Monday 26 March 2018

Let's Talk About Socks: Rachel Coopey and Verity Castledine

The mini beast from the east is set to hit us over the Easter break with cold weather and possible snow - certainly a good reason to wear warm, woolly socks.

Sock aficionado Rachel Coopey has added new neon colours to her Socks Yeah! 4ply yarn range, shades so bright that rescuers will surely find you if you end up stuck in a snowdrift with just your toes sticking out.

Image courtesy of Rachel Coopey

The shades take me straight back to middle school in the 1980s when there was a brief fluorescent sock trend. The trick was to wear odd socks, say one lime green and one florescent yellow, until the teachers got wise and banned them. Seeing Coopey's shades makes me feel nostalgic and happy, longing as I am for some colour amidst the UK's seemingly everlasting cold spell.

Image courtesy of Rachel Coopey

Dig out or buy a copy of Coopey's Socks Yeah! Volume 1 or Volume 2 pattern collections to find something to knit with your neon (I have all the yarn to knit Otis but still haven't got round to it yet because mermaid blankets for one of my goddaughters and her sister are currently taking up all my knitting time).

If it's something new you're after then sign up for Coopey's Neon & Neutrals Socks Club. For £100 plus P&P subscribers will receive five parcels through the post from May to December, each containing a pattern plus a neon yarn paired with one or two of Coopey's existing Socks Yeah! muted shades. She's also hinted that there may also be a few surprises.

Whilst I haven't seen the new neon shades in person I have knitted with Socks Yeah! yarn before and found it to be soft and hardy with excellent stitch definition.

The Sock Drawer

Verity Castledine's pseudonym is Truly Hooked, the company she founded to sell her hand dyed yarns in an array of colours. She's now branched out to writing knitting patterns and The Sock Drawer is her collection of ten sock patterns, which won the 'Favourite knitting book' category at the British Knitting and Crochet Awards 2017.

Image courtesy of Truly Hooked

Like Coopey's Socks Yeah! books The Sock Drawer is a classic both for newcomers to sock knitting and those who want to take their skills further. Ravelry shows all the patterns for you to see what you are getting before you buy. Castledine's designs are dainty and elegant, all knitted from the top down.

Suvena image courtesy of Truly Hooked

My personal favourite is 'Suvena', a travelling cable design inspired by fish tail hair braid.  The Sock Drawer is available to buy at Etsy and costs £15 plus £1.50 P&P.

Which is your favourite sock pattern to knit? Let us know below or on A Woolly Yarn's Facebook page.

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