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Future Socks: Innovations with Cookie A

Cookie A made her debut on the design stage last year, with the online publishing of her Pomatomus socks on Knitty.com.

Cookie's design aesthetic clings to traditional motifs and patterning and adds a very modern edge. Cookie agreed to share some of her inspirations, the story behind "The Leg", and gives a tutorial on her lovely new sock-in-progress, the German stockings, in honor of Socktoberfest!

Who are your knitting gurus? Do you admire the designs of someone in particular?

Eugen Beugler and Lew Deyong are two knitters I turn to for inspiration and advice.

They are both avid lace knitting octagenarians and are an invaluable source of information. And they're charming to boot! Gene has quite a few designs under his belt, including the Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl, and Lew is into "big things" on itty bitty needles. For example, he even knit a bedspread on size 1 needles!

I love Gene and Lew! Besides the two of them, my favorite handknitting designers are Marianne Kinzel and Herbert Niebling for their intricate and organic lace patterns. I also love knitwear designs from Delphine Wilson, Jean Paul Gaultier and Alexander McQueen.

Your Pomatomus socks and Hedera socks are quite the hit! Do you have some other interesting designs up your sleeve?

I have tons of design ideas! Unfortunately most of them are still in my head because I can think faster than knit. I recently finished a couple designs for Blue Moon Fiber Arts using their wonderful yarns. There is a new pattern in the upcoming Winter Knitty. And I am working on a few things that I hope to publish through my blog. This coming year, I would like to get off my butt and submit some designs to the print magazines.

I already posted on the blog about two of the patterns I hope to write up–a short sleeved sweater and the German stocking.

The other one is this previously unseen sock:


What's with the mannequin? It seems like a great prop! Where did you pick up this random leg? :)

Pomatomus + Leg I actually feel very bad about the leg. I borrowed it from a friend for the Pomatomus pictures, and I haven't seen my friend since. I am a horrible thief! The idea came to me when I was trying to think of a clever way to photograph Pomatomus without making it look obvious that I had only knit one! I later bought a full body mannequin, but the legs on that are horribly misshapen with ginormous insteps and flat calves. So in all, I have three fake legs (one of which is not mine) and two real ones.

Where do you get your design inspiration from?

The main inspiration for my designs come from fashion (non-knitwear) and intricate traditional knitting. I am drawn to complicated stitch patterns and finer gauge yarns. At the same time, I find that modern ideas of shape and form can be visually striking, but the structure is often emphasized by use of plain fabric or materials. My general goal is to combine new ideas of shape with the more intricate detailing of traditional knitting. I like to play with spirals, curves and traveling panels along with texture and stitchwork.

What's in the future for handknit socks?

I am hoping to see more knee high socks. I especially like them because there is just so much more you can do, design wise. But at the same time, the shaping and placement of everything gets much more complicated, which can be difficult to write a pattern around. I also hope socks get more creative, with different constructions than the standard toe-up or top-down. And, of course, I hope to see more twisted stitches in everything!

*****

Cookie's newest design, called the "German stockings", is a perfect combination of these intricate traditional cable motifs, and the modern shaping techniques. Although still in the works, Cookie plans to write this pattern for distribution. I can hardly wait! This beautiful design really speaks to me!

Cookie shares an in-depth tutorial of her design process on her blog, Knitters Anonymous. In conjunction with that wonderful tutorial, Cookie answered a few questions about this specific design.

Foot Heel closeup

Where did you find the inspiration for this cable pattern?

The inspiration came from traditional German stockings that are very intricate and detailed. I am also drawn to asymmetry and curves or travelling panels. I wanted a sock that captured both elements. And of course, I wanted a knee-high sock.

How did you adapt the cable patterning to the sock?

After looking at pictures of several German stockings, I had an idea of what shape and elements I wanted to use and how I wanted to simplify many of the main features of the traditional German stockings. I don't know how to give a quick answer to this question! I think looking at the tutorial I wrote up will give a more in depth explanation.

Do you do all of your cabling without a needle?

