Project Super Socks
It’s Tuesday 5 December and that means it’s Project Super Socks day! Woohoo!
Up until now, all of the books that I’ve written – Super Socks, More Super Socks and the pattern books designed for and with West Yorkshire Spinners – have all been about knitting socks. From the very first steps of creating your own hand knits, to building techniques, to patterns in a variety of stitches, the end result is to have a pair of socks in your hands that will go onto your feet or some else’s feet and I have loved writing those sorts of books and don’t intend to stop … but Project Super Socks is a little bit different.
Project Super Socks is a book created for sock knitters themselves. It’s our Master Plan, our blueprints for the socks that we knit, and I believe that it’s going to be just as useful as all the pattern books as it will contain all the notes that a sock knitter needs, but more specifically, the notes that any one of us particularly needs.
So what is it all about then, this new Project Super Socks book?
Well, it’s a notebook. It’s A5-sized (approx 5 x 8 ins; 14.8 x 21 cm) so that it’s a good size for a project bag, and it’s designed to be written in. It’s designed to be carried about, to be consulted, and it’s designed to be part of our knitting legacy.
Is that a bit dramatic – our knitting legacy? No, I don’t think so. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what I have inherited from past family members; sets of knitting needles, patterns, cook books and other books … and what I like is seeing notes tucked in with the needles, or an extra recipe written on a scrap of paper and kept inside the cover, or comments made in the margins of the books where the person has tried and tested something. It connects me to the person who used whatever it was before, and I like that.
Project Super Socks is a book to be used. Whether you knit for yourself or for other people, cuff down, toe up, incorporating patterns or not, this is a book for you to keep all of your knitting notes in so that you don’t have to scrabble around looking for bits of paper, or trying to decipher what’s been written on sticky notes that have got stuck to something else (oh yes, I’ve done all of that! 🙂 ). Even if you’ve got knitting notebooks, you might have noted down some things for some socks but not others and you can guarantee that what you’ve not written down is what you need (oh yes, done that too!) There is space to write notes for 50 pairs of socks, and you can list them on a contents page too, so that it’s easy to go back to find them again later – perfect if you knit for someone else either occasionally or regularly and you need to check their measurements, or if you’ve knitted a special pair and wanted to look up some details at a later date.
You can even list the socks by type and there are spaces on the contents page to list basic socks, cables, lace, colourwork and “other” which might be more of one type if you’ve run out of space, or might be something else. I’ve tried to make sure that there’s space throughout the notes section to add extra notes that I might not have included so that nothing is forgotten.
Can you see the little socks on the contents page? They’re the project numbers so you list them by sock number, not by page number – much more in keeping, I think! 🙂
This is what the project pages look like …
I’ve tried to think of everything that you would want to write down in relation to a sock that you’ve knitted, and there are some tick boxes, some spaces to write numbers or details, and a large additional notes section for you to add in everything else. One of the lovely people who tested the book out for me said she might use that space for keeping a tally of rounds, and there’s absolutely no reason why you couldn’t do that – you can use it for anything you like! Also, if you’re a designer than it’s really useful to have detailed notes on something that you’ve worked on previously in case you want to look at it again for a future design – this little book really is for everyone!
Have I gone overboard with the details? I don’t think so! You don’t have to fill all the boxes in – you might not want to weigh your yarn, for example – but it’s really useful to have all of that information if you need to go back to those particular socks again. In my case, big daughter’s boyfriend has socks that start with one number of stitches at the cast on but decrease to a different number at the foot to accommodate his chunky American Footballer calves but slimmer feet. And with him being a UK size 14, it’s really helpful for me to have a reminder of how many rounds the foot actually is because it’s always longer than you imagine! 🙂
This is the legacy part of the book: if I went back to write in all the socks I’ve knitted, I’d be at least on my second book now and I like the idea of having books of sock notes to refer back to. It’s a reminder to me of what I’ve done, and there is a certain pleasure in remembering socks you’ve knitted, but it also shows everyone else that I have a skill worth noting down. It always makes me a little sad when I hear about people who feel that their knitting isn’t valued by the people around them, and that’s why I called the book a Master Plan. Knitting isn’t something that’s reserved for old ladies, it’s a craft that anybody can do. Those who might say, “Oh, my granny used to knit” are often not being derogatory but are remembering something with joy, even if their words don’t quite come out in the right way – and there’s a good chance that their granny didn’t learn to knit when they were a granny! Having a Master Plan for your sock knitting notes helps to remind you that you speak another language (knitting; reading knitting patterns takes practice!), you have above-average hand to eye co-ordination and dexterity, you know about the yarn that you’re knitting with and what fibres it needs to contain for the results you want – heck, you can even choose colours and patterns based on what you know about yourself or someone else which makes you a personal shopper too!
All of this needs to be celebrated and if I can help to remind people of what an amazing skill they have when they have their needles in their hands, that makes me very happy. Write your name in the box on the front cover, and you’ve got something that is entirely yours; something worth keeping and something worth passing on as you ARE the sock knitter of the family.
Climbing back down off my soap box, let me tell you what else is in the book, as it’s not just for notes – oh no, there is MORE!
The information pages are at the back of the book because I think it’s the details that we’re going to want to look at more, so the project pages come first, and then there’s an index listing what’s next: the Sock Stitch Calculation and the Basic 4ply Socks pattern …
the Basic 8ply (DK) Boot Socks pattern …
and right at the back, a reminder on how to work the Kitchener Stitch. That bit’s not essential, of course, and there are other forms of grafting that you may prefer, but for those who do use it, it’s quite handy to have it written down where you can see it – and right at the back means you’re not flicking through pages to find it!
There are links to the Sockalong tutorials, other Winwick Mum patterns and social media too – anything that I could think of that might be useful when you’re knitting socks!
Is it spiral bound or does it have a spine?
Project Super Socks is what’s known as a perfect bind book which means that it has a spine – very useful if you do have a number of them on a shelf as you can see them, but also because it means that I can have it available in as many places as possible to give people choice – on the blog, in yarn shops, Amazon. I have been asked about it being spiral bound but Amazon doesn’t produce books like that and it also makes it slightly more difficult for me to post without the spine potentially getting squashed. I think that if you go to a stationery store, they will spiral bind books for you so if that’s something you would prefer, then that’s the way to get one.
How much does it cost?
Project Super Socks is £8.99. There is just a paperback version and it won’t be available as an ebook, and I don’t have any plans to turn it into an app at the moment.
Finally, where can you buy it from?
Here on the blog in my brand new shop, Amazon and some yarn shops: Wool Warehouse, Peak District Yarns, The Yarn Badger and Ewe Felty Thing at the moment, with hopefully more to come! (The stock is still on it’s way to the yarn shops so you’ll need to check with them later in the week, but it does give you time to think about your next sock project 😉 )
I hope that if you buy a copy of Project Super Socks, it’s as useful to you as it can possibly be and I wish you many pairs of socks for you to write down on your project pages! Do let me know how you get on! xx