October 22, 2007

Plenty of yarn in the sea

Considering how long it took me to knit both these pairs of socks, I figured they deserved a proper FO post.

FO1 - Basic Socks


Pattern: 68 stitch cast on with 4-row picot edge, 19 stitches picked up at the gusset, forceful denial that the sock is miniscule throughout all stages of knitting both socks.
Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Happy Stripe
Needles: Clover bamboo DPNs, size 1
Gauge: 10 st/inch
Made For: Megan (of the dainty feet), by default
Notes: on the second sock, I knit the first row of gusset stitches through the back loop, as was recommended in the Monkey pattern. This twists and tightens the stitches and makes for a rather pretty textural look. Plus, less gapping. I think I’ll do this on all my basic socks from now on.

I’m pretty sure I couldn’t have knit a bigger sock than these wee socks for Megan, because the yellow would have pooled throughout the sock, rather than just at the gusset. This pooling thing is starting to piss me off.

FO2 - Monkeys


Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Clay
Needles: Clover bamboo DPNs, size 2
Gauge: 9 st/inch in stockinette, but I purl very loosely
Made For: Me, me, me!
Notes: Again with the pooling at the gussets! The darker and lighter colors split perfectly on opposite sides...


...but as soon as I got back to 64 stitches in pattern, it went right back to semi-striping. Plus, the brown bits in the second skein (SAME DYE LOT) were much darker, so the two socks don’t match exactly. But ask me how much I love my Monkeys anyway?

Now I'm trying to make a difficult decision. Lorna’s Laces makes some really lovely yarn, and the socks wear pretty well, but I really don’t like pooling. So I’m considering breaking up with Lorna’s Laces.

But maybe I’m being unfair? LL is pretty much the only non-self striping highly variegated sock yarn I’ve ever used. So maybe ALL yarn has a tendency towards pooling and I’m just being unfair to poor Lorna’s Laces? Maybe other sock yarns have wildly different colors in the same dye lot? Maybe I should give it another chance?

But with all the lovely sock yarns out there, why knit with something that has disappointed me in the past?


Karen said...

So pretty!!! I always knit my picked up gusset sts through the back too, I love how that works. As for the pooling, I run into it on almost every pair. As soon as I increase for the gusset, it always pools until I get back down the the original stitch count. I'm always disappointed, but I guess there are only two solutions - solid colored yarn or short row heels. Once the socks are done and I'm wearing them, it doesn't bother me any more though.

Dave said...

Many yarns have the same problem -- I might even say most of them. I agree with Karen about short row heels, or a peasant heel will have the same effect. They push any weirdness onto the heel and keep the front patterning. If I'm knitting a sock and really like the way the yarn behaves on the leg, I do a short row heel to preserve that.

Sarah said...

Since I don't knit socks, I say go ahead play the field maybe check out some other yarns, have a glass of wine, knit a swatch see what happens...

Kristy said...

Yeah, what Dave said is pretty spot on. Any striping yarn is going to pool on a heel flap-- there's a lot more stitches there, and it makes sense that the yarn is going to behave differently. If you really want no pooling, you need to do either a short row heel or use a semi-solid/solid yarn.

I always ktbl on the picked up gusset stitches. It's a great trick :)

Macoco said...

I think you should play the field a bit with the sock yarns - see what solids have to offer you. KTBL sounds like a great trick, I'm going to try that one out.

Quinn said...

Pretty socks! Megan and her wee feat are lucky, indeed!

Deb said...

Great socks! I love Lorna's Laces colors too, but have always been scared off by the pooling as well.

You might try Mountain Colors Bearfoot. The color runs are so short there wasn't any pooling on the socks I made, even over the gusset stitches. It's got mohair in it, so it won't have that smooth look, but it's wonderful to work with, and extra warm. There's also the new Dream in Color Smooshy yarn that isn't supposed to pool but still has some fun tonal effects.