Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Confessions of a Sock Yarn Junkie

I might as well confess my deepest, darkest knitting secret right off the bat. I've never met a sock yarn I didn't like. Worse, I've seldom met a sock yarn I didn't feel compelled to buy. Sock yarn of every type fills every nook and cranny of every room. I haven't yet resorted to storing it in the oven but that's only because I'm afraid I'll forget it's in there and end up with roast Regia and pot roast.

I also like to knit socks which is how I justify my aquisitions. 'Oooh, look how pretty that pink yarn is! Wouldn't that make great lace socks? I think I'll buy just one skein.' But the truth is, I could knit nothing but socks from now until I'm a tottering old woman - at least a couple decades from now, I hope - and I still couldn't use up the sock yarn I already own. And still I buy more.

I tell myself that it's really a bargain. Sock yarn - even the good stuff, costs less than a meal for one in a nice restaurant. And unlike prime rib and lobster, sock yarn provides a good twenty hours of fun. When you look at it that way, I'm actually saving money.

Since we're edging toward Sock Hop month, I thought I'd share one of my favorite sources of tempation. Sunshine Yarns is a sock yarn lover's dream. I've bought a few - cough20cough - skeins of yarn from Dani and each skein is uniquely beautiful. Dani is also a pleasure to deal with and she ships promptly. What more can you ask for?

Here's a sample of the yarns I've purchased from Dani in recent months. Aren't these gorgeous? Don't they just make you long to knit socks?

It's also possible that I went berserk and bought five skeins of yarn from the new batch she listed this morning. I may have bought Hedwig, Gryffindor, Forest, Lemon Drop and Avocado. Yes, the Harry Potter connection is an added lure. If you're a Harry Potter fan, how could not want a sock yarn called Hedwig?

Really, buying this yarn saved me money because, when I went to the local yarn store this afternoon, all I bought was a single skein of Opal in hot pink. It's going to pair up with the black yarn I already have - see, I am using my stash - to make the Red Herring socks from the new issue of Knitty. I didn't buy the Muench Touch Me that's been calling my name for weeks now. And I didn't buy any Silky Wool in that gorgeous coppery red.

Who says I don't have any willpower?


Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Dallas, how can I pretend to be pure, thrifty, and well-disciplined if you're on the blog too?! I'm afraid to corral all of my sock yarn. The sight of it altogether in one spot (one big spot) might be more than I can take. Yes, I could knit socks for the rest of my natural life. Ya wanna make something of it? Huh? Do you?

I wish you hadn't mentioned Muench's Touch Me. (Nancy, take note.) Remember the felted cabled scarf in Scarf Style that I began two years ago? The one that ends up looking lush and sensual like antique velvet? The one that would cost EIGHTY DOLLARS to actually knit long enough to wrap around an adult neck.

Yes, that one. I'm tempted again. The thought of deep ruby red or burnished copper or even that gorgeous shimmering pewter grey is almost more than I can bear.

Get thee behind me, Schulze, and don't push!

9:45 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Okay, you sock gurus...so, as I mentioned, I've started on THE Wendy's toe-up socks in Woolease, but then I bought BB's Addis and the Magic Loop booklet came in the mail, so I stopped back by my fave, Bluebonnet Yarn Shoppe, and walked out with Wildfoote wool/nylong blend yarn from Brown Sheep and ArtYarns Supermerino. Have you ever worked with either of these?

BB, I'm thinking of trying your spiral sock (but gotta remember how far back in the blog the directions are) for my first Magic Loop project.

But I'm still intimidated by the whole process, I have to admit. I've been finishing up revisions on my April book while juggling other stuff and getting ready for my trip, so I've made little progress on THE Wendy's socks I was using as my trial run...but I'm already gett ing a wee bit easier about the process and counting on getting my feet under me when I can spend more time on them.

A leap of faith, this Sock Hop--but I'm really excited!

10:37 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Jean, I haven't worked with either of those yarns. Let me know what you think of them. (I have a thing about splitty yarns. DON'T like 'em one bit.)

The basic spiral is very easy. Let's say (as an example) you do a K2P2 rib on 48 stitches. When you finish the cuff add 1 stitch so you have 49 on the needles. K3 P3 around and around and around and around until you have maybe 20" of tubular goodness (including the cuff -- the length really depends on the length of the target foot and the leg length you prefer), decrease one stitch then launch into a round or star toe. That's it!

The one in SOCKS SOCKS SOCKS is a bit more involved but for copyright reasons I can't post it or pass it on. (God knows we all understand copyright issues in our business.)

There are a # of spiral sock free patterns on the web. Just google "spiral socks pattern" and you're in business.

10:52 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Thank you so much!

Now, for the slow class, what's a star toe? (Not that I'm sure yet, with maybe an inch of THE Wendy's toe up underway, exactly how one would do it toe down, but I'm assuming what I'm doing is a round toe???)

11:16 PM  
Blogger Barbara Bretton said...

Whoops! The only way I've done spirals or tubes is cuff down. I suppose they could be done toe up too--why not? Do a THE Wendy toe, check your stitch count (multiple of 6 + 1) (I think; I'll have to double check) then launch into your spiral.

Round and star are cuff down techniques.


11:18 PM  
Blogger Jean Brashear said...

Oh, I'm not brave enough to mix patterns yet, so I won't do the spiral toe-up. I'm trying THE Wendy's first on dpns, just to get my feet wet, then I'm going to start another pair on Magic Loop from the cuff down.

Fully anticipating asking you for a LOT of advice when I do!

Thanks, BB the Wonderful!

10:36 AM  

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