Monday, February 01, 2010

Toe-up! blog book tour

Welcome to the We Heart Yarn stop of the Toe-Up! Patterns and Worksheets to Whip Your Sock Knitting Into Shape blog book tour! We are delighted to host a question and answer session with Chrissy Gardiner.

Chrissy suggested I write a litte bit about the photography, as I was the one behind the lens for the photos that you see in the book. Our mutual friends at Twisted in PDX brought us together and I'm so glad that they did!! Thank you, Chrissy, for such a fabulous opportunity! :) We had a blast working on the photoshoots! If there is one word that sums up my approach to photography, I think it is mindful. No matter what concept I might have in mind for a photoshoot, I try to stay aware of what's going on around me and be prepared to turn an unexpected moment into a unique image that makes the photoshoot a success.

To make this stop on the tour unique, we're using images from the book and also some from the archives. We hope you enjoy them!

And now...on to our most special guest, Chrissy Gardiner!

Cornflower said...This sounds fun! I've yet to try making a sock from the toe up so I'd be glad to know the best (or easiest) methods for beginners to use.

Chrissy: There’s no “one size fits all” answer to the best/easiest methods question, so I always recommend that my students experiment and find what works best/easiest for them. When I teach my basic toe-up sock class, I use the short-row heel and Judy’s Magic Cast-On since those are my favorite methods.

nnordq said...Having just learned how to knit my first socks, from the top down, I would like to know: What are the advantages of knitting toe-up?

Chrissy: Toe-up is great because you can more easily fit as you go (it’s easier to try on toe-up socks for fit than top-down socks) and you don’t have to worry about running out of yarn.

WingedStrategos and aelscha said...I'm a dedicated toe-up sock knitter and have been for numerous pairs. Toe-up sock patterns vary greatly in the number of gusset increases used to make a heel flap. I'm having a hard time figuring out why some patterns only add about 20 stitches while others add up to 50% of the total stitch count. Can you give a few guidelines for determining this number?

Chrissy: Without looking at the patterns I can’t tell you why some gussets have more stitches than others. However, the number of stitches in the gusset will have a direct relationship to the height of the instep of the sock. The formula that I use in my book adds a lot of stitches to the gusset in order to give people with high insteps a good toe-up option. The short-row heel often used in toe-up socks isn’t the best for people with high insteps because it doesn’t add any stitches to the sock circumference. I recommend that everyone figure out how many stitches are in the heel flaps/gussets that fit them the best and use the worksheet in my book (or their own calculations) to insert that gusset heel into their socks. As a general rule, the more stitches added for the gusset, the deeper the heel pocket will be. If your heels are too tight/not fitting well, try adding more gusset stitches (for a top-down sock, you’d make a longer heel flap to achieve the same effect).

AfternoonMoon said...I love your book and would adore a signed copy. Even if I don't win, if I sent a copy to you in a self addressed stamped envelope, would you sign it and drop in the mail?

Question 1: on page nine you have a gorgeous cup of coffee. Are you a coffee drinker or tea?

Question 2: How much exposure did Twist Collective bring to your knit design? Is TC the "salt and pepper" at dinner, or more like a side dish or main course?

Chrissy: Sure! Both! I drink coffee in the morning and herbal tea the rest of the day. Since I was already established as a designer before TC, I can’t really say how much exposure TC brought to me as opposed to, say, Interweave Knits. I love working with the TC folks, though, and am always happy to do new designs with them!

Bloom fine art fotografi said...Oh how neat! I usually do a toe patteren off the web, nice to see there is a book on now too. The problem I alway encounter is the sock slips down and clumps into your boot(great description isn't it)and sometimes the castoff on the ribbing is either too loose or too tight. - I will most definitly show up on monday with bells on. Have a great weekend.

Chrissy: Sounds like the socks are too loose, which is why they’re slipping down, or they’re too short. Make sure to add some “negative ease” to your socks (meaning make them a half-inch to inch smaller than your actual foot circumference) to help keep them up. Ribbing also helps socks hold their shape better than plain stockinette. And play with different bind-offs to help you find the one that you like best for your toe-up socks – I’ve got three in my book!

knitbysue said...Hi Chrissy, I would like to know how your sock book differs from other sock books? What caused you to put together/author your book? Thx, Sue

Chrissy: I think the worksheets are the main thing that sets my book apart – they will enable you to easily put your own toes and heels into all your toe-up socks regardless of how the pattern is written. I decided on a toe-up book because there aren’t a whole lot of books dedicated to toe-up socks…yet!

knittinggolfer said...Chrissy, do you design the pattern to fit the yarn or pick the yarn after to fit the pattern?

