lakchi, Anonymous (Rav ID JodeJ) & Robin
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Let me try and explain to you why I'm not much of a sock knitter...
1) I hate knitting things that come in twos! Sleeves, mitts, socks, etc. This doesn't mean that I don't knit these things at some point (especially sleeves), but it does mean that I usually slow W-A-Y down when I get to the part where I need to knit the other matching half. I have sweaters in my WIP drawer that only need a few inches knit on the last sleeve and done! Why, am I like this?! Who knows! It's my knitting evil and the one thing I really hate about myself.
2) Because of the aforementioned dislike of knitting things in twos, I usually skip right over a sock pattern because I know myself well enough to know that only one of those puppies would be getting knit up. I guess, I could get on board with the whole mismatched socks thing.
3) And lastly, did I mention that I hate knitting two of something?!
With that being said, lots of my knitting friends and Tweeps have suggested to me that I just HAVE to try knitting two at a time on Magicloop. I always thought, yeah, yeah... I'll try this out eventually. What in the world have I been waiting for???
Our lovely sponsor and guest this week, Keya of Zibeline Knits, sent me one of her new Hiker Chick Sock Kits a few weeks ago to try out myself and then share with you here on the blog. The kit comes with a skein of beautiful hand dyed sock yarn in a choice of three colors: Copper Kettle, Little Sister, and Water Sprite. It also includes a 40" US3 circular needle and the complete pattern written out for two at a time on Magicloop instructions.
Two at a time on Magicloop is about the greatest technique to have ever lived. It's the solution to my knitting things in twos problem! I can use this for bottom up sleeves as well! Mitts are going to be a breeze! I'm pretty sure this is going to bring me overwhelming inner peace and solve all of my problems... OK maybe not all of my problems, but this is really pretty cool. I see a lot of sock knitting in my future. Thanks, Keya! Here's a look at the kit I received:
Keya also took the time to answer an interview for us. Take a look:
1. Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I am a yarn dyer and knitwear designer. I began my business in June, 2010 on Etsy, at first offering only hand-painted sock yarns and a few electronic knitting patterns. The more opportunity I gave myself to explore dyeing different fiber combinations and the more I learned about the dying process, the more my company and my own knitting evolved. It seems the next logical step was to become involved in the actual creation of yarn and I became interested in spinning, as well. These days, I offer a wide variety of hand-painted and hand-dyed yarns and fibers, as well as my own handspun yarns to an ever-growing domestic and international market of knitters, crocheters, and spinners. I also teach knitting classes in my community because the world can never have too many people, happily knitting along.
2. Can you talk a little bit about what inspires you? And, what helped you come with the idea for this sock kit you are sharing with us?
I am inspired by a combination of things: history (I love to explore knitting from time periods before my own and learning those techniques), functionality (if one is going to devote the time to make it, one should love to wear it!), and color. I love to peruse travel magazines and find my inspiration for color in photos of markets or landscapes or crowded harbors. For the Hiker Chick colorways, I wanted colorways that brought together colors that one might breathtakingly encounter while out wandering through our vast world: copper pots and copper tea kettles piled high in a bazaar in India; a rushing Oregon stream flowing between a carpet of brilliant green moss; a seemingly endless field of pink and purple poppies in Dorset.
3. Do you have a favorite colorway out of the three sock kits? What is currently your favorite colors to dye?
I knit the copper kettle for myself, but I truly love the way the colors come together in each skein. Blues are my personal preference, especially bright blues.
4. For budding new yarnies out there, what's the one piece of advice you have?
I started out on the cheap with Kool-aid and a few skeins undyed super wash merino in my kitchen. I researched different techniques, and experimented, experimented, experimented. You have to find your niche with dyeing. Everyone does it differently and everyone prefers to use different dye sources. It takes some trial and error to find what works for you. And it helps if you dye with an open mind. Nothing goes awry more quickly than the singular expectation of the outcome of a hand-painted skein of yarn.
