I’m no Harlot…

…but I definitely like more than one project on my needles at any given time. Typically between two and four, I’d say. More, I get a little antsy.

The needles on my Azalea scarf are driving me bonkers! For starters, they do not have the best joins (I believe they are Susan Bates Silvalume). On top of that, I’m knitting pretty tightly on this project, I think because the yarn is so thin and wants to be on even smaller needles. So, stitches which hug the needle plus wonky joins – recipe for frustration. But then (!), to top it all off, the shawl is still too small to fit comfortably on one circular, so I’ve got it on two circs, which is twice as terrible – twice as many wonky joins to deal with, and the dangling, clinking ends make me want to strangle myself.

However, look! Pretty!

I ordered some INOX circs (the gray aluminum kind) to lessen my frustrations, but my skepticism is running high. The US 1s are marked 2.25 mm, which is what I want, but I just have the strongest suspicion that they’re actually 2.5 mm, which would make them incompatible with this project. I’ll just wait and see, good thing I have calipers.

In the meantime I’ve started something else! A pair of socks using Socks That Rock which January One Cara generously gave me last month. It sat in my stashette for a little bit, and I finally got a chance to play with it when Azalea frustration hit.

Now, I haven’t been knitting for that long, and I certainly don’t claim to have seen it all, but I try to keep on top of what’s available in terms of sock yarn because I do knit a lot of socks. It’s pretty darn hard to knock my socks off with a new sock yarn (hehe), you know what I mean?

This. stuff. is. incredible!!! The first thing I noticed is how solid it is – you take the strand, squeeze it between your fingers, and nothing happens! It remains solid and round, like a piece of rope. I think the tight spin will produce a pair of socks that will wear exceptionally well. Also, the stitch definition is out of this world:

In my experience only cotton has such clearly defined knits and purls – what other wool is this tightly spun? I am absolutely drooling over the possibility of knitting cables with this yarn (a solidly-colored skein, of course).

Although the yarn itself is most impressive to me, the dyeing is pretty remarkable, too! This particular colorway, Prove it all Night, has short segments of raspberries and grays, about 6″ long. Although the pattern (another one from Nancy Bush) is mindless and I could totally take my eyes off my knitting, I don’t. I just keep watching each stitch, seeing the color of the fabric develop, in amazement that it’s not pooling at all.

Yeah, I get it. I get why so many people are into this yarn. Gah! I want more! Anyone know where I can see all the 250 colorways?


52 thoughts on “I’m no Harlot…

  1. Kristen

    Fantastic! Your work looks great and your narrative hints that you’re almost human! ;)I have to check out the sock yarn–God knows I need more! I’m preparing to start an Azalea of my own. Thanks!

  2. Chris

    Cara wrote something yesterday about the colorways – that any colorway you see on her site, you can ask the Blue Moon people about to see if it’s still an active color.

  3. Manda

    I’ve never actually USED the StR yarn, but I have 2 skeins in my stash + 3 more coming. *lol* Carbon Dating, Cobalt Bloom, Azurite, Romancing the Stone, and Hard Rock. πŸ˜€ *squee*

  4. Leisel

    250 colorways?!? Oh, yeah… I want to see them all – all at once, one one page, so I can scroll between likely favorites and choose what I want (and be able to ORDER them). I do not understand why only a small limited selection is on the STR site. I know it’s a bit of a time consuming project, but really… they’d be able to sell so much if they did, it seems obvious that they would do so.

  5. Suzann

    The INOX size 1 is 2.25mm. I use them for socks. They are the only 2.25mm circs that are easy to obtain. I will say that the joins are not perfection, and the tips are sharp enough to pierce your finger. I have the holes to prove it. I use them because they are what is available in circ. They work. The needles are long and have the bend near the tip. My husband put them in a vice and straighten them out. Which is a help. But you may not mind the bend. It drives me crazy when I am trying to feed sock yarn back onto the needle. I usually knit socks on two circs.

    The lace is beautiful.

  6. naturebatslast

    I’m sure you’ve probably tried the technique, but if dangling, clinking ends make you want to strangle yourself might not Magic Loop work for you until your Azalea blooms large enough to fill out a circular needle in the regular way?

  7. Karma

    I haven’t tried Socks That Rock yet but have been anxious to get my hands on some. Prove It All Night looks like a colorway I would appreciate!

  8. claudia

    Well, STR will definitely pool if given the right stitch count, as it did on my Jaywalkers. Its certainly got a very nice hand and I’d be happy to work with it again.

