Tag Archives: cookie a

Kai-Mei meets Lai-Wah

The first Kai-Mei is done, but I’ve named my version Lai-Wah for Ravelry project purposes. The pattern is still essentially Cookie A’s Kai-Mei, but I’ve put my personal stamp on it, so why not give mine my Chinese name?


I love the stitch definition knitting with Louet Gems Sport. The ribs and twists really pop! I chose a different lace for the foot; this is fishtail lace from my 365 Knitting Stitches a Year Perpetual Calendar. (I don’t love this calendar; it only has written instructions, no charts. It was shrink-wrapped when I bought it; how’s a knitter to know? I need a good stitch dictionary; do you have one that you love?)

lai wah right

I think I like Cookie A’s lace panel better; it has a more dramatic holey-ness. This one is more subdued than I anticipated, but once I figured out the panel placement, there was no going back. I think this lace would look more open at a normal sport weight gauge, but I like my socks to be pretty densely knit for better wear, and that made the lace more dense, too.

toe pic

I love how the lace angles across the foot. It’s a little disconcerting that the toe is angled, too, but it’s perfectly comfortable. One down and one to go! It will be close; the first sock weighs 53 grams (love that new kitchen/yarn scale). The skein of yarn is supposed to be 100 grams, but there are 53 grams left. Which means I’ll just make it. Or I won’t…it’s an adventure!

Sock Innovation: a book review

I seem to have become a sock knitter, again. I went through a phase about 10 years ago, and finally decided that skinny yarn knitting wasn’t for me. But a funny thing happened this last year. I seem to be knitting a lot of socks. Granted, the yarn is never skinnier than sport weight, but there are a lot of socks coming from my needles.

Because of my skinny yarn aversion, there has been a lot of adapting stitch counts and heels and all the good things that go into socks. And there has been some sock designing to go along with that, based on things that I’ve learned along the way. Nothing too fancy, but I’ve liked the results.

I was cruising Amazon the other day, and I looked at Cookie A’s new book, Sock Innovation, published by Interweave Knits. That cute little “Look Inside” feature? It had me at this from the opening pages: “I have biases and preferences that will become apparent. All the socks in this book are knitted from the top down, and most have ribbed cuffs, a flap heel with gusset, and stockinette wedge toes.” Knitter after my own heart!


The first half of the book is a very thorough tutorial on how to design socks, beginning with the basics of sock construction, working through inverting stitches, working with charts, adjusting stitch patterns to fit your needs, and how stitches affect knitted fabric. All of this information is great for adapting existing sock patterns or designing your own socks. And if you just want to knit socks? There are 15 exquisitely detailed sock patterns that are ready to go. If you knit with fingering weight yarn. But the tools are there for adapting, or designing, and for me, that’s the best part of the whole book.

Since I’ve finished my Shur’tugal socks, I need something else on the needles. Funny that I have so few works in progress! The baby sweater isn’t making me happy, but I can solve that with a trip to Twisted’s sale this weekend for a yarn I like better. But what about a portable knitting project NOW? I’m thinking Kai-Mei, from Sock Innovation. Except it won’t be Kai-Mei, because I have Frankensteinian plans…Kai-Mei is the inspiration, but somehow I think Cookie would be pleased that I’m taking her instruction from the beginning of the book and running with it. Knit on!