Hand Painted Yarn for Socks

Remember this post Dyeing for Socks? I’m quite pleased with the way this pair turns out. No pooling and the colors (Iris, Sea Breeze and Key Lime) are subtle but not boring. The picot edge, heel and toes were joined with yarn dyed in very light, almost solid shade of Twilight.

The base yarn is MCN (90/10/10 Merino/Cashmere/Nylon) from Wool2dye4.com. This is my favorite base yarn for socks. So soft and luxurious. I hope the 10% nylon helps extend the longevity because I hate to see this pair wears out after a few times.

This pair was made on the Simplex sock machine, 64/32 combo, sized for a woman’s medium.

Hand cranking on a sock machine is very different from spinning or knitting. When you spin, as mentioned by Judith McKenzie, you use your “crocodile brain”, and that means you let your brain sleep and your muscle memory does the work. However, cranking a pair of sock requires an exacting process that must be followed to the T. I find it is helpful to write down the process and to crank one sock immediately after the other to have a matching pair.

Instructions to crank the pair above.
The entire hem consists of 41 rows and folded in the middle using a picot edge. That means 20 rows inside, one picot row and 20 rows outside . I change to contrasting color after row 16, knit 4 rows, picot and reverse the process for the hem. The leg is 3×1 ribbing in MC, the heel and toes are in CC. By the way, the reason for stopping 5 stitches before the hash mark is to do a join with a different yarn. The 5 stitches before and 5 stitches after the join are knitted double with the yarn looping back. I learned this from the Soxophoneplayer but I can’t no longer find the link. I will take photos of the join and post it there.

  • Hem top with pico edge:
    Crank 16 rows of main color (MC) and stop 5 stitches before the right hash mark, join contrasting color (CC), crank 4 rows. Lift every other stitch to the next stitch. Crank one row (k2tog). Crank 4 rows (still in CC) and stop 5 stitches before the right hash mark. Join MC and crank 16 rows. Hand hem, crank 1 row.
  • Ribbing in MC:
    Put in ribber, switch 1 out of 3 stitches from the cylinder needle to the ribber needle (for 1×3 ribbing). Crank 100 rows. Switch ribber stitches back to cylinder stitches and remove ribber. Crank 10 rows and stop 5 stitches before the left hash mark.
  • Heel in CC:
    Join CC on the left hash mark, crank to front, lift all of the stitches in the back and crank back and forth for the heel. On the last heel row, stop in the front, push all the needles in the back down (working position) and stop 5 stitches before the right hash mark.
  • Feet in MC:
    Join MC and crank 55 rows for woman’s medium, or 50 for woman’s small and stop 5 stitches before the left hash mark.
  • Toe in CC:
    Join CC from the left hash mark, crank to front, lift all the stitches in the back and crank back and forth for the toes. On the last toe row, stop at the front, push all the needles in the back down and make sure all the latches are open, and crank to the left hash mark. Leave an arm length of CC, cut and tie to waste yarn (WY). Pull length of yarn between the left needles so that CC is knitted before the hash mark and WY is knitted after the hash mark.
  • In short…

    1. Crank 16 rows in MC
    2. Change to CC (right side), crank 4 rows
    3. Picot
    4. Crank 4 rows in CC
    5. Change to MC (right side), rank 16
    6. Hang hem
    7. Put in ribber, 3×1
    8. Crank 100 rows
    10. Remove ribber, crank 10 rows
    11. Change to CC (left side) and do short-rows for heel
    12. Change of MC (right side), crank 50 rows
    13. Change to CC (left side) and do short-rows for toes
    14. Crank to left hash mark, put in waste yarn.

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    About knottyewe

    Blogging about knitting, making yarn, and making socks.
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