Thursday, October 2, 2008

Happiness is a pair of socks

I finished my pair of socks last night! I can't seem to find my camera though, so I'll have to update the picture later.

I was dubious when I first started knitting socks. I didn't see the point or the necessity for handmade socks even as a hobby. The yarns I first looked at seemed to be too warm for Texas. But I have a competitive nature, if someone out there is making something, I have to be able to make it too.

My first dozen attempts were horrendous. I tried nearly every method at least five times and unraveled each in frustration. However, I didn't give up and persevered. I managed one sock for Joey with only a guideline for toe-up sock and created my own pattern. Soon after that I made the sock a deformed twin. Joey's first pair of socks did not match and did not fit very comfortably. The yarn, while soft to the touch, did not breath very well and I never even wove in the ends. Nonetheless, I was proud and ready for a real pair.

I went to Woolie Ewe and looked around for affordable sock yarn. Most of the stuff they had were merino wool with a mix of nylon. The yarns were pretty but did not feel too comfortable to the touch. I certainly didn't want to spend so much money that's going to feel itchy afterward.

I soon found a little section with Panda products. I've seen the Panda Cotton before but never found it appealing. Experience from crocheting doilies tell me that cotton yarn was not a prime candidate for clothing. However, underneath the Panda Cotton was a new product I never saw before. Panda Soy was its name and softness was definitely its feel. It is a bamboo, soy, and nylon blend. I bought two skeins of Tibetan Red and started right away.

I love it! Even though it's not plied very tightly, the sheen and softness of the material won me over. Now that I have a pair of those socks on, they feel extra nice. They breath really well. Each skein comes in about 185 yards, and I needed
only one and a half to make my socks, which meant I only needed to buy one more to make another pair. I bought a yellow skein the other day in order to make myself a pair of red and yellow argyle socks.

In other news, Ladydurer has her own blog now!

Ramblings from a Deranged Mind


Mel said...

Aw, did you do this to compete with me? ;) That's awesome, though - you learned a new skill!

A note about sock yarns: The wool and wool/nylon blends historically hold up very well. However, you may want to be careful with yarns that feel really soft to the touch - that softness usually indicates a short staple (fiber) length, and that can lead to trouble with wearing, pilling, and thinning of the yarn, especially if the yarn is not plied too tightly. You know those pink cashmere socks I'm knitting? I probably will take them off if I need to walk the 10 feet from my couch to the bathroom. The cashmere staple length is so short that the yarn is just not very strong at all (it will break if you tug it too hard, for Pete's sake).

On the other hand, I don't want to rain on your parade! And I hope that the bamboo / cotton sock blends are fairly strong, so you don't have to darn them. :) I haven't read reviews about them, but I know there are many yarn reviews online... :)

Happy Knitting! :) And remember, knit what you enjoy knitting! If you don't like something like socks, don't kill yourself making them just because other people are! You're so good at doilies and lace scarves...there are plenty of knits in the sea! :)

Piggilicious said...

So the solution to never pilling and breaking is... don't wash your socks! I'm too smart!

Yeah, I'm competitive when it comes to crafts. But it's also a good motivation, because I would never think about these things otherwise. I'm waiting for a quilting friend to give me the final push.

alt.ayu said...

yayy!! I love socks and never looked back since I started them. There are just so many things we can do with them! :) May there be many more socks to come!