Monday, August 11, 2008

Don't you just

Love it? Hate it?
When Yarn companies and big box craft stores work together to make you spend more money?
Not that long ago, big box craft stores carried a few lines of a few companies, and 90% of the stock was synthetic...

Now, the price of these yarns are going up (many of them are made from petroleum by products) there are companies renowned for 'plastic yarn' who are now selling wools again!

Coats & Clark's, for one.

When I learned to knit, Coats & Clark's “Red Heart” yarn was wool –not the softest wool, but sturdy and cheap. You could find it Woolworth's (remember Woolworth's? Oh how I am dating my self!)

The first hat I ever knit was a 2 X 2 ribbed 'watch cap'--in grey Red Heart wool. I gave it to my father, and he, being the mensch he is, wore it.

Now, I find I can go into ACMoore, or Michaels or JoAnnes, (the 3 big chains that have stores in the NY/LI area) and find several different wools, (or bamboos, or linens, or evens blends with silk!) or nice wool and wool blend sock yarns like these Patons yarns!

Sock Yarn is what jumped out and grabbed me--not just the Coats & Clark's sock yarn, but Patons sock yarns too!

First the Heart and Sole.. a yarn I want to love... but....

It comes in a nice range of colors, and in plain stripes or stripes with mock fair isle.

It's a smooth, not too splitty yarn,--70/30 split of wool and nylon, with a really wonderful hand.
I think it's the aloe—but it's a pleasure to knit... it jumps happily from needle to needle, and the socks grow by leaps and bounds.
BUT....(why is there a but? Don't you just hate that there is a but?)

The stripes... well they are near stripes..
I am working on the recommended for socks size 2 (2.75mm) needle, and getting 9 stitches to the inch (I think I could have used a 1.5 needle (2.5mm) or even a 1, (2.25mm) and gotten a firmer fabric, but the size 2 needles work well enough)

And I am working in 1 X 1 ribbing –which, I KNOW, uses more yarn per stitch than stocking knit...but with a 60 stitch sock, I am not getting complete rounds of stripe.. And I'm not just a stitch or 2 short.. but a quarter of round short!

Now I am at the foot, and have reduced the stitch count to 56, and half the stitches are stocking knit, and I am still not getting full rounds with some colors--you can see what I mean in the photo--there are T pins near each several of the incomplete stripes

I don't think my granddaughter is going to care, (I do!) so these will be her socks..

They are pretty simple socks.. but she's requested socks with a pocket.. so I have to plan (and knit) a sock pocket--I think I'll just pick up some stitches from the fancy cast on (not that fancy really, just long tail variation and make a pocket of some sort--since she wasn't that specific!

More photo's soon, (I've finished the leg, knit the flap, turned the heel and worked the gusset since this photo was taken!)


Anonymous said...

Oh, I remember the Red Heart wool well. It's what I learned to knit with too. So, I'm dating myself right there beside you.
For many many years, I didn't have access to yarn shops - so I did a LOT of knitting with Red Heart Acrylic. It wasn't until recent years that I found wool again, and my fingers remembered how much nicer it is to knit with wool.
Haven't been to a big box store lately (there aren't any close by out here in the boonies), but I'll be watching for the sock yarn. I actually like the effect of the "near stripes". 8)

errs said...

I remember Woolworths! I loved that store. :D

LizzieK8 said...

Didn't see the stripe thing on my socks, but I alternated, five rounds each, two different colorways.

I thought it was nice yarn, works well, inexpensive, washes nicely.

Can't wait to see the pockets!