Socks on the Road: Blue Geode 3-Ply

You might remember that back in January and February, I did a sort of wool trade. Part of the fruits of that exercise were these two gorgeous braids of superwash BFL.

I separated the two braids into the blue-shifted parts and the purple-shifted parts, attempting to make two analogous colorways. You can read about spinning both of them here. Below are the green-shifted skeins. There wasn’t really that much green in the thing, so they read as mostly blue. I’m not sure that you can tell in this picture, but the skein on the left is significantly greener. I made sure that one had no purple at all in it; the one on the right had a little bit of purple, which together with the smaller amount of green came out to a nice muted blue.

The lovely lady who sent me these to braids is, by a fabulous coincidence, a paleontologist. So when we arrived at the part of our trip that took us to Drumheller and Dinosaur, I had to cast on one of these pairs.

A sock in progress by the shores of the Red Deer River, with the badlands of Dinosaur Provincial Park in the background.

The not-very-well-hidden side of me that wishes I were a paleontologist, archaeologist, or general digger-up-of-the-past-in-the-form-of-tangible-artifacts, delighted in the tactile of pleasure of connecting what I could do – knit – with what I couldn’t do – dig up dinosaur bones. TL:DR: Hi Michelle!

Now that the socks are knit up, you can tell right away which one is which. The bright sunlight blew out the colors in these pictures. In real life, they’re more saturated, and the green stands out.

In terms of color handling, the braids were randomly dyed, and I broke the fiber into random chunks to sort it. So there wasn’t much actual patterning of color in the singles, and I just did a traditional 3-ply. The colors are much more muddied than they would be in a hand-dyed braid with repeats. (Note that when I say “muddied” I mean that in a neutral way.)

In practical terms, I made an analogous colorway – blue-to-green – and a not-quite analogous colorway – purple-to-green. The blue to green shows quite bright green colors and more saturated blues. The purple-to-green colorway still reads as mostly blue, as that’s the color there was most of. The purple and green all but disappear, but because they contain all three primaries between them, they worked together to slightly mute the blue.

I did just a standard traditional 3-ply, but I worked hard to add the absolute maximum amount of twist that the fibers could handle. In the Phoenix Rising sock yarn, which was also Superwash BFL, I got a balanced 3-ply, which I was slightly concerned would not wear as well. These will be a great point of comparison between these two yarns.

As it is, I put in so much ply twist that the socks have a significant bias. Observe how the heels and toes lay flat at the same time! This may have a different impact on wear entirely.

These socks saw dinosaurs with me, and next they will see the inside of some shoes. They won’t have a chance to fossilize, but maybe they picked up some tips on durability from those ancient bones.

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