Sock – Art stays On – Trend
STEPHANIE VAN DER LINDEN IS A MASTER KNITTER AND HAS PUBLISHED SEVERAL BOOKS IN GERMANY. OP-ART SOCKS IS HER FIRST US PUBLISHED BOOK AND IT SHOWS OFF HER TECHNICAL SKILLS WHILST PROVIDING STUNNING PATTERNS FOR KNITTERS ACROSS A RANGE OF SKILL LEVELS
interview: Mindy Cook
Socks are currently very ‘on trend’ here in Australian fashion irrespective of the season. Where did you get the idea to knit such gorgeous socks?
I think socks are the most popular knitting project in Germany as well. In fact knitting in public is very popular here! Socks make small projects and very welcome gifts. I was ten years old when I knitted my very first pair of socks for my father’s birthday and I used pure alpaca yarn. My father was very proud and only wore them in the evening at home on the couch … until they were washed in hot water and shrunk to the size of baby booties.
In 2006 I joined an online German sock knitting group (remember there was life before social media) with about 200 members. Somebody asked for a bimonthly sock knit-along. As I had done some designs for friends and family I agreed to design the first pattern for May 2006 which, to my surprise, got an overwhelming response. In the meantime I’ve learned a lot about the different styles of pattern writing.
What was your creative pursuit before this project?
I do love the op-art movement and the Bauhaus School of Design and I’m a keen collector of op-art ceramics, mainly vases. I think the theme of optical illusions was fertile ground for my sock knitting book.
Have you been published before or is this your first book and how did it come to be?
I’m the author of several German knitting books, mainly sock designs, baby designs and knitting technique. In some weeks my first lace book will be published in German. Three books are also available as English translation: The Sock Knitter’s Workshop, Around the World in Knitted Socks and Knit Socks for All Seasons. Op-Art Socks is my first book of US origin, but I’ve authored several German knitting books before this one.
What level of knitting skills are needed to knit the projects in your book Op-Art Socks?
This is not an introduction on how to knit socks! But with some experience in working in the round, knit and purl stitches, short rows, heel flaps and gussets you will be able to work at least half of the projects. The op-art theme suggests colourwork. Some knitters are quite afraid of working with two or more colours at the same time. So I decided to use several two-coloured slip stitch patterns. For these patterns you use only one colour for two rounds each and change to the second colour for the following two rounds. Of course you can also find some stranded patterns in there for experienced knitters. The cover design is worked with two balls of the same rainbow colour. It‘s not really complicated – just give it a try!
And to finish….
Dog or cat? Dog, definitely!
Favourite meal? Maple walnut ice cream
Favourite colour? Blue, it’s fresh and cool
Finish this sentence: I can’t live without…. my family – the best husband and three teenage daughters.