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August 07, 2006

Feets. They need socks.


Pattern: Garter Rib from Sensational Knitted Socks. Worked toe-up over 60 sts, with a short-row toe and heel (I use Wendy's method), topped with a little 2 x 2 ribbing.

I previously posted various details of this pair of socks - how I did the calf shaping and the bind-off, and even how I cheated a little on the whole short-row business to make prettier toes and heels.

Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in chino, 2 skeins (at one point, I may have called this colorway "khaki" - I stand corrected).

Needles: Susan Bates Silvalume US 0, set of 5. These needles are my choice for sock knitting, and they can be purchased here.

You may be thinking, "Yeah, yeah, it's another pair of socks." But, oh! It is so much more! I'm hoping this pair of socks is exactly what my dad wants, from color to fit to pattern. I have reasons to believe that they'll be a very special addition to his sock drawer.

No sooner were these socks off the needles and tumbling in the washing machine that I cast on for a new pair. I always need a little project on the go!

As you know, I'm not into variegated sock yarns. First, I find them painfully limiting - to give you one example, Child's First Sock in Shell Pattern would never in a million years look as good in a variegated yarn as it does in a creamy white. Never.

Second, I have mixed feelings about color pooling. Actually, I lie. My feelings about pooling can be summarized concisely by the following statement:

The best way to avoid pooling is to use solid-colored yarn.

Blunt. Harsh. True? True.

So what the hell am I doing with that yarn you see up there? It sure looks like it will pool something terrible as soon as I knit a few more rows, and that I will have to combat the pooling the only way I know how - use solid-colored yarn.

Sigh... Weakness.

I saw it, and I couldn't resist. It is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in wisteria from Linda's store, and it had my grandma's name all over it.

I swear it spoke to me... Grandma... Roza... Grandma... Roza... credit card... Grandma... enter the expiration date... Roza...

And now I'm limited ("Why I don't use variegated sock yarn, reason #1"). I briefly entertained the handful of variegation-friendly patterns, and decided to go with a simple stockinette sock. Do you know I've never knit a simple stockinette sock??? There's a first for everyone.

As you can see, I started with a simple picot edge. Without a doubt I'm influenced by all the picot-edged socks out there (oh, Claudia and your picot temptress ways). To add insult to injury, I'll have you know that the last time I saw my grandma, in no uncertain terms, she told me she wanted a picot edge on her next pair of socks. She showed me her new machine-knit cardigan set, pointed out the picot-edged cuffs and collar, and said, "I want this."

And so it will be.

Posted by Kathy on August 7, 2006 11:06 PM


Oh my sister in anti-pooling! I was just reorganizing my sock drawer last night (really) and petting my nice solid Sockapaloooza beauties :)

If it's any comfort, I made some variegated Lorna's socks a while back--and at least they pooled the same.

I never noticed pooling until I entered the knitblogging world. Then I went back and looked at some old projects, like a blue and gray variegated hat that I'd knit, and noticed the pooling. This is one instance where ignorance was bliss, or at least the untrained eye produced a happier brain.

To make it so takes such talent. How good it must feel. And it probably balances out the varigated yarn displeasure.

I'm sure your dad will love the socks.

I'm in the process of knitting with some Sockotta that's pooling, but I really like it.

You're smarter than I am. I have a whole slew of varigated sock yarn in my stash. Pooling... flashing... whatever you call it, it's ugly. I hope you escape it. Knitting from two different balls can help. (As if I needed to tell you.)

How funny, because your own wonderful Jaywalker pattern would be WONDERFUL for this yarn. :)

I really like that color of Lorna's! I think it's the same one I was admiring at a yarn store a couple of weeks ago. :)

i've been feeling the limitations of variegated yarn myself lately, and have therefore been jonesing for solid or, even better, semi-solid, sock yarn. it got me to try dyeing my own sock yarn, so it's all good. :)

but variegated yarns can look very pretty in plain stockinette, and i bet your grandma will love her socks.

Go grandma!

Beutiful colours - good luck on the pooling.

It's nice when grandmas know what they want! I'm on the fence about pooling. Have you seen Wendy's latest "Ingrid Blue" socks? (http://wendyknits.net/archives/001021.html#001021). They have a very cool pooling affect on the feet, and it's sorta neat. Perhaps not for every pair of socks, but I think there might be times when it's fun.

Yep, just sit back, knit plain, and let the colors drive the interest. I'm in total agreement. Only a minimum of color change is acceptable for lace or cables.

It's Lorna's "I pool and I'm proud of it" Laces - I give it three rows, or one pattern repeat max before you've broken out the whiskey to dull the pain :)

To grandma, I say "who wouldn't?"


Wisteria is my favorite colorway from LL... i used it for a pair of socks and I LOVE it. :)

the socks for your dad look just lovely!

Kathy, quick question on the picot edge. Do you use a provisional cast on or do you pick up stitches along the cast on edge for the inside hem? I've seen directions both ways. Just curious which way you like.

Aha-you are coming over to the DARK side (Luke- I am your variegated father)!!!!! ;-)

I hate color pooling too; however, of all the sock variegated sock yarns I've used so far (not that many) Lorna's Laces does better than the others while knitting in a pattern.

