Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Opposite Ends of the Spectrum

I've finished a couple of pairs of socks.







Claudia Hand Painted Yarns, Bearded Iris colourway.





I love the colours in this yarn, but the tactile experience didn't quite match the visual. The colours were glorious, but I found the yarn a little hard and lifeless. They're a bit better after washing, but still not as soft and sproingy as many other yarns. Frankly, though, the colours make up for it. They're very vibrant.



I didn't notice until I took the pictures how differently the two socks came out -- one more brown, the other more purple. I quite like how they're sort of stripey, but not.







My other pair couldn't have been more different.




It's Tofutsies. I've wanted to try this yarn since it first came out. (I'm guessing my inner Cancerian drew me to the exoskeletons of my sea-borne brethren.) The skein kind of makes you dizzy, doesn't it. It's a mix of white, a black-grey marl, and a brown-beige marl. It kind of makes you dizzy when it's knit up as well.




The yarn again felt kind of hard when I was knitting it up, but a trip through the washer and dryer softened it up quite nicely. I found it quite splitty on the first sock, but by the second one my hands must have got accustomed to it and I had no problems. Except for picking up the gusset stitches, that is. It took forever, not because it was splitting but because I had a hard time seeing the stitches with all that marling going on.



This was my first foray into cotton-mix yarns. I am a little surprised at how much I like the resultant fabric, but I think I'll have to revise my standard sock formula. These fit just a trifle loosely, despite being ribbed all the way down. I think I'll have to reduce the number of stitches for my next pair.


In the Other News Department, my missing cable needle still hasn't shown up. I think it's gone south for the winter. When I first put out an APB on him, several people suggested that I simply cable without a needle. I find that works well on larger things, but for socks, I tend to lose stitches without the extra holder. I've not been able to find any more metal cable needles, just the icky plastic ones, so I've had to improvise.




Curtain hooks to the rescue!

52 people had something to say:

fleegle said...

Gorgeous socks! I just traded something for a skein of that Bearded Iris. We can be twins!

Love your cable needle. I think Harry took your other one.

Jeanette said...

The socks look great!
Brilliant idea for the cable needle.

SJ said...

I do like that striping-but-not effect on the first pair. That is what I call a variegated yarn that behaves! I'm actually very pleasantly suprised that you got normal-sized socks out of the Claudia's; I've heard some people complain that it's skimpy on yardage.

I, too, was pleasantly surprised by the Tofutsies. I've found the pair of socks I knit with my first skein to be a delight to wear -- it becomes silky and cool, and it's really nice for those early fall or late spring days when it's a little cool but too warm for wool.

AuntieAnn said...

Beautiful socks! That's an ingenious use of a curtain hook, but don't stab yourself on the pointy end. We don't want any blood on the knitting, now.

Suna said...

Thanks for the heads-up on how the Claudia yarn feels--I am using her silk on a project but haven't tried knitting my sock yarn yet.

But wow, that colorway of Tofutsie is a hoot! I love the way it softens up, but have a hard time finding a colorway of it that really appeals to me. That black and white may be my next Tofutsie try!

Opal said...

Love the socks! I know what you mean about the Tofutsies making you dizzy. I think that's why I've been holding off on them.

Also, love the innovative new cable needle!

KnitNana said...

Curtain Hooks! Fabulous idea!
And I love the Claudia socks especially (I do know what you mean, the yarn's not as sinful, except where the color is concerned and that is OVER THE TOP!)
Not so sure about the Tofutsi's...I like what appears to be the black white mix..only so-so on the brown marl.
(((hugs)))

Anonymous said...

a curtain hook - brilliant!

I like your socks. I like the colors you chose. I too like some stripey-ness without hard line stripes. I have yet to knit cotton blend socks. The ones you knit are gorgeous.
-punkin

Pensguys said...

LOVE the Bearded Iris socks!

I'm knitting with that very same color of Tofutsies! My ds wanted some socks out of it. I'll post a few pix soon.

http://classicalknittingcorner.blogspot.com

Lauren said...

How resourceful to find that cable needle! I love your socks, its interesting how different the Claudia yarn can be between skeins.

Kay said...

I was going to say resourceful, too. Good job! On the socks as well. Love the colors and especially the way your tofutsies turned out.

Carol said...

