Wednesday, September 06, 2006


Yes, I admit it. This is another shameless ploy to grab your attention. I will stop at nothing to entice you to visit us. You have been warned.

(Did you notice a change in the title? THE Wendy came up with Socktober which led inevitably to Socktoberfest. Is that great or what. Thanks, THE Wendy.)

(I'll change the little doodad you click on as soon as I can.)

For the uninitiated, that is Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy from (in my most unhumble opinion) the only version of Pride & Prejudice that matters. (And I'm probably the only romance writer on the planet who has never been able to make it through the entire book. I like the idea of it more than the reality. Go figure.)

But hey, this isn't all about me! This is about you and our latest contest. I think I mentioned before that quite a few of us here at Romancing The Yarn are planning to cast on a pair of socks on October 1st and share our experiences in a freeform Socktoberfest Knitalong.

This is your official invitation to join in the fun. We haven't figured out exactly how this whole thing works (there's the Yahoo! Groups contingent v. the let's just do it right here in comments group) but we'll figure it out as we go along with your help.

So, to that end, we're running another contest. This time 5 lucky winners will win gorgeous sock yarn, bamboo double points, and a simple sock pattern from Knitting Pure & Simple. I'd post a photo of the goodies but I'm waiting for them to be delivered but as soon as they arrive . . .

What do you have to do to enter? Simple. See that box in the upper righthand corner, the one that says "Group Sox Contest"? (And might soon say Socktoberfest.) That's the one. Click on it. Type "CONTEST" in the subject header and press SEND. That's it. We'll do the rest. One winner will be drawn each day from October 1st through October 5th and your prize will arrive in plenty of time for you to join the fun. (Try clicking here too. I'm not sure if this link works but it's worth a shot.)

Let's face it: We need you more than you need us! We know that you know all there is to know about socks. Help us avoid public group humiliation as we cast on. (Some of us are sock knitting virgins so please be kind.)

I've already decided on my pattern and yarn. How about you?

Even Sean is perusing his Patternworks catalog in search of the perfect yarn. I mean, if Sir Sean is thinking about joining us, how can you refuse?

1. What's your favorite sock yarn?
2. What's your favorite sock pattern?
3. What's your favorite sock method?


Blogger Wendy said...

I wanna play! I wanna play!

I think this is a knit-along that I can actually stick to. ;-)

The 1940 movie version of P&P may have been insipid, but it starred Laurence Olivier (at his very hunkiest) as Mr. Darcy. Excuse me while I swoon.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Knitting said...

Am re-reading P&P for the millionth time and I always love it! But of all the movies - Colin Firth is the best!

I'm really looking forward to the Sox contest! Can't wait to cast on!

3:12 PM  
Blogger Brenda said...

I've never done a knit-along, but I am game! Especially since I am trying to replace all purchased non-workout socks with handknits. In answer to your questions: favorite sock yarn: Cherry Tree Hill (but that is just tops of many loves); favorite sock pattern: anything written by Nancy Bush;sock method: cuff down, although I may have to try a toe-up for a stitch pattern that I like which would look dorky knit cuff-down.

I always picture David Rintoul as Mr. Darcy from the 1980 BBC P and P. I first read the book at the same time, and they became melded together in my mind. But Colin Firth is no slouch!

3:15 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

I love the Laurence Olivier version too -- for classy, wonderfully mannered repartee nothing beats Olivier and Greer Garson. But I adored Jennifer Ehle's and Colin Firth's version in an entirely different way. (Also I love miniseries.)

Didn't see the 1980 version. And so far I can't get past the first 30 minutes of the Keira Knightley one.

Another embarrassing admission: I haven't read Georgette Heyer either. I'm more of a melodramatic Bronte girl myself.

3:29 PM  
Blogger Holly in CT said...

Favorite sock yarn easy: Socks That Rock
Favorite Pattern: Knitty has lots of my favorites and I also like the Jaywalker socks from Mag Knits
Favorite Method: Anything toe up on 2 circulars

3:52 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

LOL, BB--thank you for coming out of the closet and letting me know I am not alone! I know I'm risking life and limb amongst my fellow romance writers to say this, but I have never been able to get into the book P&P. Read it, yes; thought it a classic, no. (Ducking and running!)

I did like the new P&P movie, though...loved the brooding Darcy. Though I love Colin Firth, too--and, btw, I was just about to go searching for a new hunk picture, thinking we've gone, what, a week or something without one? Should have known you'd ride to the rescue!

And, THE Wendy, I'm actually doing a trial run of the generic toe-up sock. Bought my O dpns yesterday (I have never knitted with anything so tiny!) and some Wool-Ease (thank you, BB--a way to try this out without wasting some gorgeous yarn) and am a whole 5 rows into the process--yay!!! And best of all, THE Wendy, I *think* I'm actually understanding--at least, until proven otherwise.;) You may bring out a whole new me, one who can read directions!

