Thursday, March 13, 2008

Long Time No Socks

As I set about knitting a pair of socks as part of my testing process for the new merino/tencel sock yarn that I'm considering adding to my line, I realized that it's been ages and ages since I've knit a pair. I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed knitting these socks after such a long sock-hiatus.

As much as I would have liked to try a new and interesting pattern, I was mostly interested in getting these done quickly, so I knit the most basic sock with a simple 2X2 rib and a stockinette foot. Nothing fancy, but still a pleasure to knit. Here's one sitting happily on one of the Aromatic Cedar Sock Blockers that my husband makes for my shop.

I really enjoyed working with this yarn. At first, it feels a bit foreign after working almost exclusively with pure animal fibers for quite some time. The tencel doesn't have the spring and memory of wool, so it feels a bit different when knitting. It only took a few minutes before it felt completely natural though. For me, it was a most satisfying knit. The yarn has a good deal of sheen but it's not at all too slippery; it glides effortlessly over the needles without going too far into a zone of slipperiness.

The knit fabric is firm, but soft. The stitch definition is good, although not quite as crisp as with superwash merino.

None of these photos are great (pardon the flash - bad light yet again today here in Oregon), but the closeup above best captures the true color and sheen of the yarn.

Now it's on to wash and wear testing. I'll start today with the first wear, which will be a good test since it's bowling night. If the socks are comfortable while bowling that's a pretty good indication.

I'll also need to knit up some of the leftovers to serve as a comparison for color after the socks have been through several washes.

In the meantime, I also have two kind knitting souls who are knitting up socks of their own with this yarn, so I'll have some outside input.

That's about all the big knitting news for today. I have also made some progress on the red cashmere sweater, but there's nothing new about it and so not photo worthy. Some of you may recall that I had to frog the front of it a couple of weeks ago. I've got that started up again and am about half way done with it, so perhaps if I can keep up the progress I'll be able to move on to the sleeves in a week or so.

Back to work for me. Have a lovely day!

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