Rocking socks

Pattern: Yarrow Ribbed Sock from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.

Needles: set of 5 dpns, US 0, Susan Bates. I would use US 1s next time, because although the yarn is thin, it doesn’t compress and thin out during the knitting process to warrant 0s.

Yarn: truly rockin’ Socks That Rock, light weight, Prove it all Night colorway. I used only two-thirds of a skein, so I have enough left over for some baby socks or something ;). I already gave the yarn a rave review, and I am absolutely sticking by it!

Modifications: I worked these socks over 54 stitches (the pattern is written for 66), subbed a short-row heel (check ‘em out, Claudia – I didn’t grip the needles like my life depended on it!), a Flat Toe (pg. 23 of KVS), and Double-start Cast-on with one strand around the thumb (pg. 7 of KotR).

Thoughts: With such a highly variegated yarn, I knew not to select a fancy stitch pattern; only stockinette or the simplest of ribbing would do! This pattern worked – easy to knit but kept my interest, didn’t pool, wonderfully showed off the yarn’s crispness. Knitting with STR was a fabulous experience (thanks, Cara!), one I hope to repeat some day. I found that it hurt my left hand a bit, right at the base of the thumb, which isn’t surprising considering how firm (yet soft!) the yarn is.

This stuff really does rock, but I think Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock is still my absolute favorite. I mulled over whether I want to say anything, but I think I really do – one of the main reasons STR cannot be my favorite right now is… this whole hunting down colorways on people’s blogs, then calling to find out what’s available is a huge turn-off for me. There are way too many wonderful yarn companies out there and I have way too little free time to play along.

So, I love this project, it worked out well and basically took only two days. Now, will the recipient love it? ;)

47 thoughts on “Rocking socks

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  1. alice

    I’ve just written a rude email to bluemoon fibrepoos.

    am I horrible, mischeif making or reasonable? Apparently an (unnamed, but the best by a long way) UK company have emailed bluemoon wanting to stock Socks that Rock loads of times but had no reply!

    I’m thinking I’m glad you are saying Lorna’s Laces are better. Poo to them if they won’t play international and fair.

  2. Cara

    The socks look great! I’m so glad you enjoyed the yarn. Blue Moon is a young company growing fast and soon they will have many, many more colors on their website. All companies have growing pains and many times the demand overwhelms the supply, especially since Tina is a one woman dying machine. There are plans for that to change as well, but that’s how it goes right now.

    In the meantime, we’re incredibly lucky to be knitting at a time where the are SO MANY wonderful yarn companies out there. Something for EVERYONE!

    Again, the socks look great! Thank you for sharing!

  3. elizabooth

    I haven’t tried STR yet, for the same reason you mentioned — on their site they have so few colourways, while people are blogging about all kinds of great colours that are seemingly unavailable. Also, have you checked out their Sock Club? Not to gripe too much, but unless I read wrong, a kit that includes a pattern and a skein of yarn is $9 more than just a regular skein — doesn’t seem like much of a deal to me. I understand their a young company, but it can be frustrating.

  4. holly

    very nice, and you are fast! Why is it harder for me to finish socks than sweaters? When i see so many cool socks and yarns, i wish that were not so. Maybe it will change if i use Lorna’s Laces.

  5. Agnes

    I love it! But I know I am not the recipient … :D

    I love LLSS too … but as Cara said, the company is growing and they actually are organizing a monthly or bi-monthly sock club … so expect to see lots of changes on their website. Give them a little time.

  6. Leigha

    I have an order on its way to me of STR in Alina, because it was the only one on their website that appealed to me. I’ve seen the listing of the other colors, but like you, emailing them to find out if they have it or not is a pain. If the yarn is THAT GOOD, I might give it a go, but it is a turnoff for a first-time buyer to have to go to all of that trouble.

    Beautiful socks, by the way. I’m loving that book, too; it’s the first sock book that I’ve purchased, and if the rest of her books are that well written, I just might have to check them out.

  7. Janet

    Lovely, lovely – makes me want to pull out my Prove it all Night and let it bump my 6 WIPs right off the endtable!

    I have to say I think that there are far huger inconveniences in the world, even in the knitting world, than waiting for a teeny one-woman artisanal dye shop to provide enough sock yarn in the perfect colorway for the world, right.now.

    It’s enough for me that like you, I think this is some of the finest yarn, most beautifully created, out there. I like thinking about each of these skeins being mordanted, painted, rinsed, steamed, dried by a woodstove, tagged, inventoried, and then waiting for me to call a human being, order it, pay for it, and then have a human being find it, put it in an envelope and ship it to my home. But then again, hell, I can’t even get my ass to the post office!

  8. yahaira

    my lord woman, you are fast! I love the colors and the pattern shows it off well.

    I’m with you on the whole ordering business as well, it wouldn’t hurt them to update the site once a week or even every two weeks.

  9. CatBookMom

    I scored 2 skeins of STR at Stitches – Cobblestone Country for me; Obsidian for DH – in spite of the pack of other knitters between me & my goal!! Got way confused about the 3 different yarn weights they had on display. I used Cobblestone Country as a test knit yarn for a class; love the way the colors come together but it wasn’t enough to tell how it will show for socks. Blue Moon’s kiosk was a mob scene whenever I walked by it.