I'm not getting a jump on the Sockalong, I promise. But I'm about to go on a trip to visit the recipient of my latest project, which is a surprise gift, so I can't take it along. So I seized on this as practice for me, the sock virgin, in hopes I won't make a total fool of myself when our Knitalong begins.

So glad you all are joining us!

4:17 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Another sock virgin speaking up. Good idea, Jean, to use THE Wendy's book and some cheaper yarn as a trial. I think I'll give it a shot myself ... after I finish sewing the sides of this fabric strip purse. This was an interesting experiment in purses but I think I'll stick with Noro or another great yarn from now on.

4:26 PM  
Blogger AuntieAnn said...

I'm still a pretty new sock knitter (2-1/2 pairs or so), but I love toe-up socks with the Magic Cast-on from Knitty and the Magic Loop method. Still trying to find the perfect heel method -- my short-row heels (a la THE Wendy) kinda suck. Favorite yarn? Too soon to tell, but I'm a sucker for self-striping and self-patterning yarn.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Jo Leigh said...

I've done one sock, and I pretty much screwed it up. But I did knit a booga bag!

This group rocks! Yet another way for me to procrastinate.


5:29 PM  
Blogger Wendy said...

So pleased that some of you are using my sock pattern and "getting" it. Yay!

I hereby rename October "Socktober."

5:46 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

And taking it one more step: how about Socktoberfest??

Jo Leigh! Are you the same Jolie of Marsha Zinberg NINC breakfast in Manhattan fame? If so, good to see you and glad you found us! Are you still on your mountaintop?

5:49 PM  
Blogger LauraP said...

I haven't made enough socks yet to have any favorites. I'm still sampling! Socktoberfest! I love it!

6:14 PM  
Blogger LaShaunda said...

I’ve never knitted in my life. Just stopped by because I would love to knit and I read about the blog in Cindi’s newsletter.

As a newly pregnant woman, I envisioned myself making my child some booties. OK a girl can dream.

I just read Pride and Prejudice this summer. I like the movies best. I loved Colin’s version the most.

I guess you can’t learn how to knit over the internet, darn.

Who needs to find a class in St. Louis

6:20 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

LaShaunda, I think you can learn how to knit over the internet. I learned how to use double points and Magic Loop through the Internet and books. There are so many great tutorials on line. If you scroll down you'll find a post w/lots of links that might help. Also Google "learn how to knit" and you'll be surprised how much info is out there.

One suggestion: if you're lucky enough to have a local yarn shop (or even a very friendly big craft store) I'm sure someone in there would be happy to help you learn the basics, esp. if you purchased a skein of yarn and needles from them. (That's not meant as a cynical statement. It's just that it's hard for small shops -- bookshops or yarn shops -- to stay in business. They need our help.)

And remember we're here and we can help get you started. We've all been where you are and asked another knitter to get us started.

Glad you found us!

6:26 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

And a big PS: Congratulations on your pregnancy! What a perfect time to start knitting!

6:27 PM  
Blogger LaShaunda said...

Thanks Barbara for the fast responds.

I'll check it out. Maybe my baby will get some booties :)

6:49 PM  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Socks are great fun. I've done it with the Magic loop method and with two pairs of circs ala Cat Bhordhi (sp?) I think I need to do a pair with double points just to stretch my wings a bit. Can't wait to join in the fun.

And P&P without Colin? I think not! Even Jane herself would have approved of the A&E version.

And welcome LaShaunda! I knit when I was young then hung up the needles until I was pregnant and then that nesting urge got the needles out again. I LOVE knitting and there are some great things that are really simple to make for your baby that will be in the family forever. Do take a class--knitting is so easy and really relaxing.

7:08 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Welcome AND congratulations, LaShaunda! Why not start by knitting a receiving blanket? That would be easy. And I know your local yarn shop (LYS) or maybe a nearby JoAnn's or Michaels would be glad to help you get started. I'm a self-taught knitter but have learned so much from the Internet and, recently, from blogs like THE Wendy's (TW) and this one. Plus, there's so many great knitting books, including the one by TW. If you don't want to buy them, ask your local library to order them so you can read up and learn more.

Last, keep in mind that some of us are as new to knitting socks as you are to knitting.

7:24 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

I forgot to answer my own questions.

1. Fave sock yarn: so far Fortissima Colori but I'm working on a pair of 72 st socks for Goldisox in Austermann's STEP (the jojoba/aloe vera yarn) and I think I'm in love -- but ask me after I cast on with the SOCKS THAT ROCK Lucy colourway. Imight change my mind

2. Fave sock pattern: I love love that spiral AFTER BERTHA in SOCKS SOCK SOCKS. Easy easy easy (except the purling was tough on my hands) and pretty pretty pretty. Can't wait to do the easy cable socks andmaybe some day the Aran sandal socks.

