Sibling Socks in All the Stripes

A blessed Good Friday to you all, friends. This is not a liturgically thematic post, but if you’re looking for some Good Friday content, Jared and I livestreamed a Good Friday service this morning. You can watch the replay on our church’s facebook page.

Have you ever tried to take attractive pictures of your own feet? It’s… weird. But I couldn’t wait any longer to share my new HANDSPUN socks with you. I used all four of my 51 yarns samples; every inch of them, even the swatches got ripped out! But that’s ok, I now have these awesome wearable swatches.

This post was intended to be a reflection on the four different colour management techniques in the yarns that comprise these socks, but I’m distracted by the fact that I made sock yarn. When I started this spin, I shot vaguely for 3-ply fingering, just to see how far off I was. Imagine my surprise when I not only made sock yarn, but made really nice sock yarn, and in a fairly short amount of time.

There’s something about spinning for socks that I find intimidating, and I know I’m not alone. It’s something to do with the labour of spinning a fine yarn, usually with at least 3 plies, which also has to stand up to the greatest wear and tear that yarn ever could. It seemed unattainable, with the slow speed of my spinning for the last couple of years. So I feel a little bit like I’ve discovered I have a superpower.

Not only did I spin sock yarn, but I managed full calf-lengths socks from it! Meaning I could get more middling length socks from as little as 3 oz.

I used a standard toe-up sock with a fleegle heel, which is new to me. I found it very enjoyable to work, though I might not use it again since it bags out a bit behind my ankles. It’s not reinforced, so I may do some prophylactic darning on the sports I tend to wear through.

Much credit is due to the prep. Crafty Jaks Targhee top is just dreamy to spin.

I made my swatches on 32 stitches – half the number I typically use around a sock. This gives me a good idea of what the striping sequences will be in a sock; I just imagine them squished to half their height in the swatch.

Now, back to colour. You’ve heard of fraternal socks; I’m not sure these could even be called twins. But they do showcase the wide variety of looks that can come from the same top.

The yarn that I stripped very fine and then chain-plied became very tiny stripes (right foot above). The bright green and red stand out, looking the most christmassy, and the subtlety of the blue and purple is pretty well lost.

The colours lined up in plying have a delightful balance of heathering and brights (leg portion above). While plying, I did break the singles in a couple places to make sure the lining up continued. The subtler blue and purple colours are discernible, but barely.

In the fractal, by contrast, the blue and purple took over in the overall look, with the flecks of brights reduced to subtle stripes. If I wanted a more homogenous look with more subtle striping, this is what I would choose. I striped it together with the gradient, so the fractal itself was kind of lost. You can see it by itself at the top of the right foot below, where I used it for the ribbing and the last inch and a half or so of stockinette.

The gradient though!!!! Ooh, that gradient. Gradients are not always my jam, but something about this colorway works particularly well as a gradient. I striped it with the fractal all the way up the second sock (left foot above). The fractal interrupts the smoothness of the colour transitions, and doesn’t stand out very crisply. I was concerned about this at first, but really, I think it makes the gradient glow even more for being hidden behind these bars of static.

It’s so delightful to contemplate how different types of braids can transform into such different yarns, and to have the task of selecting which look I want.

From left to right: short chain-plied stripes, colors lined up in traditional 3-ply, 3-ply fractal, and gradient.

These little beauties are a welcome distraction in stressful times. I hope you have something beautiful to keep your hands busy. It’s Friday now, but Sunday’s coming.

2 thoughts on “Sibling Socks in All the Stripes

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