5. What will be next for you? Do you have yarns, colorways or kits in the works that you can share with us?
There are always plans in the works. I recently retired from teaching high school English to focus more attention on my family and my knitting/dyeing addiction, so in the knitwear department there are currently four knitwear patterns in the works (cool wavy socks, a lacey market bag, a seamless crop sweater for little girls, and a chunky women's crop sweater). I am also in the midst of learning to design triangular lace shawls, so there may be a new pattern evolving there, too. As for colorways ... A few new colorways for my Rocket and Mission Sock lines will debut in the fall and a host of new labels, yarn types/weights, and colorways are going into my Etsy shop in the next week or so, just in time to start some cool weather knitting. I'm most excited about the fact that I have been able to move in an organic direction so that I am now able to offer an increasing number of hand-painted and hand-dyed organic fiber options.
6. I always like to ask, why do you knit?
This was the last question that I answered because I wasn't quite sure what to say. While I was a teacher, I knit to ease the stress of having to trudge through mountains of badly written essays and the daily stress of working with insolent teenagers. I knit because it's been on the fast track to becoming a lost art. I knit because it feeds a creative need, I think, too. But I think I have gravitated to knitting again and again throughout my life mostly as a way of finding some inner tranquility. Someone poetically described my core reason for knitting this way: "In the rhythm of the needles, there is music for the soul." Beyond that, well, I'm just plain addicted to it.
7. When did you learn to knit and who taught you?
I think that I first learned to knit around the age of 9, which means that I've been knitting on and off for over 30 years, from my grandmother who always made mittens for my sister and me when we were little girls. I was enthralled by the way my grandmother could wrap some odd looking, pointy metal sticks with some yarn and end up with mittens. My mother is also a knitter who has never been, as I remember, without a basket of yarn near her chair in the living room.
8. If you were to knit and live anywhere in the world, where would you knit and live?
I can knit anywhere--just ask my often embarrassed children. I'm pretty content with knitting in northeast Georgia, though the current combination of 60+ percent humidity and 90+ degree temperatures is driving us all a little batty. If I were to pick an IDEAL place to knit, I think I would be sitting in an open-air studio facing the sea in Bali. I watched "Eat, Pray, Love" and my knitting self said "She'd find that spiritual peace a whole lot easier if she had some knitting in her hands!"
9. What's been your worst knitting or in your case it could be a yarn dyeing disaster?
Hmmmm. Dyeing disasters ... There have been none. Since each skein takes up dye a little differently, one has to be willing to just go with it. One of the most unusual color-combo skeins I ever dyed--I was sure that no one would want Valencia orange, neon green, dark grey, and moss green-- was snapped up within a few hours of my posting it in my shop. I've learned that I can't second-guess my customers and that no skein is ever a mistake, just a new direction. Knit-wise, I'm just going to say that I learned the hard way that the sun is the sworn enemy of the knitter. I own a series of intricately cabled cardigan sweater pieces--an entire sweater save one sleeve-- that I stupidly left folded in a knitting basket near a full-sun window while I worked on another project. The back panel is consequently two distinctly different shades of blue in a vertically perfect half-and-half way.
10. And last but not least, if you were enjoying a favorite drink while reading my blog, what would it be?
You know, I do most of my blog reading in the mornings these days, so my answer has to be coffee.
Zibeline Knits is generously offering a Hiker Chick Sock Kit in winner's choice of color for one lucky follower to win.
Photo courtesy of Keya.
Hopefully, before I leave on my family vacation and the Knitcation, I'll have a new pair of socks to share!
I would like you to do the following if you would like to be entered into this week's giveaway:
1. Read over the rules if you have not done so already.
2. Leave a comment on this blog post by the end of Sunday, 8/12/12. I'm curious to know how you all knit your socks? Do you use DPN's or Magicloop? Or, do you knit socks at all?
I'll randomly pick the winners in 2 weeks and post the results along with the new giveaway, so be sure to check back. Good luck everyone.