Ann Budd brings her new book New Directions in Sock Knitting

ANN BUDD brings her book New Directions in Sock Knitting: 18 Innovative Designs Knitted from Every Which Way was today’s HOT TOPIC on the Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird. This was Ann’s first visit to the Yarn Thing podcast, probably because she’s such a busy individual in our world of yarn.New Directions in Sock Knitting

Ann says she has aways been crafty, learned to knit at age 12, when her family lived in Switzerland for a year. In school, divided into gender specific crafts, she learned to knit ‘by accident’ because she didn’t speak the language but enjoyed these classes. The first projects included a sweater that first year and she says the experience saved her life at that time.

Coming back to the states, knitting was not thought to be cool, something one didn’t talk about, but her parents supported her as a closet knitter. Without knowing, she made things we might think difficult to make, patterned knicker socks for cross-country skiing for her supportive parents. Yarn shops at that time was the experience of visiting where the little old ladies were knitting, she acquired yarn and knit one project at at time. Another yarn shop opened and she upgraded her skills to include steeked sweaters. As she neared college, she decided to study geology. Oil companies at that time, the late 1980’s, oil companies were laying off people, she worked for a company that created reports of where to drilled for oil, but who were really suffering with that downturn. Her husband said, if it’s not what you want to do in the long-term, and they are not paying you in the short-term, why are you staying?   Her spirit lifted and she called her friend that she worked with in a yarn store, who asked what did she want to do. Ann’s response was, I don’t know, perhaps publishing? She applied the next day for an editorial assistant job with a weaving publication we know as Interweave.  Life continued and she worked there in various capacities, even editing books. About ten years ago, she went free-lance (because she wanted to be more involved with family) and she says she has been living the good life.

Ann Budd profile pic
I stole this picture off Ann’s Instagram. It puts a face to the voice we learned about today and stresses the subliminal need we all have to be sure we get enough rest! Love, ~tammy

Designing life began for Ann was either with the publication of her patterns ‘A Scarf of Your Very Own’ or ‘The Grand Plan Mitten Chart’ which became the ‘Knitters Book of Patterns‘ (Marly says she owns three copies of that wonderful resource!) For Interweave she did that Mitten Chart, then Tams, Vests … about then Interweave suggested a book. There was so much information, because these included was multiple sizes and multiple gauges. Encouraged by Melanie Falick, then editor of Interweave Knits, she was able write the Knitters Handy Book of Patterns without imploding, she says, and that most likely has led her to become the helpful editor many book authors know today.

The newest book New Directions in Sock Knitting, came from her own ‘Style…’ series which included Scarf Style (these are the links in Ravelry), Wrap Style, Folk Style, Bag Style, Color StyleSimple Style…. She wanted to make a Sock Style, but with projects that are so unique from other socks, she says for people who want new adventures. She says she wasn’t smart enough to create all of these, but is smart enough to find people by strolling through the internet for these individual adventurers. She also says she meant to include a design of her own but she broke her arm, then it was set wrong… there was just no way she could contribute to her own book this time. She is blogging her way through the patterns, she began with Boomerang, designed by Louise Roberts, which uses a self striping yarn beginning with the back of the leg and sole the shape initially resembles a boomerang, then working up the top of the foot from the toe to the cuff. Currently she’s working on Anne Berk’s Harlequin Socks, using Intarsia-in-the-Round, her ‘Annetarsia’ method (Anne Berk has shared a bit of Annetarsia with her book on this program). The book begins with Mirrored Socks (by Kate Atherley, who was on the Yarn Thing podcast a few months ago with her own sock book) which are created ONE SOCK INSIDE THE OTHER, of two different colors so you can see which is which on the needles. Ann says she’s not a two-at-a-time sock knitter so she’s putting that off for a while, jumping around the book. We support her right to do that, it’s her socks, and her sock book!

Ann Budd also gets to teach on occasion and Craftsy gives us all the opportunity to learn from her. Her first class is called Save Our Stitches: Fixing Knitting Mistakes, and for Sock Fans, Essential Skills for Sock Knitters. She says she will be filming another class later this year!  Ann can be followed at her website, AnnBuddKnits.com which features a blog. She can also be followed in Facebook, she has a designer profile in Ravelry, and a fan group Budd’s Buds, also she’s in Instagram. Marly mentioned that Ann’s classes are the first to fill up, because she’s one of those teachers that everyone wants to learn from. She does host retreats twice a year called Knit for Fun Retreats, CLICK HERE for more information about those learning opportunities.