    Two days to knit 2 socks! Hrmmph! Yesterday my progress on the Olympic Jaywalkers was negative; I ripped out nearly everything I’d done to, from and at Stitches. Bad light + small needles = bad knitting. I’m still going to try to finish by Sunday.

  10. stinkerbell

    ok this is the first pair of socks that have made me want to learn and try a short row heel!

    Did you use a particular kind (I know nothing but have heard of oz heel, wrapping etc and havent a clue in the difference! except yours looks pretty:)

  11. alice

    I was gonig to come back to change/ apologise about my comment eariler after a long and fast reply direct from the company, but I see its already been done.

  12. Jen the Knittingspaz

    I totally agree with you on the pain in the a$$ of purchasing making STR less than perfect yarn. But at least it turned into an absolutely beautiful pair of socks! Are you at least going to keep this pair, or are they for your grandma again?

  13. alice

    whooops I’m rubbish and can’t tell which comment’s from which. dyslexics should be banned from blogging AND knitting.

    anyway, if anyone does read these things, I do agree that STR Rock, and I just wanted to apologise in case they were upset by my comment.

    when I said “fiberpoos”, I was joking, obviously, I’m sure they are absolutey lovely people and don’t smell of poo at all. I over use the p-word, and should go sit in a corner somewhere.

  14. Devri

    I too have fallen for Socks That Rock yarn, and after lusting for them from the Fold’s website for so long was thrilled when they set up their own website. I too wish they would list a wider range of available colors on their site. I will, when I want the product badly enough, email an owner, or call to make an order, but I am *so* much more likely to buy if everything is ‘mouse-click-quick ‘n easy’.

    I’m going to join their Sock Club, I’m just debating whether or not I’ve got the spare cash for the full year subscription. I did want to point out, in response to the comment above that said “…a kit that includes a pattern and a skein of yarn is $9 more than just a regular skein — doesn’t seem like much of a deal to me.” that the $28/kit includes shipping, and purchasing a skein of yarn from the website, with shipping, is $24. So you’re paying $24 for the yarn and shipping, and then $4 for the sock pattern. That doesn’t seem unreasonable to me.

  15. Elspeth

    I had no idea BMFA was an Oregon company! I bought my STR in Portland and thought it might be local, and I guess I was right! Still, I am not a fan of the thousands of colorways (what’s wrong with focusing on a few until you can distribute them all?) and two different sock yarn weights?

    That being said, yours are gorgeous! I’m so jealous since seeing the color you have at Stitches it blows the “Ruby Slippers” I bought out of the water!

    And 2 days for socks? How do you do it? Great job!

  16. Christina

    I just bought Knitting Vintage Socks today. I have yet to give it a really good read. I quite enjoyed the name (and the color) of the yarn you used. Lovely.

  17. Stacey

    Those are so pretty! What short row heel technique do you use? I’m still trying to find one that works for me….(thanks for posting the CO info also!).

  18. Stephanie

    Oh yum. I really like the yarn with the simple rib pattern (and I’ve been eyeing that pattern). And Grumperina? I absolutely promise I’ll love them ;-) Just kidding, but the recipient will be in heaven.

  19. Sarah

    Great socks! I just got my copy of the book yesterday, and I can’t wait to start a pair! But first — Must. Finish. Knitting. Olympics. Project. (What was I thinking?)

  20. Karma

    Yes, yes, the recipient will love those socks! Thanks for sharing your heel and toe notes. I finally got a copy of KVS and am excited to try out the different variations.

  21. Beth S.

    I know just how you feel. If I can’t click-to-order, I’m just not going to bother with it. This is why I have only one skein of STR in the stash: there was only one colorway on the Blue Moon site that appealed to me. If I have to jot down phone numbers and call people in other time zones to find out if some colorway I once admired even exists anymore… forget it. Life is too short.

  22. smokey

    I think it’s ironic that you feel the way you describe about STR (ie “this whole hunting down colorways on people’s blogs, then calling to find out what’s available is a huge turn-off for me. [snip] I have way too little free time to play along.”).

    I think you’re creating a similar situation (purposefully) with the secret dyer. Everything about the secret dyer smacks of a sort of incrowd/outcrowd high school feeling (Eunny and I know who s/he is and we keep showing off beautiful yarn that we purchased, but, oh, no *you* can’t know). It’s all just too precious to me, which I think is where you take offense with STR.

  23. briana

    You are so fast! I am still chugging away on my own Nancy Bush Knitting Vintage Socks ribbed socks in Socks That Rock… but I have to admit, I’m still doing a swatch. I may try going up a needle size because I was finding that the yarn was hurting my hand. Then I ran out of time…

    Anway, these look so good, I want to go home and cast one right away!

  24. Laura

    Lovely! I’m kinda in the same camp with you about STR. Seems like they’re not able to keep up with the demand right now – I’d rather go somewhere else than mess with them until things are more automated.

    Two socks in two days – did you do anything else?

  25. Michelle

    hmm they look great, I love the way they turned out for you. check out my post on 5-9 I think you might be a bit surprised

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