Kiwiyarns Knits

A blog about New Zealand yarns, knitting and life

That striping feeling


It’s just fabulous how we now have quite a few self-striping sock yarn options in New Zealand.  It’s so exciting to see the stripes appear – they do seem to make the knitting go faster!

I’ve always tended to knit the stripes in stockinette – the colour would produce the interest factor.  However, there comes a time when one does get a bit bored with knitting plain stocking stitch.  Even if it does happen in pretty stripes.  As much as I love a beautiful yarn with lots of colour, it does make it hard to knit in cables or lace – the pattern tends to get lost. Highly variegated yarns fall into this category as well.  Stockinette just seems to suit stripes and variegated yarns very well.

The only problem is that my plain knitting tends to get relegated to the ‘when I’m waiting around’ project bag, which means that most of the time, a plain sock takes a very long time to knit because I don’t have a lot of waiting time.  I tend to fall asleep over my knitting if I sit and knit something in stockinette when I’m at home and relaxing.  It’s very annoying!  I need lace or something patterned to keep me awake!  So I’ve been doing a bit of research for sock patterns that use self-striping or variegated yarn to produce an even more interesting sock to knit.

I thought I’d share my findings today.

First up, I really love this one:

Bristol.  This free pattern was released in September, and seems to have slipped under the radar of a lot of sock knitters.  It’s quite intriguing how just using a different combination of knit and purl stitches can create something quite different looking.  I came across it in the November voting for the Dozen Pairs of Socks group on Ravelry.  Definitely a nice one for a yarn with very thin stripes.  I think I may have just the one for that…

Regia Jazz

This is Regia Jazz in the 6450 colourway.

Although, I am quite tempted to rip this plain vanilla WIP and knit it in the pattern instead…

Sunday Picnic by Soft Like Kittens

Can I do that to myself?  Hmm.  It could make an even prettier sock… I just love the slipped stitch heel and the way the colour really pops in it. This yarn is from another indie dyer who has sadly stopped dyeing – Soft Like Kittens.  It is called Sunday Picnic.  The one-colour-stripe pattern would really go well in Bristol I think.

Then I came across the Groovy socks!  How did all these amazing designs escape my attention!? Check out some of the very cool renditions of this design to see the pattern’s full potential (you’ll have to log into Ravelry to see them).  It seems that any colour will look good in this design, but it may be best to use a self-striping yarn with a slightly wider stripe.  I may use this:

Stray Cat Socks Holy Moly

This is Stray Cat Yarn’s Holy Moly.  And just to make things even more interesting, I’ll use the plain pink for the after thought heel and toes.

Then there is also Withywindle, one of the bonus patterns from Claire Ellen’s sock club.  I think I’d knit it with toes as I’m not a yoga person.  The socks are easily enough converted into a standard sock.  This pattern is different to Bristol because it uses slipped stitches to break up the variegation of a yarn.  This one would look great in a variegated yarn like this:

Gnome Acres sockThis is from GnomeAcres.  Not a New Zealand yarnie, but oh, so much pretty!  (Only click on the link if you have absolute self-control.  Be warned!)

Of course, the grand-daddy of all patterns that make self-striping yarn look super cool would have to be Jaywalker.  It is such a versatile pattern that I believe I could use any yarn and it would still be amazing (as evidenced by the 10,000+ versions of this pattern recorded on Ravelry alone!)  For this pattern, I think I’d use something from Happy-go-knitty.  Maybe my very treasured skein of Watermelon, or the pink/grey self-striping next to it.

Watermelon self-striping Happy-go-knitty

Gull Feathers appeals because it incorporates lace.   I could easily use the pretty grey/pink from Happy-go-knitty, or perhaps something different with this Wild Rice colourway from Doespins:

Wild Rice High Twist BFL

I’m not actually sure if Wild Rice is self-striping, but the general look seems to indicate it will at least swirl.

Knitty Melissa, the designer of Gull Feathers, has also put out another pattern – Berkshires.  This one is similar to Jaywalker, but also incorporates purl stitches and therefore more texture.

Another interesting sock is Socks on the Rocks, a slip-stitch pattern from Mia Dehmer.

Ah, such a nice selection to choose from!  Which one do I choose first!?

Finally, some of you may be wondering if I did meet the deadline for the Wacky Wednesday socks.  Yup!

Wacky Wednesday socks

They are much appreciated, although the poor boy had a dreadful cold on the day of Wacky Wednesday, so they got hidden under jeans.  Never mind.  He did get a prize for his wacky wheels though!

My Susanna’s are also done.  So happy!  You can check them out here if you are interested.

Wishing you a great weekend!



Author: kiwiyarns

Welcome to my blog where I talk about knitting in New Zealand and the beautiful yarns you can find here.

18 thoughts on “That striping feeling

  1. Such a good round-up of patterns! I’ve been so good about knitting from my stash this year, but self-striping yarns have been my weakness. How fun to see all the ways I can knit them up!

  2. I’ve already added Bristol to my queue!

  3. There are so many sock patterns on Ravelry (a good thing), but my eyes glaze over after a while of searching, so your curated collection is perfect. I like Gull Feathers and Berkshires I think.
    Lovely to see the Wacky socks live in action. Bon weekend.

  4. Fantastic round up – i daren’t click on the gnomeacres link, am also sad that Annette has stopped dyeing, am grateful for the reminder to try doespins and love your wacky Wednesday socks. Cute!

  5. Thanks for the pattern collection – my stash also contains quite a few skeins of self-striping yarn, and I was running out of ideas 😉

  6. I haven’t had a big urge to knit socks lately, but when I do it’s going to be because I want the stripes.

  7. Sock yarn is always fun to look at and discover.

  8. Thanks I just added to my sock patterns….I’m knitting the Simple Skyp socks right now with a variegated..Zombie Romance from indie dyer Holiday Yarns….loving it! I’m a big fan of self striping yarns…I’m also knitting a pair of Vanilla Latte with Girl on Fire, a self striping from Friday Studios……and Gnomeacreas are in the next state over…I have several skeins from her…..

    • I’m almost too scared to look up the yarns you mention… I fear that my bank account may suffer even more damage! 😀 I had a wee peek at your projects – love Girl on Fire!

  9. Thank you for an insightful post full of sock designs and yarns to add to my Favourites. More cerebral sock thoughts coming my way!

    • Thank you! I enjoyed looking up all the patterns. As if I haven’t got sock fever enough, they were even more inspiring to do more sock knitting! 🙂

  10. My favourite, particularly for variegated or self striping yarns, is Monkey by Cookie.a, it’s a delightful sock to wear and looks good in lots of different yarns

    Some interesting other options there and some lovely yarns

  11. I have two skeins of Jazz as well! Perhaps we need a Jazz-off.

  12. Thanks for the ideas ! Indeed sometimes one tends to overlook things on Ravelry…
    I especially like the Berkshires pattern, also think it would be great fun to use for this hat :