  9. Persnickety Knitter

    I have some INOX US1 circ’s and they are 2.25mm. I think the join on them is smoother than that on the Susan Bates Silvalume US1 circ’s (the ones with the clear cord and the aluminum ndls in pale pink/blue/or green). I used to use the Susan Bates and hated them — not only was the join crappy, but on several sets the cord part started moving independently from the needle (so the needle would spin around annoyingly). Strange because I don’t mind the Susan Bates circs at other sizes.

    Anyhow, I found the INOX circ’s in the same size and now use them for my socks exclusively. They are very pointy (as Suzann mentioned above), but I haven’t injured myself with them yet. πŸ˜‰

  10. Julie H.

    The Fold seems to have the biggest selection online, but I want to see *all* of it on one page! Can’t they add the ones Cara keeps showing off? πŸ™‚

  11. nikki

    If you buy from the Fold (the lady is uber nice), FYI that all the colorways on the page aren’t necessarily available. I have 2 skeins (or skanks depending on who you ask) and they are Deeee Vine. I would love to have more, too.

  12. Gale

    The only sock yarn I appreciate more than STR is Artyarns Ultramerino 4. Not the supermerino – the ultra. While it does not go in the washer, and I am dubious as to it’s longevity as a regularly worn article of clothing, it is a superior knitting product. My all time favourite to date.

    Happy knitting, Gale

  13. trek

    Cara sent me a hank, too, for winning a contest on her site. It is in my drawer, lovingly wrapped in tissue paper. I can’t bring myself to start knitting with it yet. What if I pick the wrong pattern? What if it is so awesome that I never want to knit the other yarns that I bought BEFORE this one ever arrived?

  14. kate

    Delurking long enough to say…I can tell you from first hand experience (sort of) that STR wears like iron. I live in OR, and stumbled upon the STR ladies at the Flock and Fiber festival. This was before they had really caught on in the blogosphere. I made 2 pairs of socks out of Romancing the Stone for my 4 yo dd. She wears them all the time; they go in the washer and dryer and come out looking absolutely pristine. This yarn has spoiled me, I’m afraid.

  15. janna

    I couldn’t stand it any longer – I just ordered a skein of Queen Rock. But, yeah – why can’t we see all the colorways?? Of course, even with only 16 on display, I had trouble choosing just one….

    BTW – Azalea is absolutely gorgeous!

  16. Jackie

    I’m glad to see someone gave you the link to The Fold, it’s my favorite source and Toni Neal (also investor in Blue Moon) is a real sweetheart. I just posted pics on my blog of a bunch of Blue Moon top and the 3 skeins of STR that I picked up at The Fold last week. I have yet to knit with it but have been spinning the Blue Moon top for a while now and love the stuff! Oh, and if I remember correctly, I saw other variety of Blue Moon yarns while I was at The Fold. Can’t wait to see the finished socks and scarf is going to be gorgeous!

  17. Kim

    Wow.. that yarn is SOOOO neat.. I really like it.. you may make a wool sock knitter outa me yet ; P

    I knew there had to be another knitter out there with calipers besides me : ) My dad thought I was nuts when I wanted them for knitting..

  18. jody

    a few people have already let you know that the Inox 2 is indeed 2.25 mm. i thought i’d let you know that sizes from 2.25 mm down have a different join and cable than the larger sizes (and as someone mentioned they also have a bend in them). they’re definitely grippier than other metals but the differences took some getting used to (for me, at least).

  19. Cara

    I’m so glad you love the yarn. I’m having a really hard time knitting with anything else – I’ve been really, really spoiled. Not sure if you know this or not, but Blue Moon now has STR in two additional sizes: lightweight, which is what I sent you; medium weight and heavy weight – which I guess is like a light worsted/dk-ish yarn.

    No way to see all of the colorways. Trust me. I’ve begged and pleaded. The plan is to slowly add more and more colors to the website. And as a previous commenter said – if you see a color out there – ask them for it.

    I have to thank you for knitting up the yarn. It’s absolutely gorgeous. Prove It All Night was made especially for me, but I haven’t knit with it yet. I just sleep with it at night. πŸ˜‰

    And as to wear – I wear my STR jaywalker socks ALL THE TIME. Constantly. They’ve all been washed numerous times (I hand wash them then stick them in the dryer – odd I know) and they have worn wonderfully. Tough as steal.

    Enough about STR – Azalea looks fantastic!!

  20. Gale

    I too am in love with STR. However, Atryarns Ultramerino 4 kicks this yarn’s butt. Not necessarily in the colour department, but most certainly in the slipping-through-the-fingers department. Now, having made only a couple of pairs of each, and recently, I cannot comment on the wear side of things. On the knitting side of things though, I am an artyarns maven through-and-through. Please note that I really like both lines for colour …

    Happy days, Gale

  21. naomi

    Inox makes both 2.25 and 2.5mm circs. My LYS told me that not all distributors use metric sizes, so they have to be careful to order the metric size they want, but such needles do exist.

