviting.

HotCheese's Pavilions are in my favourite go-to shade of green and give the design a more zingy feel.

And then HotCheese has used this amazing shade of green for her Pavilion socks, which makes them look completely different!

I can almost feel myself falling down a rabbit hole of yarn enablement as a browse the projects! Rachel, we'd best neither of us look at that Plucky Knitter Plucky Feet in Lounge Lizard that HotCheese has used! Stunning!

There are some great finished socks from your books as well. Having modelled Saxifrage in Coop Knits Socks, I loved seeing this beautiful pair by WriterGirl3.

Gloriously raspberry Saxifrage socks from WriterGirl3.

And from A Knitted Sock Society, I'm inspired by Nina90's Jesse socks...

Jesse from A Knitted Sock Society, knitted by Nina90 using Rowan Fine Art Sock and Colinette Jitterbug.

I've never knitted any colourwork socks, and these are stunning. They've persuaded me to give it a go! I don't know why, but I've always been a bit scared of colourwork socks. Something to do with getting the right tension I think. Do you have any top tips?

These Fred and George socks knitted by mma are brilliant too… Too many choices!!

Mma knitted these Fred and George socks using String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn Bluestocking. They look ace!

I'm always on the lookout for great patterns for variegated yarns. I tend to play it safe and just knit plain socks if my yarn is a bit loud, but these Solar Flair socks knitted by Roobeedoo look fantastic in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock. The textured stitch pattern works brilliantly with the zingy yarn. 

Roobeedoo's Solar Flair Socks.

Last year's Knitting Goddess sock club patterns had a Kevin Bacon theme, and JillRLambert finished off her Watzisname socks a few weeks ago, thus enabling her to enter them for Summer of Socks. I absolutely love your twisted stitch patterns - you have such a great eye for them!

JillRLambert's Watzisname socks knitted with Knitted Goddess 4ply Merino Nylon Sock yarn

And last, but by no means least, John Huston, the Tarnished Hero has leapt up my queue thanks to this lovely pair knitted by NicoleS

I've had my eye on these for ages. They'd be a great pair to make for Jim for Christmas, and I have the perfect yarn in my stash… I'd better get knitting! I hope you're having a good summer, filled with lots of lovely socks.

Jen x

P.S. All photos are copyright of the knitters featured and are used with their kind permission. Thank you!

Days Out and Shiny New Things

If you are following my old blogger blog now is the time to change over to this one, I have discovered Bloglovin which seems to be a handy way to keep track of blogs I'm interested in and the link above is to follow this blog with that service. 

It's been a busy few weeks with Unwind Brighton starting things off with a bang. It was an amazing weekend full of fibre, friends and FUN. When I arrived on Friday it was raining but that soon cleared up and we had a glorious sunny weekend at the seaside. I have some amazing food, the highlight of this was the pudding below (Caitlin Meringue from Terra Terra). Because I was teaching on Sunday, I brought my husband along to man the stand while I was away, he did a fine job (with a bit of help from some lovely friends) and he already talking about getting a t-shirt printed for next time!

A couple of weeks after that was Fibre East, I love this show for it's relaxed and friendly vibe, the sheep shearing display is always a favourite and the weather for the last few years has been nothing short of tropical! On my way there on Friday I stopped at Toft to congratulate Kerry on the publication of Edwards Menagerie (yet again I find myself wishing I could crochet!). At the end of the first day of the show I found this guava flavoured cider in a pub that is nothing short of delicious, so refreshing on a hot day! I came home from Fibre East with an exciting bag of sock yarn for Sock Book 2 which is well underway and this lovely knit stitch print tea towel from the beautiful Tilly Flop.

Phew! It's been so nice to see so many people and it's not quite over yet - I'll be at The Pop Up Wool Show on the 16th August, if you're coming, see you there!

Consoling myself...

La la, la la, laaaaa!

I have my fingers in my ears, as there's so much chatter about how brilliant Unwind was, and I'm still sulking that I couldn't go. Boo! I'm grudgingly glad to see from Twitter that you had a great time though.

Instead I've been consoling myself by planning lots more knitting projects to take away on holiday next month. I finished off my Italia World Cup socks - thank you so much for the lovely yarn! My brother-in-law will be the lucky recipient. And I'm now just over halfway down the leg of my first Betula sock.

Betula Socks for the Summer of Socks 2014

I'm hoping that I can get these finished before the end of August, as a Summer of Socks pair (not that I'd enter for a prize, but it's nice to take part!). I'm definitely not giving these away. They are going to be mine, all mine! One of my friends has knitted this pattern a few times now, and every time it's on her needles, I remember how much I want to knit a pair. Finally I'm catching up with my never-ending queue!

