sock_mojo_750

the sock mojo, she is back!

I feel like 2014 was the year of the sock for me. 2015 was mostly shawls and some sweaters. 2016 looked like it was going to be the same, but all of a sudden I want to cast on all the socks! maybe not buying yarn and actually ‘letting’ myself use the yarn in my stash actually works. I don’t want to sound like I don’t want to knit sweaters, because I want to knit every sweater out there it seems. but all the sweaters I want to cast on require decision making that I’m not quite ready for. socks, besides choosing a single skein from the stash, are pretty mindless.

warning! I go on and on about yarn and needles.

sock_hop_socks

sometimes I feel bad for just knitting vanilla socks, but when you have yarn like this do you really need anything else? the yarn is crown mountain farms sock hop in touch me. can we take a moment to mourn the loss of this yarn company? I want some more handspun sock yarn in my life and I may have cruised the destash listings on rav for more of this yarn. I haven’t pulled the triggered yet, but don’t be surprised if I start begging for handspun yarn. I’ll trade some sewn stuff!

back to the socks. they are my usual recipe. with 2mm needles cast on 56 sts with a german twisted co, 2×2 rib, german short row heel, and a wedge toe. they fit fine, but they look bigger than all my other socks when I lay them on top of each other. I don’t know if this yarn is just fluffier or my gauge was slightly different. I did use some new-to-me needles: kollage square dpns.

kollage_needle_750

I thought there were actually pretty nice, but I feel everyone talks about hiyahiya or chiagoos. I guess square needles are a niche that not every sock knitter is interested in. maybe kollage should also produce some round needles to get a bigger market [eta: of course, after I post I bother to google and find that kollage did? does? produce round metal needles! they’re called sonix needles and I found them at jimmy beans] . and while I’m making demands, how about some wooden needles? anyway, I was hoping these would allow me to use metal needles again, and while I was able to knit this pair of socks my hands and arms were still achy.  they’re aluminum so they are pretty light. I thought the tips were nice and sharp and they were slick enough that I could tell a slight speed difference. I’m not sure what it is about metal needles that hurt me, but I’m pretty sad these didn’t work out for me. I’ll probably destash or give them away.

poste_yarn_socks

immediately after finishing the handspun socks, I cast on some super bright ones. this is poste yarn in the ibiza colorway which is a 75% corriedale and 25% nylon blend. I used my same sock recipe except that I tweaked the heel. I’ve noticed in some of my socks that the center part of the heel would kind of stick out (I’m not sure how else to phrase it) almost as if the heel wanted to pull away. changing from 10 to 12 center stitches in my short rows seemed to have helped. I haven’t washed these yet so I’ll see how well they fit once I get to wear them for a longer amount of time. I used my knitter’s pride cubics (wooden) needles for these and I did feel the yarn tended to snag. it isn’t the most tightly spun, but I didn’t constantly split the plies either.

poste_yarn_ibiza

kollage on the left and nova platina cubics on the right

kollage on the left and nova platina cubics on the right

I was actually going to use these socks as a test run for the knitter’s pride nova platina cubics (could the name be longer?). I only made it a couple of rounds before I was in too much pain to knit. the nova’s are so much slicker than the kollage needles that it was almost too hard to cast on. the stitches just wanted to fly off. if you’re looking for speedy metal needles I think you should give the platina needles a try. back in the day I bet I would have loved them, but whatever happened to my arms along with my tendinitis just isn’t going to let that happen now. I don’t know if the photo is clear enough but I thought that the kollage needles had a sharper tip but the nova’s had a longer taper. maybe that will push you to try one over the other. I unfortunately have more needles to destash or giveaway. maybe a big needle giveaway is in this blog’s future.

hf_tosh_stripes_750

I’m most excited about these! yes, another vanilla sock. I swear that I try to knit a pattern, but I end up ripping back and just knitting stockinette. this time I’m using leftovers from my mom’s vasa top I made last summer. I loved this combination so much that I knew I would use it for socks. the blue and green yarn is hedgehog fibres sock in damp and the green is madelinetosh tosh sock in jade. I decided to make the hf the main yarn since it has some nylon unlike the tosh sock. now, I’m going to say something that may get me kicked out of the knitting club. the two other times I used the hedgehog fibres sock I didn’t like it. I know, I know. but hear me out! I found it splitty as hell. I used cubics when I knit the vasa and I had to keep dropping stitches to fix where I only knit with one of the four plies. I used it again in my doodler shawl, but with karbonz instead. even splittier! I just found a few places I need to duplicate stitch because a stitch is hanging on for dear life. I would describe the yarn as ‘frothy’. I figured these socks were a last ditch effort with this yarn. if I still didn’t like it I would just destash the couple of skeins hanging around in my stash and move on. or maybe try their twist sock yarn which is a bfl blend.

hf_tosh_750

hedgehog fibres sock on the left and madelinetosh tosh sock on the right

can you see how loose the plies are on the hf yarn ? and how skinny it is? I thought the tosh sock being so much thicker would be an issue, but it’s worked out fine. actually, these may be my favorite socks I’ve ever knit. the fabric feels nice and dense and the hf is super soft. (I’m still worried about how they’ll wear) so what made me change my mind on this yarn?

