My friends, remember when I slyly mentioned a nearby knitter named Guido while answering JenLa’s meme? Guido has given me the go-ahead to reveal his blog, “It’s a Purl, Man,” a site about a guy with yarn issues. Furthermore, I’m happy to tell you that Guido records a knitting podcast! My general feelings about podcasts aside (not my favorite medium, let’s leave it at that), I found his very entertaining and refreshingly honest. I even figured out how to subscribe in iTunes ;).

And, Guido, we can chat about floral-print fabric with flies and fishes any time. That didn’t come out quite right. I mean, we can chat about floral fabric any time. Damn it! What I’m really trying to say is that fly floral fabric is one of my favorite topics of discussion.

You’ll have to listen to the podcast to understand ;).

Now, let’s chat about socks. First, I’ve updated the list of non-wooly sock yarns, and will continue to do so as more information comes my way ;).

On Sunday I eagerly cast on using my newest yarn acquisition, a cotton/lycra blend from Greenwood Fiberworks. Since it’s my first time using this yarn, I decided to play it conservative – first, I split the hank into two equal parts (by weight), and I’m knitting the socks from the toe-up. This way I’ll get a really good idea of how far the skein can take me without the worry of turning the heel too early or too late.

Check out my short row toe: (which I make following this tutorial):


Not surprisingly, I’m quite pleased with the way the yarn is knitting up. It is very, very stretchy, even more stretchy than Cascade Fixation, which leads to a fabulous fabric as far as socks are concerned. And I’m really enjoying the knitting itself! Despite being mainly cotton, the yarn doesn’t hurt my hands. Rather, it slides smoothly on my needles (Susan Bates dpns) and doesn’t at all object to being knit, as many cottons do.

The resulting fabric is pebbly and textured (this is on US 0 needles, which gets me 9 sts/inch), and of course the handpainted colorway is making its presence known, so I think this yarn is best for the simplest of patterns – stockinette, ribbing, but not much else.

In my case, the Mata Hari pattern is showing up “okay,” but I have to knit a bit more to be sure. But first, I have to frog everything I’ve knit so far. Yes, it’s true. The sock is coming out too big over 66 sts, and I need to go down to about 56.

In the grand scheme of my knitting life, frogging a little toe plus a few rows is nothing – I’ve survived frogging entire sweater pieces without much damage ;).


29 thoughts on “Pebbly

  1. Agnes

    I suddenly remember I have a sock pattern book in which Patons Grace is used. However, as far as I know, Grace is to be handwashed … not sure if you mind this.

  2. Becky

    Wow!! I am loving that colorway. You are really making me want to try this yarn. The socks look like they will be super comfy.

  3. Sarah

    That yarn is really looking terrific!

    I had a question for you about the stretchy sock yarns–when you knit it up, are you supposed to pull it tight or are you supposed to keep the tension loose? I just knit up a pair of baby socks in it and I was having a hard time figuring that out. What do you think?

  4. Karma

    I heard Guido’s little blurb on a recent episode of Cast-On; thanks for reminding me to check him out.

    Those toes look absolutely perfect! Love the short-row toes. Pretty fabric, too. The subtle color changes, yum yum.

  5. Siow Chin

    Your search for non-wool sock yarn has really yielded interesting results for me here in warmer weathers but the frustrating thing is Greenwood Fibreworks doesn’t ship outside USA 🙁

  6. Debra

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I was giving up on knitting socks (the only thing I knit) because I can’t wear wool. And your list of non-wool sock yarn is giving me hope.

  7. Leisel

    Sarah beat me to my question. Given how much these cotton/elastic blends stretch, how do you properly tension it when knitting? That’s always been my fear, especially given that I tend to be a fairly tight knitter.

  8. jody

    i was wondering about how to size a sock with that much stretch. i guess a little trial and error on one sock isn’t so bad since it sounds like this is not your last purchase of this yarn. i’ll be those eyelets show up a lot more when on your foot too.

  9. amy

    Please stop finding fun and interesting sock yarns. I just got my Sundara Yarn in the mail and haven’t even had time to wind it up yet and now this…. On an only marginally related note, I just spent a week in Boston (my first time there). While trying to figure out how to cross a certain street (which had about seven separate corners), I looked at my husband and said, “I have this sock pattern called Jaywalkers, that are zig zaggy and supposed to have something to do with crossing the streets in Boston. I get it now.”

  10. Angela

    Yes, frogging is a necessary part of knitting, as far as I can tell…why don’t we call them “frogblogs”? It’s very catchy, don’t you think?

  11. Steph

    A snug-fitting sock will definitely make the yo’s pop! Mine looked just like yours when I started. The yarn looks beautiful, such soft colors.

  12. Monica

    Glad to hear the texture is not detracting from the knitting experience. Sometimes boucle-ish yarn can be tough. Thanks for the non-wool sock yarn list!

  13. Michelle

    Thanks for the additions to my vegan sock yarn list (and your list looks like it’s coming along nicely, too!) Also, special thanks for the link to that pattern. I hadn’t seen the Mata hari socks before, and I really want to make those, too.

  14. Genny

    ooh that yarn is scrummy, it reminds of me banana berry ripple ice cream (that is a high honour)

    Oh and I enjoyed Guido’s pod cast, it must be nice to belong to such an interesting knit group.

  15. Carolyn

    When I knit with the cotton/lycra yarn I keep tension on it so it looks stretched out. That’s the only way I can keep an even tension on it.

    BTW, GreenwoodFiberworks *will* ship internationally. Etsy has a strange configuration when it comes to shipping–they require a flat rate for international shipping. Since the price of postage for different countries can differ substantially, I prefer to quote costs on an individual basis. See the fine print at the end of the yarn’s description 😉

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