Holy Handknit Socks, Batman!

28Nov09

So it’s been a while since we’ve posted on this blog. Christina Marie bought a house and I’ve been plugging away at school (and having a crisis of faith when it comes to my chosen major, that is a story for a different blog on a different day) so spare time has been pretty rare these last few weeks.

I did want to talk about some yarns I’ve knit with recently though. Lately I’ve been on a designing kick, having decided that all those things I knit off the cuff and never write down should probably serve some function and be put to good use. So I’ve been knitting up several designs and working out the patterns. Mostly these have been quick knits perfect for the upcoming holiday season as gifts or just ways to keep yourself warm, but I also worked up two sock patterns as well both knit of course from some of my stash yarn that had been bought specifically to review on this blog.

First up; I knit up my Polaris Sock out of Southwest Trading Company Jezebel.


Yarn: South West Trading Company Jezabel

Fiber Content: 100% Merino (not superwash)

Thoughts:  This yarn is absolutely perfect for lace, cables and textured stitch patterns on socks. The colors are brilliant and stunning and the ‘double dip’ effect they use when dying gives the yarn a very subtle variegation. It’s a lot more fun (in my opinion) to knit with a yarn that has some shading and difference to it, matte flat colors are boring to me. This yarn accomplishes both the things I was looking for in a yarn for this project: consistent enough not to take away from the lace pattern  but interesting enough that I wanted to look at it while I was knitting the socks. The yarn itself is very soft and squishy and would lend itself very nicely to next to skin projects like shawls, scarves and hats as well as socks. I’m also considering knitting a light weight summer sweater in this yarn as well. The price is right too! This yarn retails at my LYS for $12.50 a hank and evidently SWTC sells it themselves for $12.60 + shipping (so I recommend supporting your LYS by buying this from them, since it’s cheaper AND you don’t have to pay shipping.)

Overall impression: Lovely yarn, definitely my go-to sock yarn for any project requiring a solid/semi-solid yarn. Will buy again and knit with gladly. I highly recommend it.

Next up: I knit up my Chopstick Sock sample from Indie Dyer Super Sock Select (available through Cherry Tree Hill)

Yarn: Indie Dyer Super Sock Select

Fiber Content: 100% Superwash Merino

Thoughts: I really loved this colorway in the hank. I had intended to use this yarn with the Limerick Shawl (which I am instead knitting in Wollmeise) but after casting on and seeing how the color repeats worked up I decided it was better suited to a sock. I cast on for a plain sock but was pretty dismayed with the pooling/flashing effect, so I devised this sock pattern to play with the color way a bit to move things around so the colors worked together better. I wasn’t terribly stoked on how much gold was in this colorway but I suppose that’s my own fault for picking a colorway without really inspecting it. The yarn itself is nice; high twist and great stitch definition. It reacted very well to being ripped out and reknit several times with no fraying, splitting or tangling. All things I love in a sock yarn. I bought this hank for $24 at  Fanciwerks Yarn Shoppe (Apple Valley, CA – review of this shop coming soon.)  which is a great price for 420 yards of hand painted merino, but you can buy it straight from Cherry Tree Hill Yarn for $22.00 plus shipping (again, another big wholesaler selling retail on their site, evidently this is more common than I thought. I still recommend buying from your LYS and supporting local yarn shops.)

Overall Impressions: I like it. I don’t love it. I like it and I will probably buy it again if I find a color way that really speaks to me. The yarn base itself is lovely to work with and the price is fair for hand painted sock yarn. I recommend this for stockinette socks of for slip stitch patterns like the one above. Definitely a good durable sock yarn.

Upcoming reviews will include Fanciwerks Yarn Shoppe (which is my LYS away from LYS, I visit this shop whenever I go visit my grandmother.), the Limerick Shawl pattern that Christina Marie actually finished and I am still working up, several other shawl patterns and possibly even some more yarn reviews (Shibui, the Elusive Bugga!, GothSocks & Yarn Love among others.)

 

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