Socks: Letting the Yarn Speak

I love knitting socks. I caught the bug a few years ago, and since then I’ve knit quite a few pairs of them. I’ve also acquired quite a large number of skeins and balls of sock yarn in all sorts of colours and fibres. They are the perfect impulse buy – pretty, soft, and useful because 100 grams will make a pair of socks. The hard part is deciding which pattern to make with which yarn.

Veil of Rosebuds socks 9

A while ago I bought a copy of the The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes. It has a lot of very interesting information about yarn, specifically yarn for making socks. I learned a lot about the properties of different fibres and how to make the best use of them. When I decided to make socks with some yarn containing both wool and silk, I chose a pattern written specifically for yarn with silk in it – Veil of Rosebuds by Anne Hanson. The pattern stitch is really stretchy.

Veil of Rosebuds socks  2

My gauge using the 2.25 mm needles specified in the pattern was tighter than the designer’s, so I decided to make the large size. In retrospect, I realized that I didn’t need to do that. The stretchiness of the lace pattern stitch would have made the medium size fit my size 7.5 foot well. However, even in the large size they fit well enough. I modified the pattern by knitting a heel with flap and gusset, instead of a short row heel.

The yarn is Jawoll Silk by Lang Yarns. It contains 55% wool, 25% nylon, and 20% silk, and is very nice to work with. The ball came with a spool of nylon reinforcing thread that I didn’t use. The unhappy surprise was that the 100 gram weight of the ball included the weight of the reinforcing thread. The yarn itself weighed only 93 grams. That was still enough for me to make a pair of socks, but it could be an issue for people with bigger feet.

For my next pair, I grabbed a ball of self-striping yarn by Schoeller+Stahl called Fortissima Socka Mexiko Color. This time the yarn demanded making a very simple sock – it’s just too busy for much else. I knit this one on 2.25 mm needles, with a cuff of 3×3 ribbing, and a flap heel. Bright and cheery, aren’t they?

Basic sock in Fortissima 1

the details:

First Pattern: Veil of Rosebuds by Anne Hanson, from The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes

Yarn: Jawoll Silk by Lang Yarns (55% wool, 25% nylon, and 20% silk) in colour 130.0098

Needles: 2.5 mm for cuffs, 2.25 mm for the rest.

Sock size: large

Modifications: replaced short-row heel with a heel flap and gusset

Second Pattern: Basic cuff-down socks in stockinette stitch, 66 stitches, with 3×3 ribbing and a heel flap and gusset heel

Yarn: Fortissima Socka Mexiko Color by Schoeller+Stahl (75% wool, 25% nylon) in colour 24 Lilac Brown.

Needles: 2.5 mm for cuffs, 2.25 mm for the rest.

Sock size: medium


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