I'm sure that one pair of socks isn't enough knitting for a week in Weymouth, so I've been perusing your other new patterns… This Summer of Socks thing has filled my head with crazy ideas about how many pairs I could complete over the next 6 weeks. I'm certainly deluding myself, but isn't that part of the fun of knitting? The anticipation of the endless possibilities contained within your stash? P.S. Have you seen that there are cool prizes up for grabs? Sock yarn and patterns! Just post your finished photo in the Summer of Socks 2014 Finished thread.

Your latest eBook, Pretty Feet Four has me in a tizzy of what to cast on first… All 3 designs are just so tempting!

Anis and Danae both use a skein of Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply, and Ianthe uses a skein of Knitting Goddess 4ply Merino Nylon Sock, and I'm pretty sure I have some of each squirrelled away around here somewhere… Which makes it even harder to decide where to start! If you click on the image above, you should be able to see all three designs (I'm still working out how this Gallery thing works…).

If anyone else fancies joining me in a mad dash to see if I can get two (or maybe even three???) pairs of socks knitted in the next 6 weeks, do leave me a comment! I'm averaging 2-3 weeks for plain socks, but 4-6 weeks for patterned designs at the moment, so it's a bit of a push, but I challenge worth striving for, I'd say! If you want to buy Pretty Feet Four (and why wouldn't you?), you can download it from Ravelry for £7.00 (Ravelry will give you a rough conversion to your local currency if you've given your location in your profile). The three earlier Pretty Feet collections are also well worth a look - the Betula socks I have on my needles at the moment are from Pretty Feet One.

While I was over on your design page on Ravelry I noticed that you have a couple of designs in the next Twist Collective… Eeep! How exciting! I can't wait to see what they will be like. Argh, for a bit more quiet knitting time. :)

On which note, I'm off to knit on Betula for a bit.

Go on then, do tell me a bit about Unwind.. But try not to make me too jealous!

Mwah! Jen x

Woolfest

Hello!

I will forgive you for not knowing about the Summer of Socks but now you know and I'm sure you have a sock-in-progress or 2 you could finish off before August, the great thing about knitting socks is they are awesomely portable, you can stuff them in your bag and set of to the park or the beach... (which reminds me, the beach is where I will be this weekend for Unwind Brighton, I know you can't come (BOO) but anyone else coming should come and say hello!)

The last few and next few weeks are somewhat busy(!), a week or so ago I got back from my first trip to Woolfest in Cockermouth and WOW is that a beautiful place! Even the last 50 or so miles on the motorway were pretty and it's not often you can say that!

It was a great show, lots of lovely people stopped to have a chat, the most dogs (well behaved, handsome and on leads) I've ever seen at a show and of course SHEEP (some of the sheep made noises that sounded very human indeed, reminiscent of the classic 'goats that shout like people' of youtube fame). 

I picked up a few things, some rather exciting sock blanks which I will show you at a late date, some lovely Eden Cottage yarn and this magnificent Fenella from Susan Crawford for a design idea, Susan took a photo of these colours together a few weeks ago and I haven't stopped thinking about them ever since.

Right, I've got workshop notes to print and suitcases to pack, speak soon! x x 

Summer of Socks 2014

Hi Rachel!

How on EARTH did I not know about the Coop Knit Summer of Socks?? I've knitted 2 pairs of your patterned socks this year, as well as a plain pair of Blue Tit socks that you totally enabled, and yet I had totally missed this!

For those of you who were in the dark too, here's the low-down:

Summer of Socks

All you need to do is finish a pair of socks to one of Rachel's designs (you can see them all here: Rachel Coopey's sock patterns) between now and 31st August 2014. It can be a pair that are already on your needles. They just need to be finished between now and then.

There will be prizes and new patterns (new patterns - eep! Not more temptation!). And the Summer of Socks kicked off with the Pavilion Mystery Sock KAL. All 3 clues of the MKAL have now been released, but there's still plenty of summer to catch up.

As if that wasn't enough fun...

If you are going anywhere lovely during the Summer of Socks, and take a funny/beautiful/picturesque/extreme photo of your Coop Knits WIP, apparently there will be prizes for the best and a draw for everyone who enters. I wish I was going somewhere more exciting than Weymouth now… Maybe I can get the kids to work on an extreme sock knitting photo for me?

I hope now that I'm going to be over here talking to you on your blog, you will keep me up to date with all these exciting events. I'm still shaking my head about how I missed this. As soon as my Italia socks (#WorldCupSocks) are done then I'm going to nail those Conina's.

Catch you later tater!

Jen x