New Socks

Finished these socks the other evening.

I used a yarn from New Zealand (Waikiki) that contains 10% possum, 15% alpaca – very nice yarn to work with – for the heels. I do hope it wears reasonably well – 20% nylon, it should. It would be a shame if it didn’t.

The socks went into the stash; I started the next pair.


Socks Done, Too.

Finished this pair of socks late last evening.

Mauve Socks (Size Large-ish)

I have a few people who have larger feet than my usual socks will fit so from time to time I make a pair longer in the foot. For now, they’re in the stash waiting for just the right person to come along!

Socks from a Hand-Dyed Skein

Finished this pair of socks last evening. Too bad I didn’t take a photo of the skein – the colours were luscious – and distinct. But unwind and ball the yarn and you get this kind of blurred mixture which is relatively boring when knit into socks. I tried choosing embedded colours for cuff, heels and toes but they don’t blend – they stick out.

Here’s what hand-dyed yarn can look like: you can get large swaths of colour

Hand-dyed Yarn – Sectional

or it can look like this

Variegated Hand-dyed Yarn

In either case, they knit up looking more or less like my socks.

While the colours are enticing, I find this yarn much less satisfying to use than commercial balls dyed to create an actual pattern. Socks with hand-dyed yarn always seem to take a lot longer because there are no pattern shifts to indicate the progress you’re making.

So back to another patterned ball of yarn….

Blue Socks

Finished last evening. This pair has a longer foot than I usually make – 60 rows from gusset to toe-off rather than 50. My friend wears a women’s size 10 shoe (as compared to my size 8) so I made the foot longer.

Blue Socks

Hope it’s not too long! If it is, I’ll unmake the toe, remove 4-5 rows and reknit the toe.

Before / After

I have a basket of socks beside my chair all in need of repair – the heels are worn (some worn through, hopefully the holes are still small enough that a heel replacement will do). The pair below, however, is a left over from the previous batch of repairs – put aside because they needed more than a heel replaced – the back of the leg was also worn through to the point that I knew I’d have to cut it off and reknit part of the leg – a rebuild, not a repair.

I decided to work on them after I’d calculated the time it would take to rebuild the socks – about 7-8 hours compared to  25 hours to knit a new pair.

Before / After

This is the before and after – the before sock has already been set up with stitches picked up on the leg and across the instep. Next steps are to cut close to the carrying thread, pick away the extra rows to get to the stitches on the thread, pick up stitches on the leg, extend the leg, create a heel, and then the difficult/tedious part – grafting back the foot. It’s worth saving the foot beyond the instep because it still has lots of body.

It took me about 4 hours yesterday to do the prep work and rebuild the sock on the right. It’s now a wearable sock for a couple of more seasons.

Grey/Yellow Socks

Finished last evening. I probably worked on them for 10 days or so (same 25 hours it takes me – I just knit more each evening). I was given the yarn by one of the women in the Friday knitting group – she picked it out of a donations bin at her church, didn’t want to use it herself, but thought I might like working with it.

The yarn (an older Regia pattern) looked pretty dull, someone had knit and unravelled a portion of it, but I thought the yellow offered some possibilities, so I added in the yellow stripe at the top, alternated rows for the next 10 rows, then knit the remainder of the sock as the yarn worked out. Cuffs, heels, and toes all used a bluish grey which blended well with the greys in the yarn.

Grey/Yellow Socks

Not a bad looking sock. Turned out to have more life than I’d anticipated.


Regia Pairfect #2

Schachenmayr, the company that makes Regia sock yarn, has had for the past few years a line called “Pairfect” – designed to created a patterned sock without any decision-making. I tried it when it first appeared and found it boring to work with – very dull patterns. This season the variegations looked like they’d be more interesting with clearly different cuffs, heels and toes.

Finished this pair of socks (#2) last evening:

Regia Pairfect in Blue

Still just as boring to knit – no decision-making required – the yarn for the two socks is marked with a length of yellow yarn (intended to be discarded – or saved for another project). When making the first pair using the yarn a couple of weeks ago I changed up the design but then had to do quite a bit of reconnecting to be able to complete the socks.

This time I decided to follow the yarn. It knits up nicely but the part of the sock-making that I enjoy is deciding what colours contrast with my variegated yarn and where to insert contrasting strips, whether to change the heel colour, maybe even a third colour for the toes! So even though the variegated design changes and the repeat is a long one, there’s no creativity in knitting these socks.

If you’re not an adventurous sock knitter then you’ll love this yarn because it does knit up a respectable patterned sock. I’m not going to use it again.