TYV Circular Knitting – Blog Tour!

You think you know Melissa Morgan-Oakes? Think again!! I put MMO, The 2-at-a-time sock Majesty through the r+p interview treatment!

Read more after the cut!



[faq question=”One thing that surprised me when I started researching you is that you’ve not been knitting for very long (since 2000). Your main craft used to be crochet – what made you take the leap to knitting?” dropcap_question=”Q” dropcap_answer=”A”]I was a crocheter first, and also an avid hand spinner, as was my daughter at the time. As a result of our endless spinning efforts we found ourselves drowning a bit in yarn. I learned to knit and my husband took up weaving out of self-preservation, really. We needed to dig out from under the fiber! I had always had an interest in knitting, and had strong family ties to knitting; perhaps a little too strong. In my childhood, attempts to teach me to knit failed because I would drift from one relative to another, each telling me that I was knitting “wrong”. It wasn’t until 2000 that I could put everything together and teach myself what they had tried to teach me for all those years.[/faq] [faq question=”Many of us associate our first projects with childhood and a certain homely feeling, what do you associate your first knitting project with?” dropcap_question=”Q” dropcap_answer=”A”]Motherlove! The first project I knitting, start to finish, was a sweater for my daughter designed around her handspun yarn. It ranged from 3 stitches per inch to 5-6 stitches per inch. Using three different gauges I designed the garment for her, each section using a different gauge. In the end it was really quite cute, and I had learned not just how to design, but how to incorporate such a wide range of yarn weights into one garment. That was all secondary to the excitement on Meg’s face when she put it on for the first time[/faq] [faq question=”The book is very comprehensive, you cover everything from how to ensure the Cast-On row is not twisted to avoiding ladders. How did you approach the contents – did you have a list of I wish I had known this, did people get in touch with you asking you to write about something?” dropcap_question=”Q” dropcap_answer=”A”]Most of the breadth of information in the book is a result of my experiences as a knitting teacher over the last 7-8 years. I have taught extensively for Webs Yarn Store here in the US on a wide range of subjects, and for a while I ran one of their “drop-in knitting” sessions. The questions that are answered in this book are the questions I got repeatedly in classes and drop-in. I also sent around an email during the planning stages of this book to friends and asked them for their top questions – it was amusing and ironic to see how many of them responded with such similarity![/faq] [faq question=”From a personal perspective…  You’re a woman who’s very involved in her household (farm duties), you’ve a big family you spend quality time with, pets you run after and you’re constantly on the move. How do you do it all? Do you time-manage yourself to ensure everything gets done, or do you take the as-it-comes approach and avoid being tied down to the clock?” dropcap_question=”Q” dropcap_answer=”A”]I tend to avoid clocks – part of my leaving my job as a registered nurse was my discomfort with the rigidity of a schedule. Some things happen, or have to happen, on a schedule; my chickens need their feed and water pretty consistently each day, although nothing like larger animals or a larger scale farm. On very busy days I time manage everything out in a detailed “to do” list with set times for each activity whether it’s fiber work, farm work, or sometimes even family and friends time – but don’t tell them![/faq] [faq question=”What’s your favourite part of your job? Teaching? Designing? Running after Yoshi?” dropcap_question=”Q” dropcap_answer=”A”]Right now I think my favorite part of my job would be chasing Yoshi (Ruth note – pictured above, Yoshi is SUCH a cutie!)! Often my favorite moments are at the end of the day or early in the morning when everything is still and calm and I have time to draw a breath and be grateful for everything I have. I love my whole life, really, and am so glad I get to have things exactly the way they are now[/faq] [faq question=”When did you first think YES! I made it! after deciding to pursue knitting as a job?” dropcap_question=”Q” dropcap_answer=”A”]I don’t think I ever really thought that. I think that I tend to take things as they come, and I don’t ever think I’ve made it, really. It’s all a process. I step forward into things and see where they lead. When I left my perfectly good, lucrative career I had no plan at all. I just continued to step forward into whatever opportunity came next. I don’t think I will ever make it, really, becasue I will always be stepping out into what comes![/faq]



Round of Quick-Fire!!

Fave Cast On

I am terrible at choices! Long-tail Cast-on, Judy’s Magic Cast-on, or Cable Cast-on. Or all three, really!

Fave Bind Off

Standard basic bind off or Elizabeth ZImmerman’s Sewn Bind-off

Fave Sock method (toe up/leg down, heel flap/short row heel)

This is actually a bit easier than it should be. Top down, heel flap!

Fave tool (circ, dpn, scissors, tapestry needle, crochet hook?)

Luxury circulars! Dyakcraft’s Darn Pretty Needles, Signature Needle Arts and Lantern Moon!

Fave trick from the in-the-round trenches

Well, 2-at-a-Time Socks, of course! 2-at-a-Time anything, really!

Knitting pattern that you could knit again, and again, and…

I have to say pretty much anything Elizabeth Zimmerman. I rarely knit anything a second time unless it’s hers. I find myself coming back to her time and time again.

Yarn you could work with forever and not get tired (if it’s not invented yet, make it up!)

I LOVE luxury yarns, but if I could only ever have one yarn again in my whole life? It’s be a nice 4 ply worsted weight generic wool, solid colored, in as many colors as can be dreamed up! The flexibility of a yarn like that simply cannot be matched

Designer/Teacher you’d like to swap brains with for a day

Cat Bordhi, although I suspect after about 5 minutes my head would explode right off of my shoulders. The woman is a genius, and I mean that in the most literal way imaginable!


Give us a recommendation for…

(MMO – OK, as long as we all understand that this in no way implies favoritism!)

A bookThe Handmaid’s Tale, if you haven’t already. This book turned me on to a life-long love of Margaret Atwood.

A filmLike Water for Chocolate, which should be enjoyed with a nice red wine.

A song to listen to – Jamie Cullum’s Photograph. In fact, just grab a Jamie CD and pop it in and absorb the whole thing. Love him. How often in life can a mother and daughter share a fan-girl fascination?

A feeling to revisit –  First day of school – good or bad!


On a last note – what do you hope your book readers can learn from your words and your work?

I hope that readers take away a spirit of adventure and the willingness to try, maybe fail, and try again, and the knowledge that there are no knitting police – although people will tell you there’s a right and a wrong way to do things, in knitting that isn’t really true. As long as you get the look you were striving for, how you get there really, in the end, doesn’t matter!


How did you enjoy Melissa’s words? I feel incredibly empowered to take on the (knitting) world.

If you’d like to WIN a free, autographed copy of Melissa’s latest book, Teach Yourself Visually Circular Knitting, LEAVE A COMMENT below telling us what you hope to conquer in your craft world – it can be conquerable now, next week, or the print you hope to leave in this world with your uber-craftiness and TWEET the following:

@melissaknits rocked my knitting socks @rockandpurl’s blog – http://bit.ly/mmoRP

To enter, your comment and tweet must be submitted before June 24th July 1st at 23.59pm, Greenwich Time. I’ll draw a random winner on June 26th July 3rd and the best replies will be posted on a separate post – because I know your answers will be awesome. (dates changed to allow entries for those who couldn’t enter due to my site being down)

Go ahead and tweet/comment to your heart’s contents!!