Stripes and ribs

Suzie Blackman
Thursday, 7 June 2012

You could be forgiven for thinking that not much knitting has been happening at Sparkle Towers, but this is not the case. I have a new pattern in development (more about that soon) and a couple of pairs of socks to share with you. A recent a bout of illness left me unable to do much other than mindless knitting for two weeks, so I decided to try and make a dent in sock-yarn mountain.

The first pair were made from Regia Design Line in probably my all time favourite yarn colourway; ‘landscape fire’. I have another pair of Regia socks, it’s not the softest of yarns, but it is very hard-wearing, surprisingly nice to wear and totally uniform; it’s easy to make a pair of identical socks. The construction is a very standard top-down, ribbed cuff, flap heal. My preference is to knit socks magic loop on 2.25mm Knit Pro metal circulars (they have nice, pointy tips). No pattern – I’ve worked out my own formula to fit my feet.

Simple socks in Regia Design Line ‘Landscape Fire’

Even with a fever of 38.5°, these emerged without much effort. There is something very satisfying and motivating about seeing the stripes appear.

I wanted some hiking socks for the second pair, so I experimented with a ribbed leg and instep. I picked out a skein of fabled Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in a neutral shade of pale green (it might have been called ‘field’), which I received as a gift.

Ribbed hiking socks in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock

I had very high expectations of the yarn but it was not quite what I expected. It feels ‘smooshy’ in the skein, but to knit with, it’s dense and lacking stretch. It has very low yardage for a sock yarn. I made the leg of the socks shorter than I wanted out of concern for running out, but I needn’t have because they knitted to a larger gauge than regular sock yarn on 2.25mm.

I don’t know if it was the lack of colour variation, the feel of the yarn or the ribbing requiring too much of my brain-power, but I didn’t enjoy knitting these at all, although I love the socks.

I don’t mind a bit of mindless knitting but I need a bit of colour to motivate myself. My little mind was blown when I saw Eskimimi’s latest sock project. I knew I had to get me some of that yarn – identified as Schoppel Wolle Admiral Ombré (by the folks who make the magnificent Zauberball). I found some for just £6.90 for 100g from Art Yarn, who now seem to have run out :(

Schoppe Wolle Admiral Ombré in 'tigers eye'

Schoppe Wolle Admiral Ombré in ‘tigers eye’

I can see this being turned into socks quite quickly!

The author

Suzie Blackman

The dyer, designer, photographer, creative technologist and maker-of-things behind It's a Stitch Up. She lives in East London in a home filled with colour, fluff and house plants.

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