Cherif's Socks

A pair of socks for my friend's brother. I wasn't sure what the yarn would do, and it turned out to have such a strong pattern that I can't say it was really appropriate for the knit pattern I put into it (a purl-slip-purl pattern which is almost invisible here, and a pattern of yarnovers) but it at least kept the knitting more interesting, and it sort of works. :) I have yet to make a really "plain sock," I always tend to want at least ribbing, and usually go with a seed stitch ribbing.

From Knittin'

One thing I'm noticing is that while we can get some fun sock yarns here (mostly made for export, with us getting the dregs), they all seem to have pretty extreme color changes; nothing very subtle. And if you want to do patterned knitting and not have it compete with the yarn's striping, it needs to be a bit subtle. I actually got several inches into a skyp sock and decided the yarn's color made the pattern almost invisible and the pattern detracted from the yarn's pattern, and frogged it (to the protests of my friend Berfin, who likes everything!). So I'm trying some of my own dying now and will share one example soon.


Kerry's picture

I've gone off multi-dyed yarns as, for me, they interfere with the pattern. For some time now I've concentrated on "almost solids" and find I am much happier with the results, the pattern isn't lost in the changing colours.

Bill's picture

sometimes simply overdyeing those multi colour yarns can give you interesting results...

Tallguy's picture

Variegated and patterned yarns are alright for someone that only knows the knit stitch, because the yarn does all the designs. You can get some interesting effects on a knitting machine. But for someone that knows and likes to use pattern stitches, variegated is not a good idea. You have two strong forces here-- yarn patterning, and stitch patterning. One of them is going to lose, usually the stitches.

If you are going to use stitch patterning on your socks, which is a very nice touch, may I strongly suggest that you use solid shades of yarn, or something with very, very sutble shading in the same tone. To show off your stitches, you should try to use lighter shades; anything very dark will hide any stitching you do. Any fancy stitch, such as slip stitches, or YO are just wasted when using patterned yarns.

I would tend to want to over-dye my yarns like Bill says to make them more uniform. You will never get them to be a solid colour, but at least the differences are not going to be obvious. I think variegated yarns have had their time in the spotlight and are now thankfully a thing of the past. Anything in fashion that is a fad, such as these yarns, are quite extreme, and they never last long. The solids, while not very exciting, are good old stand-bys, and never go out of style.

bobinthebul's picture

Well, I can't see the point of buying variegated yarn and then overdying it to be uniform. :) But to even things out a bit - maybe!

Bill's picture

It probably wouldn't become uniform...but you could bring values closer together...or get interesting variations of colour. It's helpful when you're stuck with an oddball yarn that you don't want to throw away.
I'm biased...because I love overdyeing...(grin)

I am an avid sock knitter and I really like multi-dyed yarn--self striping and painted. I do agree that most stitch patterns are obscured by multicolor yarn. I tend to do mostly ribbing variations or simple cables and find that is ornament enough for multicolor yarn. Lacey patterns and heavily textured patterns are much better served by plain, heather or subtle gradations. I have had a lot of fun re-discovering how many different things you can do with ribbing.

bobinthebul's picture

This is why I'm starting to dye my own; it's very difficult to find any sock yarn here that is subtly dyed; it's all strong, sudden color changes. I think it can work quite well, as long as the color changes are more subtle-fading, and more frequent. The red/orange/rust yarn I used for the tabi toe socks for example, shows off patterning quite nicely.

Other examples:

I think examples 1,2 and 5 work quite well, while 3 and 4 are overwhelming.

I also like the examples here:

The blue-purple pattern is strong but seems to work with the nature of the pattern, though of course the pattern does pop more in the plain yarn example.

But I think in the future I'll just use the strong self-stripers for things like plain ribbed socks, which you can't ever have too many of. :)

ronhuber's picture

I am such a sock fanatic that any hand knit sock is gorgeous in my eyes. I like the pair you have made and really the pattern is quite visible and probably is a lot more subtle with this yarn than with a plain yarn. I also think it is wonderful that you getting into creating your own colours. Looking forward to seeing your results.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Good points, Bob. I usually approach the yarn and socks by saying, "What would work best with this colorway?" A lot of it is developing the instincts to feel what will work and what won't. That usually comes from trial and error...and frogging. In this case, in my humble opinion, the simple lace isn't overwhelmed too much by the colors but couldn't even find the other patterning that you mentioned. Keep up the good work and I look forward to seeing some of your hand dyed yarn in socks.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

scottly's picture

They are wonderful socks! I hate it when people impose rules on knitting - how silly, they're socks after all - you wear them on your feet and cover most of them up with a shoe the rest with your pant leg. There should be something interesting peeking out when you sit down.