8 Oct 2009

Mentmore Socks

I love making socks using kettle-dyed and space-dyed yarns. The results are always stunning and sometimes surprising. Sometimes these surprises are good and sometimes, well, perhaps not so good! One of the surprises I don't like is when the patches of colour line up row-upon-row to give pooling and zebra-stripes.

It always seems such a shame when an absolutely beautiful skein of yarn knits with these unattractive splodges of colour. So I designed the Mentmore Socks pattern to try to overcome this.

The socks are worked in a slip-stitch pattern which not only gives a lovely cushioned feel to the socks but also helps to break up the colours up between rounds. Some of the stitches in the pattern are knit and some are slipped on every round. This effectively draws that colour up into the band above and with many yarns this is all that is required to give a harmonious looking sock. 

However sometimes this is not enough, particularly with the kettle-dyed yarns that we have seen coming onto the market in recent times. These are simply wonderful for adding texture and interest to your knitting but they do have a high degree of variability between the skeins. 

Even within the same dye-lot one skein can be very different from another, as in the photo above. This is of course part of their charm and character, but it does mean that when you are making a pair of socks one can look a completely different shade from the other.

In the Mentmore Socks pattern I have attempted to reduce these effects while still allowing the beauty of the yarns to shine through. 

Of course sometimes, you just want to make a pair of socks using a plain-coloured yarn and the same pattern can be used for this, as in the example above. The socks pictured here have been knit using Austermann Step Classic sock yarn which is a soft and long-lasting yarn  perfect for socks.

For more details about the new Mentmore Socks pattern, please click here. The pattern is available for instant download from my website so you can get knitting today. 

Happy Sock Knitting! 

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