Recently Dharmafey of Socks in the City did a video podcast on her socks and how they are fairing. Her podcasts normally center around sock yarns and sock knitting and I found it extremely interesting to see some of the socks she's knit and her her opinions on how the yarns held up. We are all so excited when we get the new sock yarns and knit socks, but we don't often go back and talk about them after the fact.
So yesterday when I was taking my dry socks off the drying rack and hanging up the newly washed ones, I took notice of how my handknit socks are holding up. And I was a bit surprised by what I saw. So today I pulled out all my handknit socks and lined them up in order of least shabby looking to most shabby looking.
First the ones that look the best.These are the yarns (From left to right) Mr Joe Blanket, Opal 6 ply, Lion Brand Sock-Ease, Regia Bamboo
These look pretty good, only a bit of fuzziness.Online Supersocke 6ply, Opal Petticoat Cotton, Handspun colonial wool, Lime & Violet Sasquatch
And finally, the really fuzzy shabby socks.Knit Picks Bare Gloss, Knit Picks Essentials, Knit Picks Bare Merino
The socks more or less all get worn about the same. The handspun socks don't get worn much because they are really warm, but I wear my other handknit socks quite often. I was shocked that the socks that looked the worst included my most recently finished pair of socks (the green and brown Knit Picks Essentials)These socks are only a few months old and look as bad as the purple Knit Picks socks that are several years old.
I was also very happy to see that the Opal socks are holding up so well (especially given they are the oldest socks pictured here!)They are not quite as soft and cozy as the KP socks. Maybe it's the nylon in them that keeps them nice looking but also makes them a bit stiffer. Opal is also about 3 times as expensive as KP yarns so perhaps there's something to be said for paying for quality.
Now, none of these socks has holes or spots that are uncomfortably worn. This is strictly an appearance thing. I love my KP socks and can handle the fuzziness. In my opinion, a bit of felting on the soles is not really a bad thing. And just for the record, all my socks are machine washed (cold, gentle cycle) and hung to dry on a drying rack. This goes for superwash and non-superwash yarns.
Pretty much the only thing I've been working on is the February Lady sweater. I finished the body a day or two ago and started the first sleeve last night.Isn't she pretty? I'm planning to wear it for Easter. Normally I do not like knitting lace. However, this has been an extremely enjoyable pattern to knit. It's a 4 row repeat, very easy to memorize. It also seems to knit up very quickly. Despite the fact it's been on my needles for months, when it's actually seeing the light of day it progresses quickly.
I swatched for my fair isle sweater and decided I was not going to like black for the background color. Webs was nice enough to change my order to dark grey and shipped the yarn right away. So now I've got my yarns but I'm trying not to look at them and fall victim to their siren song to cast on. Poor Jen still hasn't received the yarn for her FI even though she ordered before me! Even if it weren't for my need to finish my existing projects, I would wait for her out of solidarity, since she's the one who conned, I mean talked me into this.