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Ladylike Knits

Jul 8, 2011

Hello, everyone! My name is Amanda, and this is my first blog post as the new Yarn Intern here at Interweave. And, let me tell you, I am just pleased as punch to be here. As a recent graduate, interning at Interweave is heavenly. It's true; here at Interweave, we eat, sleep, and breathe fiber. Even better, I get to work in a place where I can not only indulge my creative passion, but spend my day with inspired, enthusiastic, and helpful people. Delightful!

Here on the inside, no one questions the value of spending days building a garment from needles and yarn. But has anyone ever asked you, "why?" When you hear the question enough times, you start to look for an answer beyond the obvious "because I enjoy it!" I'm proud of my craft, no doubt. But why I knit goes deeper. It relaxes me, sure. But more than anything, I love making handknits with lacy, feminine, details. I can't get enough of timeless patterns, like openwork shawls that look as fresh now as they did in the 1800s. I love brilliantly colored yarns in hues like wasabi and watermelon. I can't resist mohair, even if those heavenly soft fuzzies always have a way of getting into my contacts (Does anyone else have this problem?) And I love the conversations one has when knitting a pink sock by the pool in July!

Any time and always, I love to knit with ladylike details. Glory be that this summer's issue of Interweave Knits is packed with lace. My latest project is a pair of the Hourglass Lace Socks from this issue. I adore the hypnotic hourglass pattern, and can't wait to see it peeking out from a pair of peep toe heels with a sweet summer dress.

But, here's the kicker: I've never made a sock. Luckily, there is no better place to tackle something new than the halls of Interweave. Ask a question, and three people are ready with an answer. I've cast on, finished up the twisted-rib cuff, and am working through the lace chart. I also took a tip from the blogosphere and tried crossing the first two stitches. After dividing your stitches, and with the needle holding the first cast-on stitch in your left hand, slip the first cast-on stitch onto the right needle. Slip the first stitch from the needle with the working yarn onto the left needle. Problem solved! A flawless join.

Now that I've tackled this first pair of socks, I realize there's a whole universe of these pint-sized delicacies waiting to hop on my needles. Thinking about what really revs my engine helped me choose a new, challenging, project that I'm loving!

So what gets YOU going on a new project? Are you a sucker for luxury fiber, even if you're knitting a doggie sweater? Are you tempted to add waist shaping to the slubbiest sweater? Seduced by colorwork?

Or maybe, you burn with the overwhelming desire to embellish everything you knit with ruffles, a bow, or a twist of pink mohair. Nope, that one's just me?

This summer, I encourage you to play a little bit with what first drew you to the craft. Dig deeper into what makes your knitting yours. There's a project in this issue for everyone, from breezy cardigans to swingy skirts. I hope to see you knitting out there. I'll be the girl in the neon socks.

Happy Crafting,


More inspiration to feed my blossoming sock yarn obsession. Always good to start with the classics!

Another favorite from the Interweave Knits Summer issue: the Dockside Cardigan.

I love the relaxed construction, and can see myself throwing this over everything I own. I'd love the Dockside cardi in black, or maybe a barely-there ballerina pink. It's the perfect coverup for a breezy summer night, but cozy enough to wear through the fall.

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arwilliams wrote
on Jul 22, 2011 9:07 AM

thank you ladies!

Barbara-- cross the first and last stitches only at the beginning of the first round. Unfortunately, I can't recall where I learned this tip to send you a photo. you could try the magic loop method for knitting in the round. Here's a tutorial: good luck!

bmcclel54 wrote
on Jul 17, 2011 12:47 AM

Greetings Amanda!  I love your first blog and wish you great success.  Can you direct me to a place on the Interweave site where I could find a visual of your description of the flawless join?  And do you do this with every change from needle to needle, or just on the first join after you cast on?  I am trying to find a way to avoid that telltale line when switching from needle to needle that goes up the side of the sock.

Thanks for your help in advance and the best of luck in your internship!


TerriLynnC wrote
on Jul 16, 2011 3:32 PM

Welcome, Amanda!  I enjoyed reading your post very much--it sounds like we have similar tastes.

I really like the Dockside Cardigan--even that color would work for me.  I have not been knitting for awhile (long story), but this is so pretty, it makes me want to get back into the swing of things.

Best wishes on your internship!

MaddyP wrote
on Jul 16, 2011 12:43 PM


I love your blog and though not usually a blog follower, I think I shall add yours to my meager list.  Your enthusiam is terrific!

I have been crocheting and knitting since I was a small child. My grandmother did many hand crafts and started me off with a medium crochet hook, a ball of stash yarn, and taughrt me how to make a chain stitich. I got VERY long!! And from there I was off and runing. Later learned how knit but found that a bit more challenging so I put down for quite a while.  

My grandmother went to be with the Lord on New Year's Eve of 1999.  A few years ago, my mom came across a huge box filled with my grandmom's knitting and crochet supplies along with many vintage knit patterns, all of which I now cherish and USE!!  I got back into knitting and learned how to do socks.  What fun! I recently opened a shop on Etsy and I'd love for you to take a look and let me knnow what you think -- -- that is, if you have the time.  I can imagine that an intern's life can be very full.  

I look forward to your next blog.

Knit on!

Maddy Poe

Croney wrote
on Jul 16, 2011 7:27 AM

I am happy to know there is a lover of embellishment on staff. The above cardigan is lovely too. I gave up my Knits mag when it seemed everything was aimed at one audience and it was not me. I like well crafted, exquisite and embellished. I do not like tight and tiny.I will revisit. Thank you.

arwilliams wrote
on Jul 12, 2011 9:18 AM

How exciting! Good luck, mandyangela.

mandyangela wrote
on Jul 8, 2011 2:31 PM

I've knitted most types of garments, but never socks!  You have inspired me to give it a go - I'm going to use one of the patterns from Knits Winter 2010.