My infatuation with summer cooking continues. The only thing holding me back from going all crazy about cherries to you right now is that I have another cherry dessert in process and I want to share it all with you all together in one big cherry blast. Let me just say some quick praise of our tiny cherry tree, which continues to produce more fruit than seems likely for a tree of its size.
But just as exciting as cherries ripening in the side yard is our interview with designer
Lisa Lackney, whose fun socks always make me itch to cast on right away. And a related audiobook giveaway…
Which design do you have in the current issue of Knitcircus? Please tell
us a little about this pattern and what makes it exciting for you as a
both the Tachimawari Socks and Lily's Socks.
Usually I design my own patterns when I have a specific item in mind but
there is no pattern available.
Socks, I wanted to make ruffly pink socks for my cousin's baby girl, Lily. I found the simple but decorative two-sided
garter stitch lace pattern in a Barbara Walker stitch dictionary, and then
worked garter stitch heels and toes to match.
I am no fan of seaming, so I designed the pattern with only grafting and
picking up stitches.
Tachimawari Socks, I had seen a sock with a biasing band in a book of sock
patterns and I thought it would work well with the striping Opal yarn –
providing interest but not detracting from the yarn. However, I found that pattern's construction
didn't fit my feet well and pulled awkwardly along the biasing band. Also, there was only one biasing band on each
sock. I changed the pattern to top-down
with a heel flap, since that construction fits my feet best and is easy to
modify for different feet. I chose a
cast-on number that accommodated two biasing bands and ribbing that naturally
flowed into the biasing bands. In the
final pattern I reworked the numbers for a smaller and a larger size. I think it is important to offer knitters
multiple stitch count options for sock patterns to make the pattern adaptable
to different sized feet and different weights of sock yarn.
The name Tachimawari came from the old
samurai movies I was watching while knitting the socks. The highlight of the movie is always the
climactic sword fight at the end, or tachimawari. The "mawari" of tachimwari means to
turn in circles, like the biasing bands circle the socks. I highly recommending getting some old
Toshiro Mifune and Tatsuya Nakadai films to watch while knitting these socks! (Yojimbo,
Sanjuro, Three Outlaw Samurai, and Harakiri are some of my
I also designed the Moroccan Lace Socks from issue #4. These were inspired by the color of the yarn
and a lace pattern I had found in an online stitch dictionary. (Look for more fun and surprising action from Knitcircus and the Moroccan Lace Socks in the future–Jaala)
What’s your favorite part of designing?
I love hearing from knitters who made my designs or who
commented on Ravelry. I'm really happy
when people enjoy my socks.
I hate ripping back when a design element doesn't work, or
I've miscalculated the number of stitches.
Which kinds of patterns attract you as a knitter and as a
designer? Are they different?
As a designer, I'm intrigued by patterns that feature
innovative construction, like the Hat Heel Socks or Skew socks from
Knitty. As a knitter, I usually do a
top-down flap and gusset sock because it fits me the best of all the sock
constructions I've tried.
Favorite kind(s) of yarn?
Sock yarn! I like
Opal for its longevity. My Opal socks
from two years ago are only slightly faded and pilled; I can only tell the
difference next to the leftover yarn. I
love the colors and softness of Dream in Color Smooshy. I am knitting my first pair of Wollmeise
socks now – in Eunny Jang's Bayerische pattern, so it's taking some time – and
I love the colors. I can't think of any
other dyer who achieves the intensity that Claudia does.
Favorite needle sizes or kinds of needles?
I like Bamboo double point needles – although I'd love a set
of Knitpicks Harmony options because of the pointy tips. Lately most of my knitting has been on size 5
What’s your all-time favorite design you’ve created?
The Moroccan Lace Socks was my first design, and first
published pattern. I still love how the
picot edge, ribbed cuff, and lace pattern all flow together.
Designer(s) who inspire(s) you and why?
Cookie A – I admire Cookie A's attention to detail in
socks. She does an amazing job making
sure all the elements coordinate and flow into each other. I've already made Monkeys and Clandestine,
and am working on Devon now. (An interview with Cookie A also happens to be featured in Issue #10!–Jaala)
Connie Chang Chinchio – She's been designing a number of
sweaters in fine gauge yarn. The
Geodesic cardigan from the spring issue of Knitscene has already seen more wear
than any other sweater I've made.
Kristeen Griffin-Grimes – I can't recommend French Girl
Knits enough. The designs are
stylish, seamless, and her patterns are beautifully tech-edited. They might seem complex, but there is almost
no errata and the instructions are very clear.
What’s next for your designs?
I have more socks in mind (of course!) as well as plans for
a scarf. I always want to buy
self-striping yarn and then knit something other than plain ribbed socks, so
I'm hoping to work on other designs that use biasing panels effectively. I would also like to design a sweater for
sport weight or sock weight yarn that is fashionable and interesting to knit
and can be finished in a reasonable time frame.
Anything else you’d like us to know?
I'm looking forward to seeing more of my designs knit up on
Thanks so much, Lisa and thanks for designing for Knitcircus!
If, like me, you're fascinated by designers and fiber artists, what makes them tick, what's inspiring, you'll love our giveaway, an audiobook generously provided by Out Loud Audiobooks. They used to be Knitting Out Loud, but have now expanded to include cooking, so you can imagine how excited I am about that given my cook-happy state right now.
Knit Knit compiles interviews from the art magazine of the same name, a fascinating exploration of true fiber artists, people pushing boundaries with provative and passionate fiber arts.Original copies of Sabrina Gschwandter's publication actually included print techniques and handspun yarn. Read by the author. Highly recommended.
To enter the giveaway, just email me: firstname.lastname@example.org, with a short message about your favorite knitting technique. Is it colorwork, cables, lace, plain ol'stockinette? And why?
You can also enter by leaving a comment on the blog, but I know it can be tricky. Look for the place at the very bottom of the comments where it says "sign in." Or ravmessage me: jaaladay. Any way you get in touch will count! I'll announce the winner next Monday to give people plenty of time.
Good luck and craft on,