Eat that!

Pattern: simple stockinette sock worked over 68 sts, featuring a picot edge, short-row heels, and standard toes.

Needles: Susan Bates 5 dpns, US 0 (these are my #1 choice for sock knitting).

Yarn: Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in #26, wisteria, 1.5 skeins.

I see that Linda currently has some of this yarn in stock! And I believe you can special order if she runs out (also in wisteria: Shepherd Worsted and Helen’s Lace!)

Some laughed their wicked little laughs when I started knitting this pair of socks, knowing that Lorna’s Laces handpainted colorways pool terribly. But I never worried or paused, somehow secure (for no good reason) that the yarn would do the right thing. If it didn’t, I figured, I wouldn’t fight; I’d simply put it down and knit with a different yarn. Why complain and waste my time coercing it into something pretty when I’ve got an entire stashette of solid-colored yarns?!?

And the yarn behaved. And I was gleefully, smugly satisfied :-D.

But what about the second skein? Handpainted yarn is an interesting animal – change the length of the different color sections by only an inch, and all the beautiful patterning can collapse on itself. One friend in particular warned me with her signature, “I’m just sayin’!”

I entertaining this threat for a mere second, shrugged my shoulders, and (for no good reason) convinced myself that it would be fine. I said, jokingly, “I’ll will it to stripe.”

And so it did. Miracle? Coincidence? Luck? Knitting gods smiling down on my grandma’s wisteria-clad feet?

Yarn manufacturers throwing a bone my way so that I’d add variegated yarns to my repertoire? This one may be the real reason. The whole thing caught me by surprise! Who knew I’d enjoy working with this colorful yarn so much?!? Watching the colors change, stitch by stitch, round by round… And now my checkbook is suffering 😉 (all purchased in the very recent past).


42 thoughts on “Eat that!

  1. Stephanie

    I think the LL was willed into submission. My only pair on LL (gasp) was nicely striped as well. Maybe we both just got lucky. By the way, I listened to your review last night. Very nice.

  2. Molly

    IME, a surprising number of LL colorways will stripe obligingly. I keep a list of colorways, based on photos of others’ socks, that are likely to do so, and buy only off that list. I haven’t been burned yet!

  3. Julie

    I had a good LL experience too. I used the Layette colorway, and they striped nicely, even using two different skeins. The photos is here if you want proof. 🙂

    Lovvvvvvvvve those wisteria socks, by the way. Did you do any shaping between calf and ankle on these? or is the whole thing over 68 stitches?

  4. Vickery

    Great socks! I also really enjoyed your review of Knitting Nature on the Purl Man podcast. I listened to it on my way to work this morning–thanks!

  5. Kelly

    Gorgeous socks. Well since you posted the link, looks like my checkbook will start suffering too. Loved the podcast! My coworkers were wondering (again) what the heck I was listening to.

  6. Sharon G.

    Those are fabulous – amazing how the stripes worked out so well, too. Enjoy your Claudia’s Handpainted Yarn. I don’t know if you’ve used it before…I made a pair of socks using Claudia’s and they just keep getting softer and softer.

  7. margaux

    so wonderful! now when i read your blog i have your voice in my head… i am a lover of varigated yarns – such a mood they could put on a knitted piece!

  8. Beth S.

    You found the sweet spot for this yarn–the perfect combination of needle size, gauge, and stitch count. They’re perfect. I want a pair just like it! 🙂

  9. knitteen

    I know that this is totally unrelated, but I just bought a 2.5 ounce skein of pure baby alpaca straight from the grower. When I bought it, I thought it was fingering weight and wanted to knit socks out of it, but after swatching, I discovered it was very thin (very loose on size 2’s, the smallest size I have) I can’t imagine knitting socks one size 00’s, but could imagine a shawl. Because I loved every single shawl that you knit, I was wondering if you could reccomend a beginner’s lace shawl in this weight? Thank you very much for reading through this looooong and boring comment!

  10. Leah

    That truly is a miracle. I have knit with LL quite a bit and I have never seen that happen. I’ve managed large stripes with some pool, but never that degree of symmetry!!


  11. Katie

    Lovely socks – and beautiful yarn for future socks. 🙂 I have to admit that I, too, am a little suspicious of variagated yarns. Often so beautiful in the skein, and so horrible knitted up.

  12. Bliss

    Beautiful! I’ve never used LL, but I’ve just ordered some in Georgetown to try. (Thanks for posting Linda’s link.)

  13. Jo

    They’re fabulous! And your Grandma will LOVE the way Lorna’s laces yarn feels on her feet! (I did Jaywalkers with it…my favorite socks!)

  14. Brenda

    Lovely socks! Can you send some of your good striping juju my way? I’ve gone from LL Black Purl socks to a scarf because the pooling just wasn’t working right. And thanks for the link to the picot edge, I wanted to know if that was how it was done. I listened to your review of Norah Gaughan’s and now I think I must have the book. I’m a biochemist, and having read a book on the number phi, the Golden Ratio, logarithmic spirals and all that, I think I am going to love her designs. Thanks for the review.

  15. Laura

    The Wisteria colorway is beautiful – I’m sure your grandmother will really love the socks, no matter what color you make for her.

    Offer is still open for a skein of completely variegated yarn! Non-stripey. 🙂

  16. Rebecca

    I guess I’m a bit slow when it comes to the world of knit blogs. I’ve just stumbled on your blog and had to tell you how gorgeous your work is. Looking forward to seeing more knitting goodness!

  17. alison

    I just made basically the same socks — out of the same yarn, even. The only real difference is that it doesn’t hurt my eyes to look at yours…

  18. Sarah

    Beautiful socks! I made my second pair out of LLSS Sand Ridge – they striped perfectly in the feather-and-fan pattern I devised and they’re still my favorite pair. What’s that Claudia colorway you’ve got? I love it!

  19. SallyT

    I’m planning to knit a picovolo soon and am thinking about knitting down the neckline edge. It worked when I tried it with a sock. I’m hopeful it’ll work for the sweater.

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