Socks and Sock Yarns : Opinions

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I feel like I hit the Motherlode of sock yarns yesterday.  Under the guise of going to see LALA Land in Kenosha, (delightful movie)  I wondered aloud, if we had time to stop at Fiddlehead Yarns in Kenosha.

Their sock yarns are diverse and many of them are new to me.  So enjoy the eye candy.  I won’t show the one skein (yes One, wasn’t I Good?) I did purchase.  I Now have 7 sock yarns in my stash.  That’s right.  

I went to my old blog and my Ravelry project page, which is not nearly a complete list of my knits, and compiled a partial list of sock yarns that I have worked.  

Mountain Colors Sock yarns have colorways that just seduce me.  I do recall however, that the Sock yarn I bought years ago at the Village KnitWit in Glenview (now closed) had no nylon in it.  It was a bit hard to work it.   If there is one thing I know, I must have some nylon in my socks.  Im at the point where anything I may have in stash that has no nylon is not really sock yarn to me.  It will be a ribbed hat or a shawl but not socks.  So I don’t count them as sock stash. 

  • unnamed-3I have heard Irish Girlie Knits sock yarns are harbored in many a stash.  Someday I’ll purchase IGK and I now know where to find it locally.   Since Al gave me a beautiful skein of Wandering Wool’s Ausable Sock (merino-cashmere-nylon) in Azalea I passed on the IGK pinks.  (for now) unnamed-4
  • I fell for some Vesper with Nylon yarn.  I did not choose either of the above skeins.  It does feel a bit stiff, but a store clerk said it softens with washing……
  • unnamed-2I’m pretty sure this is Hedgehog fibers sock yarn.  Isn’t that purple glorious? I will be trying that too on a future shopping date. . 

Here is my not quite up to date, list of sock yarns I’ve worked with over the years.

Mainly I need a yarn to have some nylon and I need it not to be splitty.  I won’t tolerate knots either.  I have had issues with washable yarn felting over the years. Knitpicks to be exact.  I machine wash socks routinely and lay them out to dry.  I hesitate to buy their sock yarns again.

I currently have a dozen pairs of socks that I wear all winter long. Some of them are over 5 years old.   Several of the pairs are knitted in Lorna’s Laces. (shepard sport)  LL washes well and their colorways are lovely (even with pooling).  I wish I had knit them on smaller needles however.

Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet.  Loved it.  Needed 2 skeins for a pair.  Played yarn chicken and lost. Had to do shortie socks (anklets) and use a different toe yarn.  None the less I’d buy it again.  It is a lesser expensive sock yarn. (10 dollars per skein)

Regia: since 1949.  They know a thing or two about wear and tear.  Regia yarns wash and wear very well.  I don’t think they are the softest yarns out there, but they are hard wearing as the label says. It is also a lesser expensive sock yarn.

Socks that Rock.  I was part of the rage.  Their names and colorways in the early years just blew me away. However, ,they were bulky and I like my socks about 6-8 st /inch.

So they came up with Dream in Color Smooshy.  I used GO GO Grassy to knit up a great pair of socks last year.  Good spring to the yarn and more my gauge.

Rowan 4ply Soft knitted into a gorgeous pair of give away sock exchange socks back in 2005.  I used green, purple and blue and striped them myself.  They were exquisite. I haven’t done that again, because I’m now a sock knitting snob.  I like my socks to be one continuous strand of yarn.  I admire all of your heels and cuffs in complimentary colors but I’m afraid my joins will unjoin with wear.

Schoppel Woolle Ambiente.  Another thicker gauge yarn. I made baby socks with them.  Won’t repeat.

Frolicking Feet knitted into a gorgeous sunflower colored pair of socks.  They wear well, the gauge was good.  What’s not to like?