Your new socks are gorgeous! And what a clever cable needle, I'll be sure to keep an eye out for the missing one for you;)

Paul said...

The socks are beautiful! The Tofutsies socks are awesome! I love the way it pools and stripes at the same time.

The curtain hook idea is a hoot!

Michelle said...

The first socks look so squishy. I'm surprised they aren't in real life. Nice substituting for the cable needle! :-)

Micki said...

You are a sock machine! Very nice indeed.

turtlegirl76 said...

Curtain hooks - ha! No better use for them around here. I ditched all the curtains that took that type of hook. Nice save!

The socks are both really cool! I like to have a pair of plain stockinette socks in the works as well as a patterned pair. We all need a little sanity in our lives.

Alice said...

I was going to frog my tofutsies sock that I started a while back. But..... thanks for posting this review of the knitting and washing of the yarn and how it changed. I will persist. All of these socks are beautiful Dave!

I may even put them on my ravelry page. But then I would have to admit to another WIP...oh well, I fell off the wagon again.

Kenny said...

See, that's why I like plain yarn. the color coming out is soooo darn unpredictable.

angelarae said...

Awesome idea to use the curtain hook for a cable needle (is there a Knitting Scout badge for that? There should be) The socks are lovely. You must be a fast knitter. I tend to work on socks sporadically and so it takes a while to finish a pair.

Ang

Wannietta said...

They're both really gorgeous Dave - each in their own way. For me, handknit socks are all about the colour!! Being soft & cushy and having a nice twist are considerations but the colours are what lure me.

Debi said...

That's one dangerous cable needle, dude! :)

I think you got a bad skein of Claudia's, mine have all been soft and lovely! Beautiful sock tho!

Gail said...

Love the socks.
Oh darn........just after I threw out a whole bag of curtain hooks, NOW you come up with a good use for them ! :)

Paula said...

I hope your tetanus immunization is up to date. I would *so* skewer myself cabling with a curtain hook, but what a clever improvisation!

Jane said...

I like the sort-of stripes on the Claudia socks -- it hardly ever happens for me. Great socks all around!

Carrie said...

Cool use of a curtain hook! VERY creative. I love your handknit socks. They look great. I have to figure out how you did your heel, though. I'd like to try it.

Jessica said...

Nice socks! I love the cancer reference by the way. ;) The pair I made with tofutsies was similarly surprising. It reminds me of light store bought sock fabric, but much better of course. :) Interesting sub for a cable needle too.

Eric & Tony said...

I had the same issue with two different results out of the same yarn in Claudia. That is one of those yarns that you have to alternate skeins if you want them to look the same.

Personally, I like having two different socks.

What is really fun with Claudia is comparing your socks to someone elses who used the same colorway but a different dye lot.

Oh, and the socks are . . . well I'm running out of adjectives for awesome.

lexa said...

Love both pairs of sock! I can't wait to get my Christmas knitting finished. I've got the sock bug happening.

Marjorie said...

Love those socks.

I've used unbent paperclips in a pinch. I've grown to like the plastic cable needles with the indentation, and I have a bunch of metal hooks I no longer use. If you'd like me to send one your way, email.

Next time I splurge on equipment, I'm thinking of trying a wooden cable needle. I like the way wool "sticks" on wooden needles, and I think I may have a new bit of equipment to fall in love with if I try them.

bockstark.knits said...

mmmmm...bearded iris!!!

Teyani said...

curtain hook.. how totally clever (albeit a bit pointy on that one end)
Love the look of the Claudia's handpainted sock - and the tofutsies.. hmm . reminds me a bit of those wild artist's designs where if you squint you can see different things (smile)

Flyin' Needles said...

Love the colors in the Claudia socks. I'll let you know about the Tofutsies ones if I can ever manage to look at them that long... wow!

I'd kill myself on a curtain hook for a cable needle; you're a brave man. If you still can't find them locally, KnitPicks has them.

Charles said...

Oh Dave~~

Your such a great socks knitter!
Iam so inspire by your socks! I Ireally loved your Claudia Hand Painted socks! Awesome socks!

Charles

pat said...

