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…
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…
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:
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:
This 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.
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!
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!