Socks & Sock Yarn

I recently finished my first pair of generic socks, made with Kate Gilbert‘s fantastic pattern. I have nothing bad to say about the yarn or the pattern. I used Claudia’s Hand-Painted Yarn in Just Plum on US#1 (2.25 cm) double pointed needles – 60 stitches around. It was my first time using this yarn, and it won’t be my last. It really is very nice. I even sent my mother some of this yarn – along with the generic sock pattern and some double-pointed needles for Mothers’ Day. (I suppose if I was a better daughter I would have knitted the socks for her myself, but there you have it). The pattern, I love, love, love. It’s very well written, and produces socks that fit very well and are comfortable to wear. I followed Kate’s directions for a picot edge (included with the pattern), and I’m very pleased with the outcome. I made one small change to Kate’s pattern: when I got to the end of the first sock, I didn’t have a darning needle to use for the Kirchner bind-off, so I turned the sock inside out (while still on the needles) and executed a three-needle bind-off. While not nearly as nice as grafting the toe closed, it worked surprisingly well.

With this pair of socks finished, I cast on for my next pair of generic socks, this time with Socks that Rock light-weight in Barney Rubble. No photos of these, as they’re my knitting group knitting, which means they stay at work, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how nicely this yarn looks knitted up. I’ve decided to try and use these generic socks to explore colors I wouldn’t normally use, and Barney Rubble certainly fits the bill. On the computer screen, it looks pastel and washed out, with plenty of yellow. In real life, it remains pastel and has plenty of yellow, but the colors are much more intense, something I’ve come to expect from Blue Moon Fiber Arts. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t wear a whole sweater knit in these colors, but I love them in socks. Pleasingly, the yarn seems to be striping very nicely (with some unfortunate pooling on the heel flap – I can live with this, though). I used Claudia’s instructions for a picot edge this time around. This is certainly a very straight-forward way to make a picot edge, but I’ll need some experience before I can do it and have it look nice every time!

With a new set of socks on the needles, I could buy some more yarn to wait in the wings for the next pair of generic socks (why, yes, this is something of a generic sock production factory!). Continuing on theme of knitting socks in colors I wouldn’t necessarily gravitate towards, I ordered yellow yarn. Specifically, 24 Karat Socks That Rock (lightweight, of course). I ordered this, and immediately regretted it, but again was very pleasantly suprised when the yarn arrived (no more regrets here). I just love it’s super-saturated colors, and it’s really perfectly named – it’s full of beautiful shades of gold. The arrival of this yarn also meant I could pull out the ball winder and swift that I have on loan from a certain someone for the duration of the summer. Hurrah! A swift and ball-winder are wonderful things (especially when you have both of them!). At the very least, you can make lovely looking yarn cakes, with a minimum of fuss. I’m almost sure that when I comes time to return the swift and winder at the end of the summer I’ll feel compelled to go out and by one of each for myself.

I’ve been thinking for quite a while about what to do with my left-over sock yarn. It’s really beautiful, so I have trouble coming around to the idea of throwing it out, but there really isn’t enough to do much of anything with. Then Laura mentioned a left-over sock yarn blanket, and I remembered that I’d been meaning to learn how to make mitred squares, and idea was born. Mitred squares have become my designated television knitting – and because I don’t really watch very much television, don’t expect to see a blanket any time soon. I think I’ll aim for a baby blanket – for the obvious size reasons, and I’ll probably join the squares into blocks of four – three of one color and one of another, and then piece them. I’m very much looking forward to seeing how this comes together!

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