Oh sweet sock yarn

We all have our little coping strategies, and shopping therapy is by no means a rarity. I also like to indulge myself when I’m feeling stressed, and hand dyed sock yarn is my guiltiest of pleasures. I think it’s fair to say that the final stages of a PhD is a stressful period, which might be somewhat reflected in the quantity of new yarns that have been entering my life.

Just to speak in my defence; it helps. It sounds absolutely silly, and many non-knitters will not understand buying yarn that you surely won’t be able to use up in the near future, but this makes me SO excited. When a pretty new skein comes in I squish it, I sniff it, I admire it, I dream about its possibilities. It makes me so happy!

This modest yarn mountain (let’s call it a small hill) is what has been added to my stash in the last 2 months or so. I’m completely driven by bright colours and pastels at the moment. Most of these will be socks (duh), but some of them are reserved for shawls or will even be incorporated in garments.

I’m also happy that these yarns are a lovely representation of what European indie dyers have to offer. On the top left we have a skein from Spectrum Fibre based in the UK (the neon might look familiar as I made a pair of socks from the same dyer earlier this year). Top right is a skein by Craftfulness, a dyer located in the North of the Netherlands. The two stunning skeins in the middle are from Baerenwolle from Germany, which is a yarn I’ve been dying to try for ages but I kept missing the shop updates. Bottom left is a skein I picked up when visiting Sticks and Cups in Utrecht and it’s one of the shops own dyed sock yarn. The YELLOW skein on the bottom right is by Cosmic Strings, and if that sounds familiar it might be because I knit a fantastic pair of socks out of their yarn last Summer. And then the two lovely minty green skeins are by another Dutch dyer called Zazu yarns.

 

To somewhat justify all of this I have been knitting a lot lately too! I cast on a Your Victory Jumper and am already working on the back panel. I do sense that I am in a very lazy knitting mood, which means I’m kind of half-reading the pattern/half improvising my way through this. It’s the first time I’m knitting a vintage pattern, which is only written for size 34. Instead of making calculations etc. I’m just doing things that kind of look like it will fit me. It’s such an odd way of making a garment but it doesn’t seem to bother me at all right now. Even if it wouldn’t fit in the end I don’t think I’d be devastated. For now I’m simply enjoying the process.

In addition I am of course working on another pair of socks. Yellow and purple is a combination that has a special place in my heart, so the contrasting in this sock is magical to me. The yarn is actually a really deep purple, but somehow wants to portray itself a bit more blueish on camera, so you’ll have to trust me on this one. The pattern is Girl on Fire by Cookie A.

So that is what I am up to at the moment. Is there anyone else out there that uses sock yarn to cope with stress?

FO: Paint the Town scarf

Two FO posts in a row, am I on a roll or what?! My Paint the Town scarf came off the needles, got a wash, a block and is ready to be pranced around.

Pattern: Paint the Town by JumperCables
Yarn: Hedgehog fibres sock in Canal House and Seed, and Undercover Otter Squirm Sock in Blackheath Woods

The most appropriate summary of this project is stockinette for days.. nay, actually, it’s stockinette for months. I started this scarf due to a massive craving for a simple, no brainer project that would still result in something I’d love to have. I would say the project fulfilled all of these requirements, but mostly has cured me out of my stockinette craving. Seriously, hand me some lace or cables right now!

But I really do not want to complain, because gosh there is a lot to love about this project. Obviously the yarn. Oh the yarn!! Both the hedgehog fibres and the undercover otter yarn are exactly what I was looking for and they go fantastically well together. The subtle semi-solidness and light speckles are super pretty and the resulting fabric is so light and drapey.

Which brings me to another thing I love about this, I feel like I can wear this in a million different ways. It’s really hard to judge from the pics, but this thing is massive. MASSIVE I tell you. I don’t have exact measurements, but it’s way taller than myself, so I’m guestimating it to be well over 2 meters. This means I can either wrap it around my neck as a normal scarf or go full blown coccoon and wrap up my entire body in it. Which is brilliant and practical.

Anyway, like I said, stockinette cravings are gone, new projects have been cast on, but more on that next time (there might also be a pile of new yarn..).