Talking Socks with Rachel Coopey
Socks Yeah! A Interview with Rachel Coopey
A little over six months ago Rachel Coopey the talented designer behind Coop Knits announced she was launching a sock yarn. As the announcement went out sock knitters across the globe pricked up their ears to hear the details.
Knowing that Rachel had collaborated with luxurious yarn producer Fyberspates I knew we would be in for a real treat with this new yarn. Needless to say, I certainly have not been disappointed.
This fantastic light sock yarn comes in a glorious array of beautiful marled shades – a feast for the eyes and perfect for intricate patterns, stripes and colourwork.
Socks Yeah! Is certainly not just for socks. This lightweight yarn would make beautiful garments and accessories – think colour work hats, spectacular shawls and everything in between. This fantastic yarn is also perfect for crochet as proven by the dynamic duo Joanne Scrace and Kat Goldin in their recent release Crochet Yeah!
I was fortunate enough to catch up with Rachel Coopey recently for a quick chat about her new yarn.
What inspired you to start your own yarn line?
The yarn is produced in collaboration with Fyberspates, we've been working together closely for the last few years and my yarn seemed like the obvious next step. Jeni (from Fyberspates) helped me through the process every step of the way and it has been a lot of fun.
Deciding on a fibre blend must have been an exciting and daunting task, how did you decided on what to put into your very first yarn?
For my first yarn I knew I wanted to have some nylon for added strength and wear. I also wanted the softness and drape of the merino, not especially for socks but for shawls and other items. The yarn also has a high twist, which makes the stitch definition great - I love twisted stitches and they really pop in this yarn!
Many knitters are very interested in yarn provenance. Could you tell me where you source your fibre from and where the yarn is milled?
The fibre is sourced from and spun in Peru with a non-mulesing guarantee, Fyberspates has been working with this mill for a long time and I'm hoping to tag along on one of their visits soon (and maybe also trekking to Machu Picchu while I'm there!).
Your sock yarn is quite a lightweight sock yarn, coming in at 422m per 100g. Could you tell me a little more about why you have chosen to produce a lighter sock yarn?
I like socks you can wear in shoes without really allowing for it so I wanted a yarn on the lightweight side.
50g skeins are a little different for sock yarn as we are more used to seeing it in 100g skeins. Could you tell me why you chose to make this (excellent) decision?
I wanted the flexibility of 50g skeins, I wanted to be able to add a contrast colour without making it prohibitively expensive. I want to design longer socks with multiple colours without expecting people to buy 600g of yarn. I think it is also helpful if you knit 2 at a time socks (or like me 2 at time but on separate needles), you don't have to divide your skein in to two.
Colours are such an important aspect of knitting and yarn choice. What inspired your colour choices?
I tried to choose colours that worked together well, I thought very hard about the palette, making sure I was considering colours that weren't usually the ones I reach for first. I wanted to have some really great neutrals and I think I managed that, the light grey (Danburite) is my favourite, it's exactly the shade of a sweatshirt I had when I was a teenager and I loved that thing to death! It was difficult to narrow it down to 10 but I'm really happy with how it turned out.
The yarns are marled – could you tell me a little more about why you have opted for this instead of solids or variegated yarns please.
I wanted the colours to be interesting and complex but I wanted to be able to knit stitch patterns that were on the subtle side and not be worried about them getting lost in the yarn colour. I love the way the marls look different almost every time you look at them.
Could you also give me a bit of information about the naming process – I think they are all names after gems or semi precious stones. Is there is a reason behind this naming theme?
They are! It was what I was reminded of after I had chosen the palette. I think I was influenced by my jewellery background and that my sister is a geologist so we (she) talks about rocks a lot!
Can we expect to see a new sock book or sock series featuring this fantastic new yarn?
Yes! It is due to be published in the Autumn, in the meantime I have reworked some of my old favourites in the new yarn and they will be coming very soon as printed single patterns and downloads.