Cherry Tree Hill was not a yarn available to me, so I found some from a web sale. All that was available at the time was their Broad Band colorways.  The yarn was nice, the blocks of color way too weird.  I ended up with two socks that looked completely complimentary but in big goofy blocks of colors.  As in, a pair of socks containing 4 colors in 4 separate blocks.  This yarn might make a great shawl with the long long repeats of color.  Can’t fault them, it is called Broad Band for a reason.

Mirasol’s Peruvian Shade 700 were knitted into socks for Fireman. They promptly felted and are now mine.  Enough said.  I won’t buy that brand again.

Koigu: yes it can be used for socks and it washes very well.  Pricey.

Berroco Sox still come in great self-patterning colorways.  Berroco knows what they are doing.  I have a skein in my stash awaiting the knit up.  I have knitted with them before.

Ty-Dy Socks. I currently have two different colorways in my statsh.   Dee mentioned she had some odd pooling with hers recently.  Now, I’m a bit nervous.  I have two skeins in my stash of 7.  Remember I only  have 7 in my stash.

Rowan fine art is also in my stash.  It is merino, mohair, poly and silk.  It feels divine. I scored a thirty dollar skein for 30% off during a sale.  Although it feels divine, I’m going to rib the entire sock I make with it, as it feels like it won’t want to stand up.

Finally I have a skein of Cascade Heritage Paints, merino and nylon.  The colorway is very dark.   I will definitely have to jazz it up with a pattern.

Uncle Bill’s socks were Online Supersock with Aloe Vera and I loved the colorway. He did too.    I’d purchase that again.  The aloe vera was not really detectable to my hands, but I recall the yarn feeling pleasant.

That’s a partial summary.

I have changed my sock life to include double points in 0, 1, 2’s .  I love the way the yarns knit up on 0’s.  It can be tough to find the needles in 8 inch. But I did yesterday!  I found Knitters Pride in Karbonz in 8 inch.  Wahoo.

Normally I knit on wooden double points.  I can knit socks on circs, but I find the adjusting fiddly.  I like to knit side by side socks on double points for perfection in matching.

I still fight with Kitchener.  I sometimes turn the sock inside out and do a three needle bind off. Sometimes I do a round toe and I pull the final stitches through like a hat top.

I am also going to TRY a toe up sock this weekend.  Wish me luck.

Any thoughts on your sock yarns?  What have you loved?  Any yarns that haven’t met your standards?  I’d love to know!

Sock yarns…. They make me so happy.

 

 

For the Birds and Socks

dscf9881We all have our favorites, and Fireman loves the goldfinches.   They require a special seed around here if you want to attract them to your yard.  This is their winter color hue.  They actually become bright yellow/gold in summer and the change is noticeable. 

dscf9876Some of you love the cardinals.  I’ve said it before, (oops trying not to bore you!) but they are a really brilliant red up here in Wisconsin.   Maybe it is just that the landscape is so much less crowded and dense.  The woods make a great backdrop for these splashes of color in the form of birds.   

Can I just tell you how hard it is to get their photos?  They move so fast.  They sit still for very short periods of time.  If it weren’t for my zoom lens, (ah,  Fuji finepix S refurbished I love thee) I wouldn’t get these close ups. 

dscf9889Finally this Friday the 13th, I give you my only sock book.   I think I have only worked ONE of the patterns in this book .   There are no charts.  

I think I bought this when sock knitting was very new to me.  I am going to try a different toe shaping technique on my current pair in progress.  She offers 5 toe shapings: a round toe, a French toe, a Pointed toe, a Star of four points toe, a flat toe and a wide toe.  

The wide toe instructions say to end with a three needle bind off.   The flat toe is the only one that mentions the dreaded Kitchener stitch.  So Here’s to a new toe.  Time for an old sock knitter to learn a new trick. 

Happy Friday the 13th !  May you encounter the best of luck and have a great day.  We are off to see Lala Land and ahem, stop at a knit store in the area of the theatre.  I need to feel some Spun Right Round sock yarn , some Vesper and some Kismet before I indulge in a January pick me up purchase.  

