NEW Custom Socks, book by Kate Atherley was our HOT TOPIC on today’s Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird. Did I just hear you say ‘Sock it to me!’? OK, let’s go!
This was Kate’s first visit to the Yarn Thing podcast, which seems incredible until you think about how busy she’s been. She doesn’t remember a time that she did not know how to knit. Grandmother was a ‘hard-core’ crafter, who included Kate in the process of the sweaters made for her, as the fascination of that process gave her a life-long love. As an adult after moving to Toronto, she resided in the neighborhood of Romney Wools, which she describes as ‘sucking her back into knitting’. She says as an adult, for the longest time she she was stuck in one cast-on and one bind-off, but loves that the internet and podcast have inspired her to increase her skill level. She says there is a story about her grandmother knitting socks for everyone in the neighborhood, and for the war effort, which can’t be confirmed as grandmother is gone. She thinks she would be proud of Kate’s work.
As an adult she worked in computer software industry, knitting socks in her off-time. Kate says she knit a few socks before she realized that they weren’t fitting her well, and that discovery inspired her whole career. A co-worker shared that a friend of hers knits and is opening a yarn store to which Kate altered the course of her life by saying ‘I want to teach’. She spoke of her understanding her own misunderstandings have helped her teaching.
Kate transitioned fairly easily from the highly technical software industry to the highly technical editing of patterns with Knitty.com. When she began writing her own patterns, she included instructional information, that she hopes increases the knowledge of the knitter, as you would learn when taking a class.
The CURRENT excitement is her new book through Interweave Custom Socks: Knit to Fit Your Feet which is available in a lovely paperback edition and a e-book version. Following her desire to help us increase our skills she included tips and information: for instance for plain socks, often called Vanilla Socks, she’s added information for 9 gauges and 12 sizes, in both Toe-Up and Top-down. That is probably the most amazing part of this book!
Marly expressed her love for an early book that Kate authored, Pattern Writing for Knit Designers (which is currently out of print, being re-vamped and published again in early 2016, so watch for it at her website and at Interweave). Kate feels that a lot of pattern writing and tech editing requires the ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s been very helpful for knitters to understand patterns as well.
At this point, Technical Difficulties tried to defeat us, but Marly was able to bring me, Tammy, on the line while she reconnected. I asked her if she has favorite yarns, specifically what she looks for in a yarn. She mentioned wool blends (75% wool/25% nylon) sock yarns, whether indie-dyed or factory made. She loves a blend with cashmere because she lives in a colder place and they make for softer, longer wear. If she does make socks with a all natural blend, she creates socks with a tighter stitch. Kate really emphasized that she has a habit of hand-washing a lot of her delicates, the nylon content will help protect if something is accidentally washed with the rest of her laundry. And air-drying always.
Blocking and fiber care is a big topic in one of her Craftsy Class, which Marly really wanted to have Kate share as she has taken Kate’s Craftsy Classes. Kate says the Sheep do love to get wet, that’s not the problem with washing your knitwear, it’s the agitation that the sheep don’t care for. Here are Marly’s affiliate links to Kate’s Classes in Craftsy too (Let’s our Awesome Sponsor know where you heard about them:) Here is Blocking Handknits and Perfect Knits Every Time: Understanding Knitting Patterns.
If you missed getting to hear this live, it is available as an archived episode: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2015/09/24/new-custom-socks-book-by-kate-atherley or in iTunes