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  1. laineyhf says:

    My life would not be complete without wild socks! I heard you talk about this book at the Texas Hill Country dinner with the Yarn Harlot, and I have been interested in it since.

  2. Robin says:

    I am an expert crocheter but a novice knitter. My first knit garment will be Wild Sox thanks to Ann. Keep on bringing us the best interviews Marly! I love listening and being challenged.

  3. Kristina says:

    I am a relatively new sock knitter but am excited to try knitting some wild socks! Thanks for the great show!

  4. Suzanne says:

    I love that you swiped a picture of Ann to include here. This book definitely has some wild socks included but that’s the charm. There are 18 opportunities to learn something new. Gotta love that!

  5. Geraldine Scott says:

    Would love to knit myself some wild socks…sounds like fun! Loved the idea of knitting one sock cuff down, and it’s mate toe up to prevent that second sock syndrome!

  6. Trisha says:

    I loved learning about Ann’s background, especially how she learned to knit and what her first projects were. Love the wild socks! Can’t say they’d be boring to knit.

  7. Pam Shrout says:

    My very favorite sock pattern in the whole wide world is Ann’s Diagonal Rib Socks…. so pretty, so comfy, fit so well! But, I would also love to knit me some wild socks 🙂

  8. Ramona says:

    I love wild socks! In fact, I recently forced myself to knit some grey/black ones so I had at least one pair that I could wear in more subdued environments.

  9. Rachel Catherine says:

    I have really just gotten into sock knitting this year. I would love to experiment with making some wild socks!

  10. Carol T says:

    Wild socks are the best way to learn new techniques! I can’t wait to try some of the patterns in this new book. Great interview with Ann B. Thanks for a great interview.

  11. Debbie Austin says:

    I would love to make a pair of wild socks!! I guess I will need to get your book because I have only made one pair of socks and this book would definitely help me!

  12. Linda says:

    I would love to win Ann’s new book and knit a pair of wild socks for myself. Marly, your podcasts are always enjoyable. Thank you!

  13. Deb Hamilton says:

    I LOVE your Wild Socks, of any kind. So much enjoy this show and wonderful guests like Ann! She is inspiring and a wonderful teacher on Craftsy! Fun Fun Fun~

  14. Jamie says:

    I knit 15 pair of plain jane socks last year so I think this should be the year of Wild Socks! Thanks for a great Podcast!

  15. Jessica says:

    I’ve been buying (gag) wild socks since I was 14 years old and still have many of them (a couple drawers full) , but I really want to handknit them and toss out my big box store wild socks. This book would make a great addition!

  16. Sarah S. says:

    I loved this episode! I loved hearing all about Ann’s life and especially when she was a young girl learning to knit. My husband recently asked me to make him some socks. He told me he wanted wild socks!

  17. Kelly Haskell says:

    I’m taking one of Ann’s Craftsy classes right now and loving it,….can’t wait to get my hands on some Wild Socks 🙂 🙂

  18. Mary Kay Smith says:

    Wild socks are so much more fun to knit and to wear! I can’t wait to check out Ann’s new book!

  19. Lee Ann says:

    Loved the show! As usual. I have always been a fan of Ann’s and I would be extremely proud to win a copy of her book. But if not, I’ll be purchasing soon to knit a pair of Wild Socks.

  20. savannagal says:

    I love knitting socks, but I have to say, so far none have been wild socks. I guess I need to step up my game.

  21. hepkara says:

    Wild socks are something I have not ventured into, but have recently decided I should. For a long time I struggled with what socks “matched.” Now I’ve realized that’s an odd construct I can mostly ignore.

  22. Heather says:

    These really are wild socks! My last pair of hole-free handknit socks just got a hole in them and I’d love some wild ones to knit! Thanks for the great interview!

  23. Renee' says:

    My husband wears wild socks to celebrate important events/sales, so Ann’s book is great for this as well as being loads of fun!

  24. Martha says:

    I love knitting socks, but I don’t seem to have many, I guess I give to many away. But I want a pair of Wild socks and this book is just where to find them.

  25. Lauren says:

    Socks are my favorite knitting project, but I always use the same pattern. It would be fun to try some wild socks to expand my knitting range.

  26. Iryna B. says:

    I use Ann’s basic sock patter for my socks knitting. Wild socks would be great to try! Thank you for fun interview!

Marly Bird

The One and Only, Marly

Marly is a knitwear and crochet designer (and yarn addict) that is here to help you learn how to knit and crochet in a way that's fun and approachable.

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