It depends on the yarn and the cable. Whenever I can get away with it, I avoid the cable needle because it's just one more thing for me to lose! But I do use a cable needle for cotton or other slippery yarns, cables that require two cable needles (the double crossing kind), or when I'm knitting laceweight yarn.

Click on the picture below to take you to Cookie's tutorial

Finito

 

Thank you Cookie for being a part of Socktoberfest!

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27 Responses

  1. gleek

    wow! great interview! i’ve always wondered about her design process and that darned leg :) personally, i think it’s better to display the socks on a real human (so that you can see the fit) but that leg is something else! i love her designs. can’t wait to see more of them!

  2. Barb

    Nice interview. Cookie comes up with some very fantastic designs.

  3. Liz K.

    These interviews are fantastic. Lotsa meat on your blog for such a busy girl! Kudos.

  4. pippi

    wonderful!!! thank you!
    i just was turned onto her blog & i love these new socks to BITS!!!

  5. Moni

    I love her style! All of the knee-highs are gorgeous! need to knit them.

  6. Vera

    Wonderful interview. I love my P Socks, and I look forward to seeing the patterns for those fab knee highs.

    Thanks for asking about “the leg.” My hubby seems fascinated with it. I

  7. elizabeth

    Those kneehighs are amazing. I wish I could knit about a zillion times faster…

  8. Dorothy B

    Wow, love the socks by Cookie! She is very talented.

  9. Ann

    What a great interview! I’ve really enjoyed your Q&As with sock designers. Thanks Lolly!

  10. jessica~

    Love the “previously unseen sock”! It would look great with a pair of Doc Martin shoes.

    Great interview! Lots of cool info.

  11. Sarah

    What a great interview! And how funny that the leg is stolen…makes it that much funnier. Thanks for including this in Socktoberfest! I love hearing designers share their stories.

  12. maryse

    what a very cool interview. i do love her designs. but i have to admit that the leg kind of freaks me out.

  13. Kate

    I loved the interview! What a treat. And those sock… my word I need to knit some of those.

  14. Jenna

    Wow, what incredible socks! I adore the first one and those German stockings are just incomaprable.

  15. Jessica

    Excellent interview! I’ve always been curious about Cookie–and that leg! Now my questions are answered. :)

  16. Jenna

    Great interview with a great subject! She’s one of those designers who make the whole process and execution seem really easy. I look forward to seeing more designs from her combining the old with the new.

  17. Tracey

    Wow, I can’t wait to see what’s next, each day I’m suprised more than the last.

  18. Paula460

    wow! great interview… great designer. I love her work.

  19. Leah

    Fantastic interview Lolly!! This socktoberfest is really turning out to be such a learning experience!

  20. leslie

    Love those socks!….Thanks! Also, how do i get my octoberfest on flicker? new to all of this!

  21. Jodie

    What a great interview! I love the pictures of the leg. Thanks!

  22. G. Knerd

    I’m so glad to finally know the origin of the leg. That one was bugging me. “Did she break into Macy’s at night and steal it? Maybe she was brazen enough to walk out with it during normal business hours?” It really was keeping me up at night.

    Okay, not really. But I did think about it. Also about how to get one of my own…

  23. Mandy

    Although I adore Cookie, this comment is not about your interview. Lolly, if you don’t read the Superhero Journal, then you may have missed this succulent photo, and I just can’t bear that possibility. Please go look.
    http://www.superherodesigns.com/journal/archives/000958.html
    xo
    M

  24. Katie

    I just love that “previously unseen” sock. So cute and cozy looking!

  25. melissa

    great interview – i love reading cookie’s blog and admiring her lovely designs!

  26. Isabelle

    Fabulous sock! Now would I dare making a pair…? It seems to be pretty complicated and I have never made knee high socks yet…

    Thank you for the interview Cookie and Lolly! :-)

  27. Lolly Knitting Around » Blog Archive » Socktoberfest Flashback!

    [...] participants (like Leah’s┬áPomatomus socks (which were, of course, designed by another Socktoberfest participant and interviewee, Cookie [...]

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