Tag Archives: Rachel Coopey

The lovely Dawlish

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Oh man, do I love Rachel Coopey’s designs. I know I’ve said it before (probably every time I’ve knit one of her patterns, actually) but it’s true. Her designs are creative, interesting (but not super difficult) to knit, and, best of all, fantastic to wear.

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When I bought her first book, Coop Knits Socks, two years ago, Dawlish was one of the patterns I wanted to knit right away. Why it has taken me two years, I don’t know, but I’m so glad I finally got around to it. Actually, speaking of getting around to it, this yarn is one of the first skeins I ever bought without a specific purpose in mind. I remember choosing it, and how expensive and special it felt compared to the other yarn I used up to that point. I have been kind of hoarding it ever since, because even though indie-dyed sock yarns (from this very company, even!) have become a staple of my knitting, there’s something about the early skeins that feels extra-special. Combining it with a long-desired pattern was the perfect match, and I’m happy to say that neither one disappointed.

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Dawlish is a quintessential Rachel Coopey pattern. The design across the two socks is mirrored, which means you’re not quite knitting the exact same sock twice in a row. Also, the charts are each a 40-row, 15-stitch repeat, so within the same sock you’re not actually knitting the same repeats over and over again, though there’s enough repetition that it does become intuitive. The pattern is nice and stretch, which isn’t always the case with travelling cables, but there’s lots of ribbing integrated throughout the pattern to ensure a good fit.

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Details
Pattern: Dawlish by Rachel Coopey
Yarn: Indigodragonfly Merino Sock in Tiny Bloodsucking Dancer
Needles: 2.5mm
Notes: I swapped out the heel in the pattern for an eye-of-partridge heel. Other than that, I knit exactly as written! Ravelled here.

I have plans to knit both Calamint and Brighton this year, and I am itching to buy her new book as well. Maybe one more pattern from the first book and then I’ll treat myself.

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Hot pink socks

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I finished these the same weekend as Stasis, but they are impossible to photograph! This colour (Espadrilles, by Madelinetosh) is definitely not what I usually go for, but it’s fun and bright and very well suited to this pattern — Betula Socks, by Rachel Coopey, whose designs are so reliably excellent and fun I will happily continue to knit them up as long as she continues to publish them.

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These were on my needles for a while. I cast on before going to California, knit them on the plane there and during our time in San Francisco, before putting them down to finish my Skyp socks. I blame the lag for the reason they are not quite the same size: Despite knitting them with the same skein of yarn on the same pair of needles, one sock is slightly larger than the other, in both length and width. Maybe I knit one while relaxed and another while tense? Who knows. The difference isn’t enough to really bother me, but it is a little funny.

Details
Pattern: Betula Socks by Rachel Coopey
Yarn: Tosh Sock in Espadrilles
Needles: 2.5mm
Notes: I tend to choose my size based on the number of stitches cast-on. With these socks, though, the majority of the rounds actually have additional stitches (because of the stitch pattern), so they fit a little big. If I were to knit them again, I would probably go down a size. I’d also be tempted to mirror the charts across the socks, but it’s kind of fun that they’re designed to be matching-yet-fraternal. Ravelled here.

Since these were finished in September, they don’t count for Socktober, but I have big sock plans for this month. I have a pair of plain socks on my needles at the moment, which are likely to become background knitting as I dive into my holiday-related projects. But, since those include socks, if all goes according to plan I should get a couple of pairs knit this month — updates to come (promise!)

No safety pint required

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Last weekend I cast on for Willowherb from Coop Knits Socks. It’s one of the orange projects (using Indigordragonfly merino sock in Safety Pin or Safety Pint: Discuss) and I am totally captivated.

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Rachel Coopey’s patterns are really beautifully presented, with very clear directions and lots of inspiring pictures. Also, these patterns make beautiful garments. Willowherb combines twisted stitches, switch-back lace work and stockinette panels to make a sock that is super fun to knit and, I suspect, very comfortable to wear. I’m especially enjoying the little inserts of twisted ribbing, which pull the sock in and, I suspect, will prevent any late-in-the-day slippage (I hate the feeling of socks pooling around my ankles, something that rarely happens now that I knit my own).

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The stitch pattern also seems designed to prevent boredom. It’s an eight-stitch repeat, which lets you get into a rhythm, but the chart is 54 rows long, so in the enter sock you might only get through it two or two and a half times. I guess this means I have the chart out while knitting, but honestly, you only have to look at it once a row (thanks to the short repeat), so it isn’t as though you’re married to it.

The yarn, it turns out, is a perfect match. It’s springing and almost spongy in that way merino can be, and it’s giving great stitch definition (sadly, to often wonky stitches). Despite the lace, these are pretty dense socks, so they’ll likely see wear all year round. I have several skeins of this yarn in my stash and I’m really excited to see how it looks in other kinds of patterns.

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Assuming I don’t get distracted by orange project no. 2 this weekend, I may well have a finished Willowherb by Monday. Honestly, you try putting down a project that’s this much fun.