cubics on the left, lantern moon on the right

cubics on the left, lantern moon on the right

I didn’t use my usual needles. for this yarn I whipped out my lantern moon ebony double points. I think someone was destashing these needles and I snatched them up sometime last year. let’s just start by stating the obvious: these needles are fragile. (remember, I knit with 2mm/us 0 needles) on the first sock I knit with these I broke one or two needles. I have to say though that lantern moon’s customer service was amazing and sent me a replacement needle each time. I’m happy they did that since this is only the second time I get to knit with them. this time they don’t feel as fragile or maybe I’m holding them slightly different. so far this has been the perfect marriage of needle and yarn. maybe I’ve split the yarn once or twice, but it isn’t nearly as bad and slow going as with my other needles. now I’ve seen the lantern moon needles described as blunt, but looking at the picture above (and knitting with them) I would say they are pointier than the cubics. they aren’t sharp where they hurt your fingers, but notice that the cubics on the left have a more rounded tip and the lantern moon’s come to more of a point. this probably explains why I found the poste yarn splitty as well!

now I’m wondering if I should get a few lantern moon circulars for shawls. have any of you tried them? I’m worried since I’ve never seen them in person and the look of the cable and the join aren’t impressing me. I did look into their interchangeable needles, but the price was a bit of a shock! I won’t be getting that any time soon, but I can definitely be enabled for a circular. any pushers out there?

 

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  • Joanne March 2, 2016 at 8:28 pm

    I am reading this, knitting away on a very vanilla pair of socks… these are Trekking XXL in colour 326 (such poetry!), a basic sock for an unadventurous recipient. I’m in a rut of using my 2.25mm karbonz for socks, I just love the feel.

    The other project within arms reach has some knitters pride dreamz circulars, I think at this point I have those needles in several sizes because I went off addis when my fingers reacted to them (I strip the finish), and my chiaogoo red cables are sometimes too pointy, especially on fluffy yarn. So no enabling here, I’m not a lantern moon circular user.

    • bitterpurl March 4, 2016 at 12:18 pm

      you know, I still haven’t used trekking?! I want to but I need to knit down some of my opal stash first. for a while I was just using karbonz for my socks then I tried dreamz and the cubics and I’m hooked.

      I had to sell all my addis once I figured out that metal kills my hands. that was so many needles! but now I’m curious about lantern moon, if I splurge I’ll report back. 🙂

  • carolyn March 3, 2016 at 7:00 am

    I love my Lantern Moon DPNs but I’ve never tried their circs!

    • bitterpurl March 4, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      I guess I better order some, you know, for research (and because someone has to take it for the team).

  • grumperina March 3, 2016 at 8:42 am

    I troll Etsy for handspun yarn. I have a few favorite vendors who occasionally post some, but if I’m in the mood, I’ll just browse around. Krista from Pigeonroof occasionally lists some as well. I would be happy to adopt any metal sock needles you’re destashing.

    • bitterpurl March 4, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      I guess I better check Etsy this weekend because I’m obsessed! I’ve never been able to nab any of Krista’s handspun, her yarn and colors look amazing.

      Send me your addy and I’ll send you a bunch of needles 🙂

  • Stephanie March 3, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    I need to find some sock yarn for J. He’s feeling neglected that I haven’t knit him a pair of socks. I’m wrapping up the striped socks so it’s time to start thinking about the next pair. You turned me on the the German short row heel and I love it. Bloody brilliant! I pretty much exclusively use my Signature dpns because I love the pointy tips, and I spent so much on them that I feel like I need to use them to get my money out of them!

    • bitterpurl March 4, 2016 at 12:00 pm

      are any of the skeins you got yesterday for him? lol

      and isn’t the german short row heel great!? any time I try to use another heel I revert to my usual.

      I’ve always been intrigued by Signature needles, but why are they so much? and I guess I won’t be trying them since metal kills my arms. they also don’t make 2mm needles. oh well.

  • sbnyc March 9, 2016 at 7:10 pm

    You know, I had the same experience with the Hedgehog Sock yarn. I used it with my Doodler, knitting it on my Hiya Hiyas and had many instances of splitting. Not enough to destash the one or two singles I have (I’ll find a use for them), but I will look into a different blend in the future.

    I have Signatures. They feel really nice, although the cords annoy me sometimes. They seem to get a shape memory if they are left in one position for an extended period of time. Truthfully, I prefer my Hiyas for projects most of the time, except for the Addi sock rockets (for socks, obvs). I do like the colors of Signatures a lot, though. They were very helpful when I was knitting with black yarn.

    • bitterpurl March 11, 2016 at 12:01 pm

      I’m glad I’m not the only one. I’m still debating only using the two skeins I have for socks or trying a shawl with another set of needles. Have you tried their twist sock?

      I do wish more needles came in colors! The only ones in wood I’ve found are the Dreamz.