 

Allison’s Islas Cruces Cowl

 

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Allison has been knitting the Islas Cruces Cowl in Malabrigo Rios.  I love her crosses.  They really pop against the white Yarn.  I’ll have to remind her to use a color catcher when she washes it.  Verdict: She is quite bored with it and ready to be done.   

Santa brought her the Purl Soho Embroidery starter kit and she is motivated to learn.  Oklahoma is expecting an ice storm this weekend and she can stay in and play with strings in a new way.  

We had an ice storm yesterday so we had to cut our visit to our old neighborhood short yesterday.  This meant missing a visit with Mom.  Mom would be the FIRST to say to get out of that weather and get home.  She was the quintessential worrier.  The ultimate mom.   

This is the time of year I catch up on Movies and some books.  We watched Sully the other day.  What a great movie.  Not for the flying faint of heart.  I nearly needed a xanax just watching it.  What a great person they depict in Sully.  A humble hero.  

I also read and skimmed through COCKTAIL HOUR UNDER THE TREE OF FORGETFULNESS, by Alexandra Fuller.   It is a family story that is written with wit.  I do not know Africa well or Scotland, so I think that those who do would enjoy the book more than I.  

Have you seen a good movie?  Read a good book?  Blog pals are full of good recommendations, I think.  Share the love!

Flannel and Pin Stripes

dscf9874Fireman makes crepes. Firefighter Joe taught him how years ago.  Don’t you love a man in the kitchen cooking?  I do.
1/2 cup flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
Mix in blender
Let stand for 30 min

Pour a thin crepe.  Fill it and fold the sides over.  We like to fill with :Ham, swiss, onion, broccoli and mushrooms.  Mmmmm.

dscf9875Love the Dee inspired Pin Stripes socks.  Yarn: sock yarn from Al , gifted me last summer.  Love the colors.  Love the slipped stitches.  Thanks Dee.  Let the Sock year begin. 

 

 

My First Hat Finish of 2017

dscf9872My first hat is finished for 2017.  It will be a part of the Womens’ March on The National Mall of 1/21.  It will be donated and given to warm a marcher and  to show solidarity for womens’rights.  I know some of you expressed that you don’t like the name of the pattern.  I appreciate your honesty .   I do.  I wanted to be a small part of the March.  My friend Anne is going and she will choose/find a recipient for my knit hat. 

I used leftover Zara for the ribbing.  I found some Shi Bui sockyarn  in nearly the same color for the stockinette portion.  So I doubled the yarn and the gauge matched up to the zara weight. (almost. ) It was really really close.  Hey, it worked.  By the way, the red is really more fuschia in real life.  I dont’ know why reds misbehave so in photos.  Way to go Kathy b, using up leftover stash! 

I had a surprise when I awoke this morning.  I had a silicone ear plug stuck to my hair.  My first try at earplugs: epic fail.  Im trying to grow out my hair, not chop it into pieces.  I don’t really  NEED the earplugs.  I’ve just been awakened this week by the neighbor’s dog Harley misbehaving.   It is just such perfect sleep in weather….cold, windy, snowy, slush…January! Harley’s waking me up. 

Harley does not usually cause a ruckus.  I think he’s just stir crazy.  He’s wearing the cone  of shame to, I notice with binoculars….I’m one of those country neighbors!

Thank you Fireman for carefully combing the silicone out of my hair while you had your coffee this morning.   We didnt’ have to cut it!  If we did I’ may have had to keep that new hat….and I would much rather it be donated to a Marcher!

A Monday Q and A for Today 1/9

For those who want an occasional Monday Q and A, I’m just wondering……unnamed

How do you Hygge?

