Unwind Brighton: Coopknits

One of the things I miss working on with so little knitting time and bandwidth is patterned socks and intricately detailed accessories. Each time Rachel Coopey of Coopknits releases a pattern I spend a not insignificant amount of time ogling the intricate details, pouring over her careful yarn choices and generally thinking about what a clever sausage she is. The thing is, Rachel's patterns are simple to follow, clearly laid out and really, I just need to cast the heck on. I'm long overdue some Coopknits love. 

'Eppleby' by Coopnits (c) Coop Knits

'Eppleby' by Coopnits (c) Coop Knits

Rachel is one of the teachers AND vendors at Unwind this year and I suggest you go and check her out because she's not only a clever sausage designer but a generally fab person too. So today, it's Rachel's turn as the featured Unwind personality and she's very kindly given permission for me to share an excerpt from one of her books! 

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I was taught to knit by my grandmother and mother when I was little and I 
still have the extremely long garter stitch scarf to prove it! 
When I rediscovered knitting in 2007, I wanted to learn everything. I roped 
in my mother, and anyone else I could find, to teach me all the techniques 
they knew. 


I was drawn to sock knitting when I bought 3 skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn 
– they were so beautiful I thought I’d give knitting a pair of socks a try. When 
I turned the heel on that first sock, I felt like I’d performed a magic trick! I 
pulled it out of my knitting bag and showed it to everyone I met, shouting 
‘Look! Look what I made! It’s a SOCK!’ (I got varying degrees of enthusiasm 
in return, but I think it’s fair to say no-one was quite as excited as me). 
I haven’t stopped knitting socks since then and I designed my first pair in 
2010, I love the portability of socks, the intricacy and the usefulness of the 
finished object – there really is nothing like hand-knitted socks for warming 
your heart and your feet.

 

(Book excerpt from Coopknits 'Socks: Ten Designs to warm your feet and your heart'). 

Rachel's Mystery Sock KAL for Unwind (click through via image for more info)

Rachel's Mystery Sock KAL for Unwind (click through via image for more info)

Rachel's love for socks results in beautiful patterns and you can win one! Leave a comment below telling me your favourite single sock pattern, along with your Ravelry ID by midday 12th June 2014 and you can win it! Good Luck!

'Brighton' by Coopknits, (c) Coopknits

'Brighton' by Coopknits, (c) Coopknits

Winter Sweater and May Day Sun

As always, I have spectacular timing. Just as we're gearing up for barbecues and Pimms, I finish and block my chunky weight winter sweater!

Hickory by Cecily Glowik Macdonald

Hickory by Cecily Glowik Macdonald

The pattern is Hickory by one of my favourite sweater designers, Cecily Glowik Macdonald The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Chunky which is now discontinued and I have to say while it's hardwearing, I'm not over the moon about the self imploding/ knotty balls they were wound into- nightmare! I harvested this chunky weight from my first ever sweater. The pattern was called Nati and you basically knit a giant cross with a hole in the middle to put your neck through and stitched up the sides. I thought this was ideal till I actually wore it and realised that it was too short in length and the sleeves were totally impractical.  

Nati by Lucy Hulett

Nati by Lucy Hulett

I realised this only got worn round the house on snow days. Not exactly getting an outing was it? So I pondered the best solution. It either had to be a chunky weight jacket with long sleeves I wore as a coat or a sleeveless number for cold days over tees and under coats. With not enough yardage for the first, I selected Hickory and got to swatching. 

sweater 2.jpg

The biggest challenge for me with this sweater was actually the reverse stockinette the original pattern calls for. That was the first modification I made as my tension when I purl and ability to tolerate that much purl just made that a no go. I got gauge and dropped a boundary line of purls along the lace sections to make them pop a little more. I tried it on as I went and opted for a snugger fit as I wanted this under coats rather than a little boxier as shown in the pattern pages. 

I can see me getting much more use out of this now. I even had some leftovers to make a chunky weight hat but I might be a little fed up with knitting brown and the weather is getting warmer which mean I'm contemplating shawls again. I do think I could get into chunky sweater knits though, particularly with a simple lace to break it up, add interest but still be nice and speedy!

You can see more details here on my Ravelry page. 

 

What have you finished lately?