I have sock yarn ‘on my brain’ and in recent many weeks have been trying different brands in a sort of comparison & contrast project ~~ in a Sock Yarn Tasting ! I even accidentally (well, almost) designed a new thing in the process of fiddling around with sock yarn (more on that later). Although my Sock Yarn Tasting has been a great source of entertainment for myself, and I actually do feel a sense of earnestness to convey my thoughts on the matter . At the very least, in the process of comparing I’ve settled on my favorites, and better yet, answered my curiosity as to why.
I have knit On The Trail , a whole lot (it’s what I do) , also while waiting for pots to simmer & the kettle to boil, while watching tv, while talking on the phone, while reading, and even sometimes in between sets at gigs, so my knitting is always hanging on the chair back. So, while my hands have gotten a bit sore from all of this knitting, I am pleased with the small woolly mountain of knitteds which I am producing. Soon I’ll be off to Vancouver for Jeff’s family reunion of sorts and you can be certain I’ll be packing up my menagerie of socks-in-progress to take along, and excuse myself for being entrapped by the knitting while in others’ company, returning hopefully with a pair or two to add to the growing stack of socks I am squirrelling away for the gift-giving holidays.
I am just am so filled with a sense of giddy & calm pride, as I have found knitting socks to be my meditation. Ahem, okay, so here’s my observations so far of the superstars of sock yarn market which I am sampling : Madelinetosh “Tosh Sock” , Malabrigo “Sock”, Shibui “Sock” , and Sweet Georgia “Tough Love Sock”~~~ all knit up with my Penny Candy Socks pattern with size 2.75mm – US 2 circular needles (two of them).
As Shibui Sock & Madelinetosh Tosh Sock seem to me about the same thickness, I knit them together in stripes because they feel nearly identical in thickness, though the Tosh Sock is a tiny bit more ‘firm’ , they are thicker, and even a bit fluffier.
Ginger Lime Chews Penny Candy Socks, details on Ravelry HERE
I observe that the fabric of Tosh Sock & Shibui Sock produced is more substantial, and would be great for a slightly thicker pair of socks but as this is so, I might only wear these socks with the roomiest of my shoes. Great for hiking boots, great for Dansko Clogs which tend to fit a little roomy anyway. (Note to self: get another pair of Dansko Clogs !) but not so great for my dressier shoes. Soft, plush, firm.
* * *
Next in the line-up, Sweet Georgia “Tough Love Sock”. This yarn is indeed a tough yarn. So much in fact, that I suspect the slight lack of elastic properties of the yarn effected the gauge, as the same number of stitches on same needles as I knit the others, the Sweet Georgia socks turned out really very large by comparison ! I stopped at one sock, not sure how to proceed, for these would indeed be tough socks and big enough for a man, I just couldn’t think of any men I’d like to give orangey red lace-bordered socks to. No offense to you men who would love them, I just wasn’t in the mood to make the second sock, so I will post the photo of the one.
I think I might have to compensate with this yarn’s properties, to knit the next size smaller with them and see how that works. ((also notice that the two colors were so alike, melting into each other a little too much , that seeing the stripes was insanely difficult)).
* * *
Finally, for the kind of socks that one would easily slip into one’s favorite shoes , that is, shoes worn regularly with store-bought socks, the finer fabric of Malabrigo’s fine fingering-weight “Sock” wins out. Mostly for it’s soft resilient and lovely elastic feel, but equally for the rich colors in each hand-dyed skein. I have to say also that I have a real penchant for “oh so fine” knitting these days, and it’s fine-fingering weight that I seriously am in love with.
My Penny Candy Socks and Pretty Little Things Gloves are designed with Malabrigo, and I’m more than happy with the slightly delicate character of the fine fingering yarn with its superwash easy-care and softness of touch. In fact, I feel like hoarding every ‘solid’ color of Peruvian-made Malabrigo yarn, and happily knitting Penny Candy Socks for everyone I know.
Blueberry Gumballs Penny Candy Socks, details on Ravelry HERE
It is a goal of mine to knit for next holiday season, as there’ll be no hitting the shops in a bug-eyed panic to find something meaningful. Because basically, it can’t get much more meaningful than hand-knit socks knit fresh only months previously.
I’ll end this yarn tasting with more Malabrigo yarn on the needles, in murky green and clear blue. This photo was taken early this morning, as the stripes began to colorplay . . .
Socks in progress, details on Ravelry HERE