Two things I like

Yes, there is still no knitting progress to report. Tonight I actually had a few free hours in the evening, but decided to go to Walgreens instead of knitting. Because, you know, no toothpaste and no TP. Okay, I still have a few rolls of TP, but I didn’t have toothpaste for even one more brushing.

Work has been keeping me “busy.” Sigh…

I hope these posts are making it clear that I’m not just a knitting machine ;).


I got a craftalog (more like crapalog) in the mail today, and for once I saw something that I really liked!

Is it just me, or is this not that bad? Both the colors and the design sit well with me, and, you know, this would make a cute throw for the couch!

I also want to tell you about something else I really like. There is a sock design out there that had me captivated from the first time I saw it – Craftoholic Steph’s Mata Hari socks. I feel rude swiping the photo without asking her, so click on the link if you haven’t seen them before. I actually first encountered these socks on Jo’s site. Hers came out really lovely and prompted my sock crush, so check out the ones she made if you’re so inclined.

Anyway, the issue is that these won’t work for my grandma, nor for my sock pal, and really, I want these for me ;).

The real issue is, of course, yarn, since I prefer to have no wool on my feet. In other words, 0% wool, even those cotton/wool blend fingering weight yarns aren’t my first choice. Diana and I are two peas in a pod when it comes to this issue, and we are always on the lookout for good non-animal yarns to knit socks.

However, I haven’t looked around too much lately, and I bet there are new yarns out there that would make a good Mata Hari pair.

My question to you: any suggestions (other than elann equivalent, and Fortissima Cotton) for non-animal (absolutely no wool) fingering weight yarns which would work for socks? Cotton, linen, silk, elastic, and synthetic materials are all fine. Yarn must have at least a little bit of give and memory, of course, to make good socks.

Edited to add: and also other than Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Candy – thank you to those who told me about it – I’m now aware that it exists.


48 thoughts on “Two things I like

  1. Cara

    I was going to say Blue Moon – email Tina and ask her what they have. I’ve always liked those socks as well – and all because of Jo. 🙂

  2. Renata

    Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sock Candy, which is the cotton equivalent to STR. It’s an amazingly soft cotton with some give and it doesn’t pill the way other cottons do.

  3. freecia

    Perhaps Rowan 4 ply cotton? I’m not sure if it has any give but the gauge is right. Dale stork might be a less expensive alternative.

  4. Christie

    I can’t help with the sock yarn query. I do like the throw…somehow the colors aren’t doing it for me. Given a choice, I would probably pick different shade of the same color…boring, I know! 🙂

  5. Leisel

    That blanket has possibilities… I can see knitting the leaf squares on the bias and alternating the way they’re angled.

    And, I like seed stitch… it’s my favorite textured stitch. Of course… I’m a Continental knitter, so switching back and forth between knits and purls isn’t nearly as much of a workout as it is with English style knitting. I can see how that much seed stitch would be a nightmare the other way.

  6. diana

    What??!!??! Blue Moon has cotton sock yarn?!!??!! Off to purchase some for those of us with the most delicate of feet 😉 Oh, and great afghan pattern. I’d change the colors to orange and wine, of course.

  7. Janet

    Emily over at Yarn Miracle is planning to knit a counterpane blanket. It has raised (relief) squares similar to the Herchnerr’s throw but it’s all one color. Scroll down to the 1/11 entry for a picture of her Grandmother’s.

    There’s a pattern in past Rowan mag that has a pretty one I’m planning on knitting, and I believe Emily will be knitting, in a cotton/acrylic blend similar to Rowan’s ASC.

  8. Kate

    I don’t know, I like the design of the throw but I really don’t like the colors or black border. But the pattern is purty :)…

  9. yahaira

    That catalog hurt my eyes.

    I’m in search for some cotton yarn as well though I can’t give any advice. This may sound strage, but how about bamboo? I have no clue how it would wear, but alchemy has a sock pattern for their bamboo so Im guessing it’s possible.

  10. marie in florida

    i don’t care for that color mix on the blankie but i was just looking at that leaf tip cluster pattern in a pattern stash i just inherited. i love leaf patterns anyway. can’t wait to see what you’ll do with that blankie.

  11. v.j. kohout

    I like the texture of the throw and it would be enough for me. Maybe some color in the edging. I would do it in neutral color. Do I have to spell it out? I don’t like the colors.

    The socks on the other hand are very, very nice and a definite project for the next socks. Is there a pattern? vj

  12. hb

    The shape and structure of the throw is very appealing – but I’m not sure that saffron is meant to be sandwiched between baby blue and scrubs-colored green.

    And I LOVE the Mata Hari socks – perfect for light, non-stifling late spring socks.

  13. Ericka

    I recently purchased a couple pairs of socks from Target made of 100% bamboo, and I love them. The bamboo reduces moisture too. They are very soft, and wash well. I’m new to sock knitting (working on my first pair with Koigu right now), and I hope I can find some bamboo yarn that would be appropriate to make socks with. Maybe someone out there has a bamboo yarn suggestion?

  14. Miss Tonia

    I thought I recognized that leaf pattern on the blankie. That’s from a knitted sampler afghan book from Leasure Arts that I have at home. But, it’s very nice, and now I have a few ideas.

