This April’s sock club shipment featured Sokkusu yarn from Alice Yu. I loooooove Sokkusu yarn. Alice and I met in 2009 while I was in the UK and have been great friends ever since. She is passionate about sock knitting and sock yarn (hence her nickname Socktopus) and has an eye for detail. Back then, Alice ran a shop called Socktopus in London which carried her favorite yarns imported from all over the world. She developed opinions about sock yarn (oh boy, show me a sock knitter who isn’t opinionated about sock yarns) and went in search of the perfect yarn.
When Alice found that that it was actually difficult to find the perfect yarn, she had Socktopus Sokkusu-Original sock yarn milled to her specifications. Working with mills isn’t easy, and I’ve heard plenty of horror stories, so it’s no surprise that it took nearly a year to get the yarn just right. Alice’s dream sock yarn is a 3 ply, tight twist, 100% merino fingering weight yarn that is durable and also soft soft soft! She created the signature colors for which Socktopus is known – gorgeous saturated colorways with life and verve. Alice also designs sock patterns which are available through the Knit Love Club and in her book Socktopus: 17 Pairs of Socks to Knit and Show Off published by GMC in October 2011.
Finishing projects pays off! One lucky sock knitter from the 2012 Cookie A sock club received a copy of Alice’s book as well as some more of her luscious sock yarn!
Socktopus showcases not only Alice’s fun and creative designs, but her great sense of humor too. The book begins with an at-a-glance photo index showing all 17 projects, and lays out the sometimes serious, sometimes silly reasons and motivations to knit socks.
In the first chapter “Sock Yarn Basics,” Alice gives an overview of fibers used in sock yarn, yarns from around the world (to make comparisons), sock fit & anatomy. It’s a useful primer if you need some background information about socks.
The second and by far larger chapter contains the main content of the book: The Patterns. The patterns start off simple as can be with a “Totally Vanilla” stockinette sock, then work their way through more complicated techniques. There are lacy socks, textured patterns, the occasional cable… and some cool stranding and slipping techniques that bring out the best in variegated yarns. Alice likes to experiment with different techniques, so while most of the patterns top down, 3 of them are worked from the toe up. There is even a steeked sock!
Each pattern is charted (chart haters should note that written directions aren’t included) and step-by-step technique tutorials guide knitters through any tricky bits. You can check out all of the patterns on the book’s Ravelry page here. Shur’tugal has been among her most popular patterns, along with Rumpled! and Vorticity. As you might expect, the book features Alice’s own Sokkusu yarn.
Have you knit any of Alice’s patterns or tried Sokkusu yet?