Last week we debuted Knitterly Things’ Vesper Sock Yarn at fibre space™ (something I have been not so patiently waiting to happen, as a lover of all things stripey!) and offered some pattern ideas for this gorgeous addition to your stash.
This week, learn more about the master behind the dyepots, Julia Vesper, and how she got started in the biz. She kindly answered these questions in an e-interview for us so you could get the scoop. Read on, fiber friends, to learn more!
Q: Tell us a little bit about Vesper, how you got started dyeing, and what specifically attracted you to self-striping yarn. What makes Vesper unique?
A: Sure thing! I started playing with dyeing yarn in 2005. Knitting blogs got me started! I saw a bunch of knitters dyeing one-at-a-time hanks of self striping yarn, and thought I would like to try it. So I did. And I loved it. At the time, I new of a little online yarn shop (that) was just getting started, and asked if they might like to carry my yarn. After a time, I decided to start retailing myself, and I’ve been doing it ever since.
Q: What inspires your striping patterns? What’s your favorite to date?
A: Hrm. I find a lot of inspiration for new colorways in playing with my older/current colorways. I like to play with color samples from time to time to make up new colorways. I don’t have to look farther than a pile of colorways waiting to be reskeined to find new colorways! Now that I have small children, I often draw up striping colorways in crayon and marker while coloring with them!
My most favorite colorways are the ones that have a perfect mix of light, dark and in between colors. “Earth and Sea” is one, and if I had to pick only one of my colorways to only knit with forever, it would be “Rainbow in the Dark.” (Editor’s note: That’s the colorway seen in the mitten image at the top right.) “Rainbow in the Dark” is an 8 color self striping colorway, and the mix of unusual colors, when dyed to the perfect saturation is just the most pleasing thing to me.
I LOVE seeing my yarn knit up into any pattern! Jaywalker socks are always a favorite, and I’ve seen my yarn knit up in an ‘unpattern’ called Vanilla Bean Striped Socks which slips stitches at each color change to make an interesting pattern.
Q: Are you a top-down or toe-up kinda girl? DPNs, magic loop, two-at-a-time, etc.? What’s your go-to sock pattern — and favorite heel type if you have one?
A: I LOVE LOVE toe up socks! I find it so convenient to be able to try on as I go, and also to be able to use up exactly half of my yarn per sock. It helps take the guesswork out of knitting socks! I also love and have been using the magic loop for years and years. I use a cast on very similar to a Figure 8 cast on (I cannot remember the name I’ve been using it so long!) but the yarn is wrapped around two needles, instead of in an 8 pattern around and through.
I also always use a short row heel, the heel from Priscilla Gibson Roberts’ Dream Socks. I know a lot of knitters are not a fan of short-row heels because it can leave holes, but I’ll tell you a secret: Everyone gets holes! That’s where weaving in ends to close the holes comes in handy.
I’ve been using my basic recipe for socks for years, sometimes I throw in some ribbing, sometimes not. I’ve usually always got a pair cast on for carrying with me, and a basket full of sock yarn waiting in the wings!!