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March 22, 2006


Thanks, everyone, for your non-wool sock yarn suggestions! I'm still searching for the perfect thing, so if you ever come across a yarn that meets the following criteria, drop me a line! I'm still on the prowl ;).

  1. fingering weight. I think BMFA Sock Candy isn't, but they haven't gotten back to me. This also eliminates Cascade Fixation.
  2. has no animal fiber content whatsoever. This means not even 1% of wool, cashmere, angora, mohair, camel, alpaca, etc. Silk, cotton, linen, soy, bamboo are all okay.
  3. comes in solid colors (again, not sure about BMFA).
  4. has a great memory, often in the form of lycra, spandex, etc.
- - - - -

It certainly took a while. My instinct is always to make things more complicated. I tell myself, looks good, but wouldn't it look better if I added this or that? Oh, just one cable crossing above the ankle, just a few extra crosses at the top of the sock, just one more column of eyelets down the center, just... just... just... shut up!

A lot of self-control and saying "no" went into this:

For now, I'm pleased. I really dig the texture, and in my opinion, it makes a great sock. The fabric is the opposite of "loosey goosey," if you know what I mean - it will stay up, and it feels substantive. It expands around the wider parts of the foot for comfortable snugness, but snaps into shape around my narrow ankle, for instance. It's not boring to knit, evident by the slight soreness in my left arm from manipulating all those twist stitches. At the same time, it's not a very complicated pattern, either. I even snuck in a little calf shaping ;) (just a little - the ribbing is 4 stitches wider than the rest of the sock). And... (drum roll) I am 90-95% confident that my sock pal will like this simple design. Whew!!!

I guess it was important for me to come up with something original for my newest sock pal, or at least to give it my best effort. I know she doesn't expect it, but considering how well the last sock pal design turned out (the Jaywalkers, for those who didn't know), I thought it would be good karma all around.

Sigh of relief. Now I just have to knit them. I'm already thinking about what kind of heel and toe I want to use. No matter what I choose, these will be hours of entertainment, because twist stitches aren't the quickest thing to knit, at least for me. That's a good thing ;).

Posted by Kathy on March 22, 2006 10:00 PM


That's a fantastic design! Excellent work, even if it did test your self-control.

I like it! I also liked the link to the Mata Hari socks. I need to knit faster. I'm a new reader enjoying your blog.

twisted stitches? didn't you tell me you don't like twisted stitches? either way, the look is great -- simple but with a little zing.

Looks great, simple but interesting.

No worry ... you still have tons of time ... if you can keep up with the amount of self-control you are exercising now, that is! ;)

Wow, I can't wait until you put this design out. I am definately going to have to dig up some solid colored sock yarn for these! They are beautiful. Your pal will love them. If not, they can find a great home with me.

Very nice. Beautiful color too.

scheepjes cotton 8? i'm hesitant to say 100% cotton though; the fortissima cotton sock yarn would be better (25% polyamide). I've even got some kicking around, in red, if you want to feel it up...

Oh I love that pattern.. I want to knit it too! I had trouble with socks I made for me being all loosey goosey.. and if that would help.. I'm all for it.. plus it looks nifty for sure..

I'm still reading you even if I haven't had time to comment as much as I used to.. I just moved into a new apartment and things are crazy!

I think they look super! Pretty color too.

oh, sock design goddess, methinks you may have another winner on your needles.

your desciption of the fit makes us all want to make them NOW!

Wow, I want to be YOUR sock pal. I really like those socks too - man, if every sock-pal design you do sweeps the world the way the Jaywalkers have, we'll just call you Queen of all Knitted Footwear.
Anyway, I am doing the same search you are. Do please post your results if you find something wonderful. (And I'll do the same.)

I've just finished knitting with some Sock Candy. It comes in 200 yds/2 ounce put ups and I'd say that weight-wise it's somewhere between STR Medium and STR Heavy. I knit a pair of socks out of it with a pattern similar to the Jaywalker pattern in terms of stitch density (the dragon scale pattern) on size 2 needles and got about 32 stitches to 3.75". Definitely heavier than Lornas Laces Shepherd Sock. If you want, I can give you a wraps per inch value, if that would help.