You should take a look at my pomatomus socks (Knitty) at my blog. They look great in mixed berry laces. I've used watercolor to less of an effect, but they looked okay in the backyard leaves pattern (Vogue) also. It really just depends on how they pool, but the Mixed Berry appeared to stripe which helped a lot.

On the other hand, I've tried Koigu and Cherry Tree Hill and still haven't figured out a good pattern for them. I might have to use plain.

My widdershins in trekking were okay.

Good luck and let us all know how your socks turn out.

Another solid sock yarn person. Yipee. I thorouhly agree with rule #1. And I love your grandma's straighforwardness. My grandma just recently requested a poncho. In tan. With a simple design. And went through photos with me to find the right one. (She picked a Blue Sky Alpacas pattern. Granny's got taste!)

I feel like the odd man out here, but I like the flashing and pooling effects of variegated yarn.

Love the calf shaping on your Dad's socks.

LOVE the chino socks! They look fantastic. The calf shaping in particular.

I really go back and forth on variegated yarn. I love watching something that's super-variegated, like koigu, knit up because it's an adventure to see what's going to happen. But LL is pretty bad on pooling, and it's frustrating to have a great colorway go bad as stitches decrease. I'll be watching with interest as you knit this sock!

Oooh! Do I sense the next Jaywalker?!?

Pooling? We got pooling? Pooling is for de swimmin'!

I did your Jaywalker pattern (which I adore, by the way) in Lorna's Laces...the legs were great but got LOTS of pooling on the feet....and to my everlasting chagrin, everyone who has seen them LOVES the pooling! Sigh.

ahh i love the variegated yarns but then i love the crochet ;)

Picot edging is not "plain". You're getting closer to plain stockinette socks, but you haven't done it yet.

Also, I almost picked up Sensational Knitted Socks the other night at Borders, but opted to fill out my Yarn Harlot collection instead. Thanks for making me wish I got the sock book. Meh.

Love the Dad socks - hope they're a hit! The colourway of the LL is lovely.

Love the color selection for both your socks! With the pooling/anti-pooling issue that comes with variegated yarn, have you tried out something like the socks here: http://www.knitpicks.com/Projects/Projects_Display_Yarn.aspx?itemid=50440222&yarnid=5420133#

Probably a little more time investment than you want for a project on the go. But this looks like a cool way to use variegated yarn and avoid color pooling.

I bet you'll figure something out on the fly to avoid pooling. You're clever like that. ;-)

It's beautiful yarn though. Don't be scurd:-)

Amusingly, I've found that the best way to avoid pooling is to knit (modified, toe-up) Jaywalkers.

I like varigated yarns. I even like when the colours pool.
I'm weird like that though.

I love your Grandma, she seems alot like mine would have been were she still alive. Give her a hug for me the next time you see her.

Now are those socks for you or your dad? (the solid color ones) Do you have the same size foot? Wow! Also, I have knitted a pair of socks in the Wisteria color way. They were beautiful! I can never seem to find solid color sock yarn!

Oh and I like the pooling. What can I say?


This is my first time commenting...EVER, ANYWHERE. (Pauses for everyone to feel the enormity of the statement)

I've (gulp) joined the Six Sox KnitAlong group and the most recent pattern has a picot edge and a lovely "snakeskin" pattern stitch. It might be something that appeals to you and perhaps will offset any pooling scenarios.


Pooling does suck, but that is some seriously beautiful sock yarn.

Kathy it's funny to read all these commenters saying they dislike the pooling. And on Wendy's post about loving the pooling, so did every one of her commenters. I personally don't like it and it's what drove me to dye my own yarn. If you like variegated yarn but can't bear the pooling, the best way to deal with the issue is use my yarn. Period. My variegated yarn DOES NOT POOL. Even better, it looks pretty in patterns because of the subtle color changes. I've made a few "streaky" types of yarn that pool and I say so on my listings because some people LIKE that. I don't have any yarn for sale right now but I would love to make a skein for you to use. I know you don't wear wool but if you give it as gifts I'd love to send you some so you can enjoy variegated color changes without pooling. I'll even put a "no pooling guarantee" on it. :)

Love your dad's socks! I hate pooling, too, and have wound a single skein into 4 equal balls (counted the number of wraps in the skein, and wound each ball with exactly 1 quarter the number of wraps), and used 2 balls of yarn for each sock, making sure I started at a different point in each yarn. That did cut down a lot on the pooling and alternating the yarns every row. I'll check out Tania's yarns, too.

I share your dislike of pooling, but somehow I always end up with varigated yarn. I am a sucker for how pretty the yarn looks as a hank.

Bless you for the sock needle resource! I've been searching for a good set of metal dpns in small sizes for socks.

Thanks for posting your dad's new socks, they look great! I promise to stop nagging you about these now!

To all you knitting hotties (my wife is one of you) lets see some hot pics of you gals and your creations !!

"The best way to avoid pooling is to use solid colored yarn" ----heheheh, I like that. What I really like about it is the whole sock would be just ONE pool of color. It's the extreme pooling. I like it.