I've used toothpicks and paper clips (prior to learning cabling without a needle), but had never though of curtain hooks - VERY resourceful.
Isn't it weird how you get used to whatever yarn you are using...I recently started with what I thought was very splitty J. Knits and part way into the socks...totally fine. Knit long enough on anything and it feels normal....well almost anything. Boy, am I wordy tonight - I actually just wanted to say I like your socks :-) especially the bearded iris vaguely stripey ones!

Laura said...

It's good to hear your take on the Tofutsies.

I just finished a pair of cotton-wool-blend socks for my husband and even though the entire leg is ribbed, they stretch out and fall down. He swears he still loves them anyway, but as the knitter that irritates me. I'm just going to stick to wool socks for a while.

Sarah said...

It's funny, I think Claudia Handpaints socks always end up being fraternal twins! Yours are charming -- that colorway is gorgeous!

Nora said...

Love the socks! I have LOTS of metal cable needles round the place... let me know if you want me to send a set your way.

Nora

anne said...

i always use a smaller needle with yarns that are not mostly wool . . it really helps with the lack of elasticity.

Tanya said...

I had the same thing happen in a couple of the last pairs of socks I knitted...one pair was even knit from the same skein and the other was from 2 skeins but with the same lot #. Oh, well.

That colorway was my first with Tofutsies, too, and they remain one of my favorite pairs of socks. They have really held up!

Both of yours are beautiful!

Terri said...

Your socks look really great. I especially like the colours in the Claudia Hand Paint, but I agree about the yarn. Fabulous colours - but I'm just not so impressed with the quality of the yarn. I found too many part breaks for my liking. Now that's clever using the curtain hook! :o)

Lynn said...

Nice bit of lateral thinking with the curtain hook! My cable needle disappeared for about six months and magically reappeared when I was packing up for the move.

I have a couple of orphan skeins of Claudia; it will be interesting to see how it feels as it flows through my fingers and if my experience is the same as yours.

And I love that Norovember scarf in the post below. I have thus far been able to resist the call of Noro, but you may have undone me with this one.

Thanks, I think! ;)

KnitXcorE said...

my tofutsies has been hanging around for awhile, i have no clue what pattern to use. i really like that first pair, the colors are gr8!

trickytricot said...

I actually quite like working with the Claudia stuff - and unlike the Koigu socks I have - I've never had a hole! Tofutsies on the other hand - I don't like when colors flash like that, so I probably won't work with it... I really prefer the wooliness of the Regia, or even thet yumminess of the Fleece Artist!!!

Sarah said...

Those curtain hooks might be dangerous! At least for me. That Tofutsie is really hard to look at, it's like an optical illusion sock. Remember those magic pictures?

The_Add_Knitter said...

Nice save with the curtain hooks, you are a crafty one for sure! I just love that Claudia's Hand-painted, so lovely...

Shelley said...

Love both of those pairs of socks! Wow, you are so creative - I'd never have thought to use anything like a curtain hook as a cable needle!

Carrie K said...

Wow, I never would have expected that from the Tofutsies yarn. I really like it though.

My cable needles have all gone missing but I think they saw what happened to my size 1 dpn's. I use another dpn in a pinch. I would so skewer myself w/a curtain hook, but heck yeah, great idea!

Kathy said...

I too have the bearded iris colorway. Gifted in a swap. So pleased to see you've knit it up for us to see. thanks

Romi said...

Ooooh. I lurve the Bearded Iris!!!

tallguy said...

Nice work! I'm wondering if the first two socks weren't from different dyelots. Can't be any other reason. Even if you started the other ball from the wrong end, the colours should still be the same.

As for the Tofutsies yarn -- you know that cotton lacks elasticity. It will stretch nicely, and not come back (much like your cable needle). You will have to take that into consideration the next pair; yes, fewer stitches might do the trick.

I haven't used a cable needle for a long time. Of course, I'm not doing anything like 6/6 cables, but the 1/1 I'm doing today are a breeze. If needed, I can use a spare needle -- and we all know I have a few extras around!!

Ilix said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the tofutsies..... I have been wondering about that yarn myself, I am sure many of us have. I don't think my LYS owner liked it, so I bet I will have to look a bit to find it. Nice sock display!

Charles said...

Hey DAVE~~~

I hope your having a great time on your NEW YEARS day!
Hope eveythings goes will and big luck wish your best~~

Also visit my blog...I made a post about preview of new knitting book in 2008!

love,
Charles