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Pondering Sock Yarn - Elizabeth Unexplained
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greyautumnrain
greyautumnrain
Pondering Sock Yarn
In my last yarn order I purchased a pattern for a baby sweater made out of sock yarn that I intend to knit for Kaden. Yes, I know I could have gotten a similar pattern free from Knitty, that's where I first saw the idea. I wanted to do this out of the fancy sock yarns that do the faux fair isle thing, and when I found a striping pattern I like I ended up buying the pattern that called for that specific brand of yarn.

The yarn I'm using is Sockotta. I've barely started and I'm not so happy, though perhaps its because I'm spoiled. First of all, the yarn isn't as soft as Shepard Sock, a fact that I find mildly surprising given the fiber content. I also found out partway through, that unlike the Shepard Sock, the Sockotta does not start each skein at the same place in the pattern. I suppose it is understandably given that the Sockotta has a more complicated and much longer period pattern, but it was still a bit irritating when I discvered this a few rows in and ended up ripping out and then discarding a sizable number of yards of yarn from one of the balls. (I was starting by knitting both sleeves at the same time from seperate balls so that they would match.)

I intend to finish this project with the yarn purchased, but given that I hope to have little ones of my own to knit for in the future I'm pondering better yarn choices. I love the idea of the baby sweater done is striping sock yarn, I'm just less than thrilled with the Sockotta. The lack of softness is the main issue with the Sockotta; the non-matching skein start is an issue that I can deal with now that I am forwarned, it was just annoying at the time because I hate ripping stuff out. Since I purchase most of my yarn online these days I lack the ability to touch before I buy. Do any of my sock knitting friends have suggestions? I'm pondering trying Regia Silk or regular Regia. I could also use the Shepard Sock since that is a known quanity to me and I like it. The patterns would not be a cool since its just regular varigation, but I could get into doing a baby sweater in the camouflage color scheme.
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Comments
twe From: twe Date: January 30th, 2007 05:29 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ooh, I like the pale blue Regia, but I don't actually have any advice for you. (Though I am somewhat tempted to attempt this for my godson, now... :)
remcat From: remcat Date: January 30th, 2007 07:09 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've been buying sock yarn at Fabric Place at the Woburn Mall -- the selection varies, but covers all you refer to. It might at least be place to check out textures/patterns in person! :)
remcat From: remcat Date: January 30th, 2007 07:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just in case you don't already know about them ...

theknitter.com is run by the mom of an ET alum, and they are helpful and nice and have a pretty good sock yarn selection :)

http://the-knitter.stores.yahoo.net/byweight.html
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: January 30th, 2007 07:26 pm (UTC) (Link)
I find the 100% wool sock yarns softer than most varieties with nylon. Though Shepard Sock does seem to be an exception there. I also find the cotton/wool blends harder than just wool. The trouble is that sock yarn has the biggest goal of being tough - socks take more of a beating than most knitted items - and baby yarn has the biggest goal of being soft.

Of the multi-colored wool sock yarns, I find Opal slightly softer than many others. Unfortunately, I don't think any of the machine-dyed skeins like Opal or Regia or the like are aligned across skeins; when I care, I pick a particular part in the color sequence and cut to there. (Since there's nearly always substantial excess for a pair of normal-sized socks, throwing out some yards doesn't hurt as much. For a baby sweater it might matter more, but I'd hope not.)
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: January 30th, 2007 08:35 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hmm. Do you have an online supplier of Opal?

As for the matching, yeah, that's what I ended up doing... its just that the pattern was long enough in period that at firt it looked like they both started in the same place.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: January 30th, 2007 08:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Fiber Nooks and Crannys: http://www.fncyarn.com/opal.html
is where I got my Opal sock of the month kits from, and they were nice. I also bought some on ebay, which tends to have a wide selection at any given moment.
enugent From: enugent Date: January 30th, 2007 08:21 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've had good luck with Opal, but I may be less picky than you about softness. I absolutely love the texture of Koigu, but it doesn't come in the self-striping color schemes, as far as I know.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: January 30th, 2007 08:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I thought about Koigu, but its supposedly sport weight rather than fingerling. Given that I habitually need to go down a needle size in order to obtain the proper gauge I'm not too tempted to try a new pattern with a slightly heavier than called for yarn.
enugent From: enugent Date: January 30th, 2007 08:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Can you fix this by knitting a smaller size, or are you trying to do a newborn-size sweater already? (My experience was that we got more newborn clothes than we needed, and not enough in the 6-18 mo sizes, BTW.)

Carodan Farm is my usual source for Opal online.
greyautumnrain From: greyautumnrain Date: January 30th, 2007 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Possibly, though fiddling around like that often makes me nervous as it means lots of wasted effort if I get it wrong, and I am a lazy, lazy knitter. I'm actually knitting the 9-12 month size. I figure if I'm going to made a sweater out of fingerling weight yarn for a kid who's already here, I don't want to be making the size he's wearing now.

If I recall correctly you got at least one sweater in the 6-12 month size. :-)
enugent From: enugent Date: January 30th, 2007 09:59 pm (UTC) (Link)
Absolutely true! :) And she looked adorable in it, too.

The nice thing about knitting for babies is that it actually doesn't matter much at all what size it comes out - it will fit sooner or later. The only trick is to make it big enough that you can finish it before they outgrow it.
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: January 30th, 2007 08:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really love Koigu, but it is very different. I've never used it all by itself, either; I always end up making Fiesta Feet with it, like http://web.mit.edu/boojum/www/Socks/fiesta.jpg.
enugent From: enugent Date: January 30th, 2007 10:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, those are beautiful! Is the pattern available online anywhere?
firstfrost From: firstfrost Date: January 30th, 2007 10:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
I've only seen the pattern sold, but it's pretty cheap. i.e.

http://www.yarnzilla.com/product_info.php?cPath=2_1247&products_id=5569
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