sock yarn

The joys of scrappy socks

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If you’ve seen any of my Instagram photos recently you will be under no doubt that I have recently become a tiny bit obsessed with scrappy socks - using up odds and ends of scrap sock yarn to create delightfully odd and mismatching stripy socks.

We all have those tiny bits of sock yarn lying around - too small to be made into a mitered square on the memory blanket (each of my blanket squares needs about 3g) but too much to bear to throw away - and these are the perfect project to make use of them.

Thrifty and colourful - talk about a win win!

If I’m totally honest though the one thing that has put me off scrappy socks in the past has been the words feared and dreaded by all knitters - “Weaving in the Ends”. But, after my friend Tash recommended a life changing new technique to me I have become a total and utter convert to the world of scrappy socks.

The Clasped Weft Join achieves the Holy Grail of the knitting world- being simple to work, super quick and requiring absolutely no end manipulation. Just a quick snip and away you go with the next colour.

I originally learnt the technique by watching the YouTube tutorial filmed by Boston Jen and I highly recommend taking a look - it’s super quick and you’ll have the method down pat after just a few practices.

This makes it the ideal project for when you are travelling or out and about. Just grab a few tiny scraps of yarn (more for a long journey) and a pair of scissors or travel snips and you are good to go.

I’ve knit one sock already and am already well underway with the next. Unusually me for I’m not trying to match them and I can say with some surprise that it really is quite unexpectedly freeing. I am drawing from the same batch of colours and each stripe is 7 rows deep but these are my only ‘self-imposed’ rules.

It's really quite addictive, just to be able to reach into my little bag, grab a new colour, quickly join and away you go. I can predict many more of these colourful, fun socks in my future now.



 

Scrap yarn challenge

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Now don't tell me you don't have any scrap yarn about your person.

We all have those little bits squirreled away somewhere don't we. Over on the Everyday Knitter Facebook group we have set ourselves a challenge this month to learn the Russian Join technique and make a "magic ball" from all our scraps. I'm using sock weight yarn but some others are using DK. 

If you've never used the Russian Join method before I'd highly recommend that you give it a go. All you need is a nice sharp tapestry needle and it's a way of giving you a smooth join between 2 ends of yarn without any additional bulk. 

Once you've made your magic ball you can then knit (or crochet) until the cows come home, making a wonderful multi-coloured project without any worry about sewing in the dreaded ends.

I used this tutorial here which explains it all very clearly. If you find yourself with a spare 5 minutes this weekend why not give it a go. Be warned though, it's highly addictive.


Have a great weekend
 

Summer of speckles

I defy you to look at this beautiful speckly yarn and not want to cast it on immediately. Isn't it just wondrous? I treated myself to the summer yarn club from Vykky at West Green Loft Yarns and I was the lucky recipient of this sunset-inspired skein. It also came with a beautiful semi solid purple which matches it really well - but I'm totally blindsided by the speckles to be honest.

Between this and the Rusty Ferret yarn I am using for my second BOB socks (see previous post) I am declaring this my summer of speckles. I am mostly going to be knitting with speckled yarn. 

Now I can't deny that the odd bit of grey or semi-solid might creep in there. I'm only human after all and I do have a couple of commissions on the go where others yarns will be needed but for now, I'm happy to get the ball winder out, cake up this beauty and bask in enjoyment of fresh, speckled yarn cast on.

If you fancy joining me in some speckled yarn love - please use the hashtag #summerofspeckles. Always happy to be enabled into some new speckly yarn purchases.

What is a sock yarn swap anyway?

So, what's all the fuss about a sock yarn mini swap anyway?

If you are a member of the Everyday Knitter Facebook group you may have seen that we had so much fun with our last mini swap that we are doing it again. Many of us are knitting sock yarn blankets or scrap yarn projects and as much as we love our own stashed yarn it can be a real bonus to have an injection of colour from someone else's stash.

So, the sock yarn mini swap idea was born. For minimum hassle and maximum knitting time we use an app called Elfster which is an automated gift exchange service. You register and then after the sign-up deadline has passed you will automatically matched up to a swap partner. The swap is reciprocal - ie you both exchange gifts with each other.

If your swap partner has any particular preferences it's good to take these into account when choosing which yarns to send. You can set up your preferences by using the 'wish list' function in Elfster.

You then just need to wind off your chosen yarns into 5g mini balls or skeins. It isn't necessary at all to skein them but if you would like to there is a great tutorial here on how to do it. It's also nice to label the skeins - dyer and colourway - so that your partner knows what they are. It's a great way to discover new-to-you dyers or to get your mitts on something that you haven't had a chance to try out before.

Then just write a little note, pop everything in a Jiffy bag and post it by the deadline. It's a good idea to register on Elfster that you have sent your parcel. As an admin - that makes my job so much easier.

Then, when your parcel arrives please take a little picture and let us know about it on the Facebook Group. You can also record it as received on Elfster. This shows your swappee that their parcel has arrived safely and hopefully that you are happy with the contents.

All that remains to be done is to grab your sock yarn blanket and add your new mini skeins, along with some happy memories of a new knitty friend you've made.