Thursday, May 18, 2006

First Socks

Compared to most sock yarn stashes on the internet, mine is tiny - a mere four balls.
4 balls of sock yarn

The entire collection came from a fabric and yarn shop in Ghent, Belgium - Stoffenidee on Hoogpoort. The shop sold a good range of yarn, including roving, Noro, Rowan, a variety of yarns from mainland Europe and the biggest range of sock yarns I'd ever seen. I'd used my entire knowledge of Flemish ("Spreekt u Engels?"), and had a 'conversation' about knitting with one of the assistants, checked the appropriate amounts for a pair of socks, and bought other yarn for other plans.

There had been a slight hitch though: a complete lack of a good, basic pattern. Most free sock patterns on the internet seemed to start "if you're bored of plain socks, try this pattern". I didn't have a plain sock pattern to be bored of, and the only way of finding one seemed to be to buy a sock kit. Last year I mentioned this problem to Tracey and she handed me one. I also got one from Web of Wool, when I bought some needles from them.

I started on Monday, using the orange-based yarn. Both patterns said to cast on 60 stitches, but I cast on 56, because my feet are relatively small. I made sure it was untwisted, then started my first row.
ribbing of sock, orange, brown, cream and pinkA few stitches in, I looked at the suggested gauge, and realised it was more stitches per centimeter then my patterns allowed. Fifty-six stitches would be too few. Tinkety-tink went my needles and a few extra stitches followed. By the end of Monday, I'd done Row 1 of ribbing.
Tuesday got me up to Row 3 (it wasn't that they were difficult, I just wasn't spending much time on them). However, I was starting to get worried - Look at the big orange blob! Pooling! Pooling in my sock!

I was tempted to undo it, and start again. However, I reminded myself it was an experiment. Better to continue, practise the tricky parts and then frog.

Yesterday, I carried on. The pooling continued. However it was rather interesting. Each row had some of the pinks or browns at the start of the orange pool, and the pool finished just a bit further over. It was fascinating to see the same amount of overlap on each row. In fact, it was forming a spiral. My socks were going to have an orange spiral in a bed of multishaded pinks and browns.

The yarn was designed to pool and spiral like this!!!

more ribbing of sock, brown, cream and pink with diagonal orange stripe

My almost non-existant Flemish had bought me a really fun sock yarn!

I'll probably end up re-doing it, because it looks too small. But it is so much fun. My guess is that the slope of the spiral will be steeper now it has got to the stocking stitch part. I'd love to see what this yarn would do with some of the other sock patterns out there.

Technical stuff from the ball-band:

  • Yarn brand: Annell Color Super extra
  • Colour 2991, dye lot 60187
  • 75% Wol-Laine Superwash (wool) 25% polyamide
  • 50g /210m
  • Tension 30 stitches/44 rows to 10 cm
  • Needle/hook 2.5 - 3.0 mm
  • Available on-line (not in this colour) here

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