A non-saggy surprise

Fleece Artist Sea Wool in pixie, purchased from my favorite Fleece Artist dealer, Tidal Brook Yarns.

And as soon as I noticed that the lovely Fleece Artist Sea Wool was packaged into the Bordello sock kit, all while being composed of 70% merino and 30% Seacell, my brain went into planning mode.

You see, if I were to use this yarn for the recommended purpose – a pair of socks – I would need to worry about resilience and memory and, as they say, “springiness.” Because 30% silky-anything, whether derived from the silk worm or seaweed, can lead to a marvelously drapey shawl, but a hideously saggy pair of socks.

Not a problem! Careful planning to the rescue! I browsed through my pattern books, looking for something with the following properties: (1) a bit of ribbing to maintain the shape of the fabric, (2) not too complicated, to allow the carefully-engineered variegations of the yarn to shine through, and (3) pretty, since these are for grandma (of course). The Undulating Rib pattern from Favorite Socks was simply perfect. It’s nothing more than 3 x 1 ribbing, with a few decorative decreases and increases thrown in. I had an instant “a-ha!” reaction when I saw it ;).

But here’s the kicker: the yarn totally surprised me. I started knitting, and while the sheen and silkiness and drape were all present, as expected, so was the bounce! The ribbed fabric contracted marvelously, and I realized that the yarn would work well in a less extreme pattern, too.

The socks are knitting up very quickly on US 1 needles, and I’m happy to report that 380 yards may be just enough for a grandma-sized pair. Colinette, take note. The misshapen skein of yarn up-top needs to last me another 2.5″ of the foot plus a wedge toe. I think it’s totally doable, and, yes, this means I’m quite close to finishing.

Sidenote: Remember when my Lacey Lamb had faces? Am I the only one who sees a face in the skein of Fleece Artist at the top of the post? A rather angry face, I should add…


41 thoughts on “A non-saggy surprise

  1. Desiree

    I guess I don’t see the face. Maybe its my incredibly horrible vision? What a gorgeous shot of the yarn, by the way; that color looks delicious…

  2. jen

    They’re just gorgeous! As for the face, I can totally see it. And it looks like the face I saw glowing from the embers in the fire the other night — very not happy!

  3. Ashley

    Yeah, the sea wool is great. I have a skein of it balled up waiting for me to finish this cursed knee-high I’m working on–maybe mine needs to become undulating ribs too!

  4. Helen

    What to you know … Tidal Brook is my favorite source too!

    And my sea wool socks don’t slouch a bit…but they’re rib based as well….

  5. Kathy Sue

    I see it! But I’m good at finding faces. My latest finds have been in the marble of my bathroom floor. And they change! (Not while I’m watching). Your craft room/area is beautiful, and I am jealous!

  6. Cassy

    The socks are gorgeous! I’ve never used that yarn, but I’m interested now. Was that a poke at Colinette for their skimpy yardage? I feel the same way.

  7. Laura Sue

    Oh how I’ve missed you. I’ve learned so much in this one post alone. Welcome back and congrats on your new home.

  8. Katie

    Wow, the undulating rib pattern never struck me much…until now! And the yarn is completely fantastic. I will keep my eye out for some.

  9. quinn

    I don’t see a face, but I hear voices, does that count? Voices saying, “Hmmm. Bet that pattern would look great in ShiBui, too!”

  10. Marlena

    I love that pattern! Was it also in a past issue of Interweave? I passed on buying that book, because I have the last six years of IK, but maybe it’s worth another look.

    I was also wary about silk in sock yarn. I’m glad to read your review!

  11. lorent

    I really like my Sea Cell socks. No bagginess there at all. I did, however, note a distinctly seaweedy smell when they were wet. They’re great to wear in warmer weather, too.

  12. Debbie

    How exciting! I just finished my own pair of undulating rib socks on Monday. They are for my daughter. I think your grandma will love them!

  13. Leslie

    Such beautiful socks! I love that pattern and the color of the yarn. And yes, Colinette needs to be a little more generous on the Jitterbug–I ran out of yarn just at the toe of a recent pair. Luckily, a kind knitter on Ravelry bailed me out by mailing me some leftovers in the colorway I needed!

  14. Seanna Lea

    I tried making that pattern, but I ended up ripping out. It was just too hard to see with the yarn (which was pretty dark). It’s great seeing it in the Sea Wool. It reminded me instantly of why I was interested in the pattern to begin with.

  15. Shelda

    Whoa! Those are gorgeous! I’m thrilled to see that yarn used (successfully) for socks. Good to see you back!

  16. Elysbeth

    I see the face but I’m a vascular sonographer, so I “see” a lot of weird things.

    This yarn is fabulous in that pattern, it really shows the stitches. Add to queue!

  17. Trudy

    They’re awesome, and I’ll bet soft and springy as they’ll need to be. But, yes, I see a face–and I see faces in clouds, wood grains, flowers, just in the simplest things. Maybe it is because I’ve always drawn faces since I was a little girl—way LONG AGO!! I don’t know. It’s always made me wonder if I’m the only person who sees different faces in so many mundane things.

    But this yarn and those socks–NOT mundane at all!

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