Sunday, July 5, 2009

Darn Socks!

Winter Survival Socks have long been a staple of my knitting repertoire. Thick warm and sturdy, the socks are the perfect protection against February floors. They are also easy to knit—a simple 48 stitch cast on, a basic sturdy heel, and all the fun of turning the heel (this has long been my favorite part) and then round and round to the toe. What could be more perfect for mindless knitting?
The only drawback: the wear--darn socks! There has to be a better way! So I’ve been experimenting over the years with plies of different kinds of wools and finding ways to make a better sock yarn. (The ripped up socks to the left were two plies—yuck) On the left is an early experiment—a three ply of two shades of Romney for strength and a dyed Corriedale for softness. These socks have held up pretty well but I feel I can do better. I’d also like to knit some prettier socks—maybe adding a few fancy cables to the tops—so I need to discover a fine and sturdy three ply yarn.
To maintain focus, I’ve joined Ravelry’s Tour de Fleece. I’ll be spinning sock yarns everyday this month, going through my stash to experiment with sturdy blends for yarns. I’ve joined Team SOS (Spin our Socks), Gone Batty (for people who spin from batts) and Stash Busters, since I’ll be spinning from stash. I will do some of the blend experiments I’ve been thinking about the past couple of years. In future blogs, which I plan to do each Sunday, I will report on the progress. The real test will be in the wear, so this may take awhile. Creating indestructible sock yarn information will also be provided on my website under the tab “Sock Saga.”

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