I'd definately be interested in any good sock yarns that you finally decide upon. I live in Florida so the kind of fiber you are looking for would be great! Kinda hard to wear wool socks here very often!

oh! Im so happy you decided on your pal's socks, it looks great so far.
I think Im going to try the sock candy (just maybe) and Ill let you know what I think. I also have some bamboo in the stash that you can try as a test. Let me know

The new sock design looks great. Does it have a name yet??

That sock pattern is beautiful!! Love the color, too.

I'm also waiting to see what you come up with for non-animal sock yarn . . . I have yet to find a cotton or mostly-cotton yarn for socks to wear down here in Hot Texas.

I think you have another winner :-) Beautiful colour too. Hope you post the pattern I can really see me knitting those.

That's a great design. The texture looks so interesting.

I am intrigued by the idea of fingering weight sock yarn with no animal fiber and wonder: would knitting with a strand of cotton and a strand of elastic work? So I unraveled a little bit of my ordinary cotton sock. There is definitely one strand of solid cotton and one strand of elastic. The problem is, for each stich you need to knit longer length of cotton than elastic (does that make sense?), so that when the elastic expands, the cotton stitch can stretch.

It seems to me that there's two ways to do this. One is to weave in the elastic after the sock is knit, like how you weave in the reinforce yarn. The other is to slip the elastic every other stitch.

Hmm, I think I might have to try this ;)

Sorry, I just thought about two more possible way. My cotton sock seem to have an texture in the inside of the sock, that is knit with the cotton strand only. Then, of course, the two strands can be held together so that the elastic is stretched to the fullest extent. That way the combination would mimic the boucle effect (like Fixation).

Oh please, please at least give us the stitch pattern for those.......

i love the texture of the pattern. it's so different from what i've seen elsewhere!

I like the new and revised simple sock!

The company Just Our Yarn has a 100%Tencel fingering weight (I think) yarn that can be used for socks. This is their website. You may have to ask about the colorways as they are still working on their site.


Just curious about the "no animal" fiber content - then silk listed as being okay. I'm assuming allergies? and silk, though having an animal source is really a differnet ball of wax.

What about the new milk protien based yarns, do you tolerate them or are they out as well?

Nice sock!

Well done. I really like the simple yet interesting design. And the color. I'm sure your sock pal will love them.

I just made two pairs of socks with BMFA sock candy. They turned out quite well, but one pair's dye was running quite a bit when i was trying to block them. I just had to wash them a couple of times before giving them away...

would Silk City's cotton/elastic yarns work? There are some at Elann or you can check the Silk City website

You know after you finish this less complicated sock for your pal (which looks great, BTW) you could lift the self-restraint and do another pair with all the more complicated ideas thrown in for yet another sock patten. The new pattern could be 'Kathy's personal version'. Just an idea...

I think those fit the bill. They are lovely!

I just read your posts about two-color knitting with DPN's, and was interested because I am learning Continental, and can do it pretty well now (it's a must for ribbing as far as I'm concerned), but was completely frustrated trying to do it on DPN's -- felt like the needles were always in my way and the yarn was catching on the points -- so if that's easy for you and English is hard, well, it's interesting, that's all. Maybe there's still hope for me to learn to knit Continental on DPN's.

BTW, finished Odessa #3, cast on 120, knit to 5-3/4 inches, then switched to size 4 DPN's for decrease rows, and the shaping is quite nice, I think. Odessa #2 was a tiny bit large and I look like a cone-head if I don't pull it down all the way.

Found this on Etsy:
They sold a skein of 'handpaited cotton/lycra sock yarn'. No mention of whether it is a wool, blend.

BTW, love your LL sock!

You've got one very lucky sockpal - those are fabulous! Great pattern - great color - I'm so jealous!! How does one get to be your sockpal??

Diggin' the twisted stitches. Great, simplistic pattern- your sockpal will love those!

Who do I have to bribe to be your sock pal. Love the design.

Let me know if you're still searching for a cotton/lycra fingering weight yarn. I have something in my stash that's just what you're looking for. It's been discontinued for years.

Love the pattern and can't wait to try it! It's just fabulous!

That is absolutely lovely! :) I'd love to try that pattern.

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