  15. hillary

    Maybe Katia Mississippi. I don’t think it’s as soft as the merino but I have used it for sweaters for my girls and it held up well through many washings. The color stayed and the shape as well. I haven’t used it for socks yet but it could work.

  16. Carolyn

    OH yeah, those are nice socks! Simple, yet lovely. I’ll be watching to see yours…then maybe I’ll but them on the socks short list!

  17. jessie

    I like using Calmer for socks when I’m knitting for the wool-phobic feet. It’s heavier than fingering weight, but it works really well knit up tighter than ball-band gauge. The stretchiness gives it a big leg up over pure cotton yarns (imho) and it’s super buttery & soft on the feet.

  18. Stephanie

    I refuse to advise anyone to knit a blanket – I’m still off blankets after Ombre. I’m intrigued by the bamboo suggestions – I’d love to hear more about that as an alternative to cotton socks.

  19. Amanda

    That afghan should be burned, no, I take that back – save it just long enough to copy down the leaf motif which is it’s only saving grace and then send it directly to You knit what? where it belongs.

    And on a less judgmental note, I love the mata hari socks – thanks for a great find/link! I’m liking the idea of the bamboo yarn that everyone here is talking about – I’ll be curious to see if you use it and like it!

  20. colleen

    Those socks are totally you!

    I’m not a fan of the knit afghan. Just not. I don’t hate it, but I’m not in love with it either.

  21. anne

    have you tried regia silk? i’m not actually sure if it’s available in the US (i have some that came via a swap with a knitter in germany) – it’s absolutely gorgeous stuff, comes in solids. worth a shot.

  22. hellahelen

    I’m confused. Haven’t you knit lots of wool socks? Doesn’t the Jaywalker pattern use wool sock yarn?

    Hey, Grumperina, thanks in part to your blogposts about sewing, I finally got to know my sewing machine & got over my sewing phobia! I made a really, really simple skirt (2 pieces of fabric, no darts, just an elastic/drawstring waist, two side seams, and a blind hem).



  23. Lorna

    Umm. Does non-wool mean non-mohair or angora too? I know you said no animal, but I’d have thought silk was sort-of in that category….

    Orkney Angora does some lovely stuff….

  24. Jes

    I’m pretty sure the fortissima sock one is discontinued, which is why it’s on clearance everywhere. That shop has the most I’ve seen of any of the online stores.

  25. Carrie

    Anna found my other source.

    I am told that Knit-purl ( intends to add a line of cotton/lycra sock yarn to rival Sock Candy, as they no longer carry Blue Moon’s yarns. I have been checking, but haven’t seen it yet.

    Town and Country Llamas on eBay has soy yarn in about a sport weight – all solids so far.

    And Patti was going to attempt some hand-dyed cotton/lycra sock yarn. I haven’t heard whether she’s been successful or not.

  26. Jennie

    I really like that throw as is. Even found myself considering knitting it in the Red Heart (it would be quite washable, at least!)…

    No ideas on the sock yarn, but it looks like you have lots already.

  27. Karla (threadbndr)

    Halycon Yarns has several sport weight cottons that you might take a look at. “Casco Bay” is one sport weight that I’ve used and liked. It’s a little ‘hard on the hands’, but not as bad as some cottons. But it might be a little heavy/large for a good sock yarn. It’s put up in 400 yd mini cones

    “Block Island” in the new catalogue looks interesting – it’s Cotton, Rayon and Hemp. Recommended gauge is 7 spi on US3s so it’s a possibility. I haven’t knit with it, though. It comes in 175 yd mini cones.

    They carry a lot of colors of Cottolin (60% cotton, 40% linen). It’s really lace weight, but you could carry it doubled. Email me with your address and I’ll send you some out of my weaving stash so you can sample with it.

  28. robyn

    Patons Grace makes nice socks, but you have to use elastic in the band. I also like Phymouth Dreambaby which is a nylon blend.

  29. TracyKM

    I’ve been thinking of you and the blanket since you posted it. I never would have picked it as a Grumperina project. To me, the colours look too random–like a stash project. The middle seed stitch (?) section looks like the knitter ran out of patience to knit the rest of the leaves squares. The border looks like “Oops, I miscalcuated” or “Shoot, they said their room was Grey and green”.

    I do see you having fun with the leaf motifs. It’s neat how they work. But the rest—I don’t know, Grumpy. Now…maybe you can find a way to turn it into a circular spiral blanket with vines radiating from the center…

    Oh, and you know all the math you did on the beach ball blanket? There is a program Knitware that will do it for you. You can download free demo versions of their different programs, and they work really well, you just can’t save patterns. One is for shawls, afghans, ponchos….in various versions of circles!

  30. Edna Hart

    that’s a riot — Crapalog. How true it is. I really enjoyed all of the feed back on the sock yarns. I was just starting to reserch cotton for socks and this info. is HELPFULL. KOIGU is a great yarn for socks. The colors are gorgeous and they knit up to feel so soft. When washing wool socks use Eucalan and they dry better than new. Edna Hart

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