(I bring a hot water bottle to bed with me, I knit under an electric throw after sundown, I wear my best knit slippers that stay up no matter  (Grandmas_Boot_Slippers pdf) and I light candles.  I do not go out on ice that is new like the crazy man On Lake Geneva)

Have you ever tried to feed the birds by hand?unnamed-1

(Why yes.  I tried Sunday.  I have a flinch, scream reaction to birds flying near my head.   I . was. so. brave.  Me and the chickadees.  One came within arms reach . One flew onto the feeder.  I may have flinched. I did not scream.  I told myself to breathe. No takers from my hand yet.

I’m going to keep trying when the feeder is empty of course.  Fireman just laughed and took the picture of me to send to my kids. )

Pets, can be….well messy.  What’s your best cleaning advice?

(As seen on TV , Quick and Brite takes even the most disgusting cat vomit out of the carpet.  Even an old stain.  This stuff’s magic.  My friend Sandy gave me some. She swears by it. I do too now!)

Have you emailed a famous person?

(Well, She’s the Empress of Dirt. I’m not sure she’s that famous, but I love her gardening ideas.  I emailed her to ask about WINTER Sow methods.  She says it works! She has not written about it.  I put two more milk jugs out today with Hollyhocks seeds in them.)

Are you making a Hat for the PussyHat project?

(Why yes I am thanks to Meredith blogging about it.  I decided to tell my friend Anne, a good nurse buddy also retired now,  because she crochets.  Well guess what? Not only has she made 5 of them already….she’s GOING To the March in Washington DC on the 21st.  So I’m delivering my hat to her and she’s going to pass it out to someone who needs one.   I want to see all those amazing women Marching with their pink hats on and I want to be a small part of it)

Did you have to check up on a gift knit to see if got there?

(Yes.  Uncharacteristically, Uncle Billy never let me know if he got the socks I knitted and sent to him.  I emailed him.  “Did you get my surprise?”  He DID.  He said he was CRAZY for the colorway.  His words: Crazy about the colors” )

Would you even think of 17 pairs of socks in 2017?

(I am thinking of it!!!  I did not complete 16 in 2016 but I started out with a bang.  There is a Ravelry group for 17 in 17.  I may join.  I LOVE to knit socks.  The sock yarn choices are always abundant and within my budget.  Fair warning, its a sock year for sure. )

Did you watch the Golden Globes?

(Just a tad.  Then Fireman and I watched the amazing BILLY JOEL concerts on axstv.  We loved him then, we love him now. )

What’s your quickest/fastest/ knit Stitch type?

(Al thinks stockinette slows her, because it bores her.    I think I’m fastest in stockinette in the round. I love S. in the R. !  Ribbing slows me down but I do love a good snug hat rib or sock cuff rib.  )

Have you had a recipe fail lately?

(Yes.  I made sweet potato chips.  They were fine, but way way way too much work. Individually turning each little chip in the oven and babysitting them …Not worth the effort.  )

That’s it for today!  Enjoy. Join along if you wish. I love to read your answers.

 

 

First Finish 2017 28’s Big Sister 77

dscf9851My first finish of 2017, is 28’s Big Sister 77 Shawlette. 

I’m pretty excited about it.

Free Ravelry pattern published in 2010.

Yarn: KnitPicks Chroma in Fingering weight

Colorway: Lupine

Used 1 and a half skeins on size 7 needles.

It is a big success for me.  I didn’t drop any unnoticed stitches and when I did drop I was able to correct.

I have a hard time with knitting when I cannot stretch it out and see it all at once.   This is the case on this pattern for me.  I kept plugging along.  Kept believing in the pattern.  It is a good one.  Clear line by line instructions.  Nothing fancy.

As others said On Ravelry notes, there is a lot of purling.  Because I prefer to knit, I think you could reverse the knits and purls and get the same effect?

It was all ripply when I finished, so……I actually blocked it last night.  I got it really wet in the sink and laid it out on a towel.  This morning it was laying down beautifully.

I’m really happy with it.  I encourage anyone to do this pattern.  It is straightforward and a quiet hygge knit.  Go for it!

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