Monday, January 12, 2009

Knitting Socks With Handpainted Yarn

It didn't take me long to crack and press "buy it now" on this book: Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn. The clincher was the review at Green Apples' blog. See what I mean?

Anyway, the book arrived on Friday, so I was able to settle down with a coffee on Saturday morning before the kids got up, to indulge myself in socky-goodness!

My first impression was coloured by the yarns chosen for each project, and I found myself dismissing some designs just because the yarns were not to my taste. I gave myself a swift rap on the knuckles ("you are buying the house and not the wallpaper...") and tried again, a packet of sticky page-markers in my hand. Result? Several "must-knits"!

(I have given Ravelry links to the titles.)

Herringbone Rib: the reason I bought the book! It was previewed in Interweave Knits, Winter 2008 so you might already have this pattern. I am irresistably drawn to herringbone textures, and have been searching for a sock version - this is it! I am going to use Hazel Knits in Cami Chic.

Goldengrove: this was a surprising find in a book dedicated to handpaints, because it seems best-suited to a solid or semi-solid yarn, but these can of course be hand-dyed too. I am obsessing about a plant-dyed yarn for these. If you were lucky enough to grab a skein from
Siri's October dye-session, you are all set for this pattern. Maybe I will buy some Hedgerow yarn? (Quick - looks like it is being discontinued!)

Staccato Socks: The Chevron Scarf in sock-form! This one is ideal for using up half-skeins and oddments. High up on my to-do list!

Longbourn Socks: I am surprised to find myself liking this girly confection. I saw this version and was hooked. I am thinking sugar pink and pistachio green!

Other patterns worth a mention are Chevvy (= Crosswalker!) and Escher (= Undulating Rib!), both of which I liked in their previous incarnations. I am less sure about the direction-changing designs Spread Spectrum and Colour Collision - can I be bothered with the technical challenge to create such busy socks? But I will probably succumb at some point, just for the hell of it!

Conclusion: Hours of fun! I know I am going to use the "yarn analysis" section to diagnose the types of hand-paints in my stash and avoid messy pooling by choosing the right stitch count / pattern combination. And the sheer variety of patterns could keep me going all year without buying another book... if only Cookie A and Wendy J. were not both publishing sock books in the coming few months! Buy it now!!


Margaret said...

What?! Cookie's got a book coming out??? I'm soooo there...

Bryony Ramsden said...

I wasn't convinced by the footage IK had of the book, but I might be converted with your faves... Love the Staccato socks - very you!

RooKnits said...

Thanks for a fab review. It has gone straight to the top of the "please buy for me now,Tony" list :o) Staccato will be great for all of those left overs.