    Azalea is lovely!

  22. Carolyn

    I love the colour in that yarn! I was searching my LYS for sock yarn today…nothing in this town. Sucks. Tell me, have you used koigu? and if so, how does it compare to this?

  23. briana

    The socks look great! Is that the Oak Ribbed sock from Knitting Vintage Socks? It looks similar, and I am curious because that is the pattern I was going to use for my first pair of Socks That Rock! I only have one skein, so I wanted to try toe-up to make sure I could make them long enough.

  24. freecia

    They just a few booths down from ours at Stitches West and I tell you, Californians definitely do wool socks. STR was ravaged (imagine hordes of rabid sock knitters) on the first night, so much so that I saw what went up before the private 2-hour sale, then came in after the sale (next morning) and was left with some picked over yarn. Me, I picked up Queen Rock and want some of that Nile colorway.

  25. aj

    WOWOWOWOW. The colours are gorgeous and you are inspiring me to spend money and try sox. Thanks . . . not! I am beginning to feel like a junky. Can you get yarn patches? Hi, my name is aj and I am a yarnholic.

  26. Theresa

    Stop, stop, stop! You must be unaware of the effect you’re having on me. I have the sudden urge to Mastercard, the sudden realization that I need, need, need a lace knitting book and MORE (but different) sock yarn. If only I had any kind of urge to finish a project!

  27. Theresa

    I think the colors that you can find on the Blue Moon website are the standard colors that they are going to work with going forward. Earlier on she did a lot more colorways, but, I think at that time she was only working on a very small scale, now that they’ve scaled up, I imagine that the color range will be a bit more limited (when I was at the Fold, a couple of weeks ago, the colors I saw were pretty much exactly the same as the colors on the Blue Moon Website).

    Toni Neil is also goes to both MS&W and Rhinebeck and always brings a nice selection of STR to those shows.

  28. Jocele

    Both projects look great. I don’t usually go for pinks, but both of those are gorgeous. I’ve made one pair of socks from STR, and I have to agree with all here, it’s amazing yarn. In even more amazing colors. I have 3 more skeins waiting for me to finish other projects first. Can’t wait to see the finished products!

  29. Jeanie

    Hey Kathy — You might find this interesting…I just posted pics on my blog showing Jaywalkers made from STR yarn. I started the Jaywalkers on size 1’s and got major pooling with the STR yarn. Then (because the size 1 needles were sharp and hurting my fingers) I switched to size 2 needles and the pooling completely stopped and I got the most beautiful striping. Wish I’d have started them on the 2’s to begin with, but will now know for the future and thought you might like to see.

  30. Angelarae

    ‘Kay, this shawl may be worth all the frustration. “Pretty” doesn’t justify it, it’s gorgeous! How on earth do you manage two circ’s and, what size are you using? By the way, glad to hear I am not the only one with several ongoing projects. Check out my blog, I just wrote about the same thing! Guilt feelings now easing….thanks:)


  31. Martha

    Ooh, I might have to get some calipers. I have one of those metal poke-the-needle-through-the-hole gauges, but there is enough of a range between sizes that the difference between one manufactuer’s size 3 and another’s can make a noticeable ripple in your work. You are one smart cookie.

  32. Stephanie

    Oh damn. Now I’m going to have to find some STR. The color is lovely and those stitches are fabulous! Azalea looks very pretty. Good luck on the needle.

  33. Mary

    I like my Addi Naturas (4.0mm, 24″)for the Zephyr wool/silk lace weight, except for the joins. The yarn gets caught in the tiny space between the bamboo and the metal. Not sure how they could manufacture this better. A very tiny bead of silicone caulk might work or a very very slim o-ring. But — the needles don’t clink! My vanpool mates aren’t fond of that noise either. I like these needles because the points are nice and they grip better for commuter knitting in a van. Far fewer momentarily dropped stitches compared with regular Addis.

  34. Rita

    Love your blog. I’ve used both STR and Cherry Tree Hill Supersock. To me they both seem the same. Tight twist and bouncy with amazing stitch definition. I just finished a pair with the CTH yarn and had the same thought, that the stitch definition reminded me of cotton. Thanks for sharing your wonderful knitting tips during projects.

  35. Dharia

    oooh, yum. i am also a huge fan of the Socks that Rock yarn. I got addicted when i bought it last year at rhinebeck. You are correct, there are no decent pictures of the colors anywhere on the web. i looked. the color that i loved was “jewel of the nile”. forgot to take a picture before giving the socks to my mom. My friend Trista knit a whole e zimmerman Pi shawl out of that stuff!! yuu-uuummmm.

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