Socks on the Road: Purple Geode Opposing Ply

This final pair of socks was cast on in Joni’s kitchen, and cast off on my own couch in Rankin Inlet. They bring the sock-themed part of this travelogue to a close.

Like the blue geode socks, These socks began life as half of these two braids of superwash merino.

You can read about the yarn I spun here. This yarn was a little different from normal because it is an opposing-ply yarn: One of the singles is spun opposite to the usual direction, so it’s extra tight in the final twining! The finished yarn looks pretty wild.

Two 3-ply handspun sock yarns, identical in every way, except that one of the three singles in the yarn on the right was spun in the same direction as the plying.

But you know, in the knitting, it wasn’t bad at all. Not difficult to handle or anything, for all the curlicues. The fabric looks pretty darn normal, although it is just as inclined to bias as the blue geode socks.

You can see the biased fabric in the way that the heels are laid flat sideways at the heels, and the toes are laid flat at the bottom.

Colorwise, it’s interesting that in both socks, the toes are darkish, the foot is lightish, and the leg is darkish. That wasn’t intentional at all. The braid was dyed randomly, and then I broke it all to pieces, so the spinning was quite random from small bits.

I did, however, intentionally keep all the pieces with more blue in one sock, while the other has only purple pieces. You can see that difference quite clearly! Both are analogous, but you can see the difference between blue-purple and purple-with-a-bit-of-blue.

The next test will be in the wearing. Opposing-ply yarns are very elastic; that one over-twisted single traps lots of energy in the yarn that keeps it springy. This elasticity is supposed to increase durability, because the more snugly fitted a sock is, the less abrasion it has to hold up against. But in tests I’ve read about so far, opposing-ply yarns have not fared well as socks. With some direct comparisons, I look forward to seeing what happens, even though I know this will end in holes!

And so I give you, all four geode socks, from purple to green-blue. All are from the same colorway, all turned out analogous. I’m very pleased with the set.

And so ends too my sock-knitted tour of the Canadian Prairies and Rockies. Six pairs in five weeks is a new record for me, and they each have locations and memories knitted into them. I have several more pairs to knit in this analogous experiment, and then I’ll start the wearing portion. Until then, I shall admire them in their unworn state. They were enough work to deserve that much!

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