Defining ‘Smooshy’, Sock Patterns and Sonny & Shear Review

11Sep09

Commenter Jeri brought up a very good question this morning; she asked for my definition of ‘smooshy’ because she has knit with Dream in Color Smooshy several times and found it to be very smooshy. I’m going to define my idea of smooshy but I also want to note that my idea of smooshy, or any other descriptor might be different than other peoples. I hope that in reading the reviews on this blog everyone keeps in mind that it’s all personal opinion and by no means empirical data or absolute fact. While I will try to refrain from ever making a statement like ‘this yarn sucks!’, you may see comments like ‘I really don’t like this yarn.’

My definition of ‘smooshy’: when a yarn is self described as ‘smooshy’ I expect a few things; I look for a general plushness in the yarn, this means the amount of squishiness the yarn has both hanked and once it’s knit up. Here’s the trade off though: usually those yarns that I consider ‘smooshy’ don’t have a tight twist. A light airy or lofty yarn to me is usually the ‘smooshiest’.

Let me clarify again; the Dream in Color Smooshy is not a bad yarn at all, I did not give it a negative review. I like the yarn a lot, I just didn’t find it to be especially smooshy. It is very soft, and has wonderful stitch definition and a nice tight twist which means it’s not splitty or hard to knit with at all. It also implies that it will be a good durable sock yarn that will wear well.

I honestly can’t think of a sock yarn that I’ve knit with that I would consider ‘smooshy’. I do know that I have seen other 100% Merino sock yarns that appear to be much smooshier in the hank, but I haven’t knit them so I’m not sure how that would affect the yarn.

Moving on! As I’m sure a lot of you are aware of the new Knitty.com came out today. I love Knitty and always enjoy going through their issues and finding new and interesting designs and designers. There is a new sock pattern in this current issue that has caught lots of people’s eye I’ve noticed. It’s the Hat Heel Sock and features a new construction style of knitting from the heel out.

I’ve already cast on for it. What can I say, I’m a sucker for new tricks. I’m just doing the baby sock version because I just wanted to get a feel for the overall construction but I can already tell that I’m going to have to knit an adult sock to really get a feel for it because the baby sock version is super fiddley. It’s interesting for sure but really annoying on tiny needles with the grafting of 2 sts together to join it in the round and then picking up the stitches around, etc. I think it’ll be easier to do that part if I’m working with more than a half inch worth of knitting. It’s a very novel concept though.

Here’s a picture of just the heel and gussets before I picked up to knit the foot.

Hat Heel Sock - in Wollmeise

Hat Heel Sock - in Wollmeise

The description of the pattern on Knitty.com does an excellent job explaining it: it is exactly like a little tiny earflaps hat for your heel!

Once this baby sock is done (hopefully later this evening) I’ll wash it and block it and put up pictures of the finished sock. I will say though; first impressions on the Wollmeise I’m knitting it with are favorable. Favorable but not overwhelmed with awesomeness. I think the greatest allure of the Wollmeise is the color intensity and it’s scarcity. I’ve knit with plenty of other yarns that are just as good if not better than this particular hank of Wollmeise. As a matter of fact The Unique Sheep Verve I knit my Ishbel out of was equally as soft and had a similar hand to it. The HazelKnits hank that Christina has has the same level of color intensity as most of the Wollmeise hanks that I’ve seen. I will say that I do love the amount of yardage you get in a Wollmeise hank and that it is a very beautiful, functional, soft and gorgeous yarn. I haven’t knit enough with it to really form a full opinion though, so those are just initial thoughts on it.

Also, I wanted to add that Christina and I recently placed an order for yarn from online retailer Sonny & Shear. Since we are an ‘all things sock yarn’ type of blog, I wanted to be sure to report on our feelings about yarn suppliers as well as the yarns themselves.

Sonny & Shear Shop Review:

Website: The website is clean and well organized and their little logo is freaking adorable. You can shop by brand or weight which I really like. They offer little bios on the dyers/companies they stock and clearly labeled gauge information. They have great buyer incentive programs as well, namely the Bust Your Stash program that allows you to collect yarn labels and trade them in for a discount from the site. The great thing? You can send in any yarn label! It doesn’t have to be purchased from their site! Ridiculous! They also have a frequent shopper type program and a rewards program for people who link to them on their blog. (So uh, click on the links here would you please.)  I love sites that offer incentive programs because it makes me feel good about dropping so much cash.

Selection: Their selection isn’t huge, but it is diverse and full of wonderful dyers. They offer multiple colorways in most of the yarns and have yarns in a wide variety of weights, fiber content, etc. They also carry needles/hooks, patterns and spinning fiber as well. Definitely a wonderful ‘one stop shop’ for all things fibery.

Shipping: We got free USPS priority shipping for spending more than $75 AND it came super quick. We placed our order at about 10 p.m. on the Thursday before the Labor Day weekend and recieved our yarn the Tuesday after Labor Day. Which means they had to have put it in  the mail the following morning. We recieved an email confirming our order and that it had shipped. The yarns were packaged nicely and came with a hand written thank you card, there were even ribbons on the bags with the yarn in them! Beautiful.

Our Order: Our yarns were clean, didn’t smell like anything other than yarn and were exactly as described and photographed on the website. Over all our experiance was absolutely wonderful, I would strongly recommend this shop as a great online retailer and we will definitely be ordering from them again!

What We Bought: We bought a hank of Madeline Tosh ToshSock, 3 hanks of ShibiuKnits sock yarn and a hank of Yarn Love sock yarn. Pictures soon!

Have an experiance you’d like to share about any of these yarns or Sonny & Shear? Was this review helpful? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

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2 Responses to “Defining ‘Smooshy’, Sock Patterns and Sonny & Shear Review”

  1. I can’t believe someone’s started a sock and posted a shot already. Fantastic!

    You’re right, the baby size is very annoyingly fiddly. However, the payoff is that it’s also terrifically fast. The adult sizes are much less finicky. Unfortunately, though, there’s no way to avoid the fiddly-ness completely, since you still have to graft a small amount of stitches together and then pick up around the edges. But at least with a bigger size sock, that’s not such a big component of the process.

    Hope you like!

    –Kathleen.

    • I love the concept of this pattern and will definitely be knitting a full sized version of it. I think my fiddley problem is that it’s just so tiny, I don’t mind the grafting/picking up sts bit, it’s just hard when you’ve got only a thumbs length worth of knitting to hold on to to do it! I can’t wait to see how some of my self striping yarns work up in this pattern. It has great potential!


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