Chrissy: It depends! Each design is different, but I often have to fit the design to the yarn because I’ve been given the yarn first. I tend to like to work in that direction, rather than looking for yarn to fit a particular design.

YesterUkes said...Would love to learn to knit a pair of socks. Is the toe up method easier? Whatever is easier is what I'd like to do first.

Chrissy: It’s different for every knitter, but I will say that toe-up definitely isn’t harder than top-down!

LoriAngela said...I had no trouble with my first toe up sock, but it doesn't fit well. I'm not sure how I can make the toe to heel portion more elastic. Thanks.

Chrissy: Fit will have to do with the gauge you knit at as well as the stitch pattern. If the bottom of the foot is really inelastic, you’re probably knitting too tight (although these socks will wear like iron!). Always try on your sock after you finish the heel and before you start the leg. If it’s not fitting well, you can also add a few rounds to your foot if it’s too short/tight.

Awa said...I have a wide heel, what would be the best heel for a toe-up sock?

Chrissy: If your heel is wide but your instep is not real high, you can do a short-row heel and wrap fewer stitches on each side to make a wider heel pocket. The hybrid heel (with gusset and heel flap) from my book will also fit wide heels and high insteps great – it has a lot of room in the heel pocket.

Jan said...Does your book offer more than the regular short row and wrap heel that always leaves me with holes and a feeling that that heel won't last as long? I've read a few patterns that do it, but it's not sinking in up top! Taught myself to knit top down 1st then toe up so it can't be all it just couldn't be!

Chrissy: There are three different heels in the book – my version of a short-row heel (which is worked a little differently than other short-row heels I’ve seen), the afterthought heel and the hybrid heel which has gusset and heel flap. Now that more people are writing toe-up sock patterns, there will be a lot more options for people who don’t like short-row heels.

Please join me extending a hearty "Thank you" to Chrissy for stopping by and sharing her time and expertise with us! Chrissy also generously donated an autographed copy of her book, that will be going to....drum roll.....knitbysue! Applause!

Congratulations, knitbysue!! You can send your shipping address to me at marraccig at hotmail dot com

Please check out the official Toe-Up! book website where you can view a gallery of pattern images from the book and see where the next stop is on the blog tour!

Happy toe up knitting!!


LoriAngela said...

Thanks for the great tour! You answered my question directly and indirectly. I didn't think about having more stitches at the gusset. I'm looking forward to trying toe-ups again.

Lorajean said...

Great interview! and i loved the pictures. This is silly, but what flavor of ice cream is in the picture? The purple looks yummy!

Cornflower said...

Thankyou for this, and what great socks!

cupcakefaerie said...

That was a lovely visit. Interesting questions, informative answers and beautiful images. Thank you for sharing.

IrishGirlieKnits said...

Thanks for the fabulous interview Chrissy and Gail! So helpful to see into a designer's process!

And again, love love love your mindful photos!

Susan said...

Love the ladybug on the logsock! So creative.

Anonymous said...

Awesome and informative post. perhaps thte most beautiful i have seen in a long time. your photos are stunningly gorgeous...but you knew that ;-)

sarah said...

As a toe-up sock lover, this was a great read.

Wonderful photography as well.. always a fan!

Thanks for putting this together for everyone.

Unknown said...

Thanks for answering my heel question! The pictures and your answer just made a sale...

Magnolia Handspun said...

This was truly amazing thank you for this inspiring post...The patterns are just awe inspiring...I'll have to check out this book.

Bobbie Casey said...

This book is on my list of must haves. I love knitting socks. It is wonderful to always have a pair going tucked inside my Be Sweet bag. (I spend a lot of time in drs. offices with my mom)
I enjoy your blog so much!

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Carolyn Parker said...

Gail, this is so cool. I just ordered one from Amazon. Congratulations, you are a mighty shy photographer.