3. Fave sock method: easy. Magic Loop.

7:34 PM  
Anonymous kozmic said...

Fave sock yarn - Lang Yarns Jawoll..not that I used it to make socks, less than 1 ball made a pair of vintage Patons & Baldwin 2 needle gloves, the second ball is becoming Siva Harding's Little leaf lace scarf...

Fave sock pattern - theere was a pattern for Curvy lace socks in a Creative Knitting magazine - I made 2 pairs (3.25mm needles and very easy) before I lost the mag. :0(

Fave sock method - cuff down on bamboo dpns.

8:28 PM  
Blogger AuntieAnn said...

I just wanted to say that the suckiness of my short-row heels has nothing to do with Wendy's pattern (thanks, Wendy!), that pattern and her tip-top toes instructions convinced me that toe-up socks, which I love, are better to knit than cuff-down. No doubt it is due to my lack of skill, since lots of people do make short-row heels without trouble based on her pattern. The ones I have made tend to have big gaps, and also lumps where I pick up 2 wraps and knit.

8:30 PM  
Blogger AuntieAnn said...

To LaShaunda -- check out Great videos, you can totally learn to knit over the internet.

8:33 PM  
Blogger Jen said...

You know about Lolly's Socktoberfest, right? It was quite successful last year, and I think she's planning to do it again.

Lolly Knitting Around

9:04 PM  
Blogger Tam said...

Yup, Lolly came up with Socktoberfest first. It's still cool, though!

1. fave sock yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. Can't beat the colors.

2. THE Wendy's toe up pattern cannot be beat.

3. 5 double points, preferably bamboo but KnitPicks new double points are growing on me. Nice and sharp!

9:44 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

This is the first I've heard of Lolly or Socktoberfest. As you can tell by these comments today, it grew organically (for us) from Wendy's comment. All I can say is a knitalong by any other name is still a knitalong and I have the feeling ours won't quite follow the normal rules. Mainly because we probably won't have any!

This happens a lot in publishing too. I wrote a book last year called SOMEONE LIKE YOU which, as it turned out, wasone of maybe 827 SOMEONE LIKES YOUs out there. And the time I wrote a time travel featuring a hot air balloon . . . then saw my hot air balloon on the cover of another time travel.

You cross your fingers and hope your readers find you.

10:29 PM  
Blogger Fran Baker said...

Great minds and all that jazz. If I had to venture a guess, I'd say our knitalong will be totally unlike the other one. And I hear you on the title stuff; when my ONCE A WARRIOR came out, there was another book with that same title that, believe it or not, came out the same month.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Picture this: two writers meet at a conference.

Writer 1: "What are you working on?"
Writer 2: "A novel about a pill-popping country-western singer from NJ and her psychotic one-eyed husband. What are you working on?"
Writer 1: (long silence) "A novel about a pill-popping country-wester singer from NJ and her psychotic one-eyed husband."

Both were under contract but to different publishers.

True story!

10:46 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

I dropped Lolly an email explaining what happened and how it happened. I'm sure we'll work out something that makes everyone happy.

11:18 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

Favorite sock yarn: I haven't tried them all! But I do love Socks that Rock

Favorite pattern: Do I have to choose? I prefer non-lacy stitch patterns on socks.

Favorite method: Having tried 2 socks on 2 circs and Magic Loop, I'm back to one at a time on dpns. Toe up, cuff down, doesn't matter.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Jen said...

Well, Octoberfest itself is a generic concept with multiple implementations around the globe. There's no reason you can't have both "Lolly's Original Socktoberfest" and "Romancing the Socktoberfest".

They just can't both claim to be The Socktoberfest.

11:37 AM  
Anonymous Deb said...

First of all, I absolutely loved Firth's Darcy.

Secondly, I just received my "runner up #5" contest goodies. Thank you soo much! Barbara, your book gained attention from my knitting group attendees in the TC metro area. :) The Austermann Step sock yarn will be lovely to knit up when the weather cools and the in-home air is dry.

12:22 PM  
Blogger Nicole said...

Well, I'm still sampling sock yarns myself, but so far Lorna's Laces makes my favorite as well.

I like toe-ups on 2 circs, mainly because I haven't figured out how to not leave loose stitches between the dpns (and drop them too often) and I have problems with my short-row heels, too.

I can't wait for the knitalong! It will be my first, as well.

4:10 PM  
Blogger bethc said...

I just finished my first pair! I did them two at a time on one long circ so since that's the only method I have tried, I guess it's my favorite. My next socks are going to be baby socks!

6:39 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home