I love making socks using kettle-dyed and space-dyed yarns. The results are always stunning, and sometimes surprising too. Sometimes these surprises are good and sometimes - well, perhaps not so good! I am not a fan of pooling and zebra-stripes which result when patches of the same colour line up row upon row to give an unpleasant "splodge"!
I designed the Mentmore Socks pattern to try to overcome this and have made a number of these socks now. They are worked in a slip-stitch rib which is a lovely cushioned stitch for socks, and it also helps to break the colours up between rounds. Some of the stitches in the pattern are knit and some are slipped on every round. The slipped stitches are then knit a couple of rounds later on and this effectively draws that colour up into the band above.
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. 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 Sock pattern I have attempted to reduce these effects while still allowing the beauty of the yarns to shine through.
Three balls of yarn are used at one time to blend the slightly different coloured skeins to give a more harmonious pair of socks.
These socks have been knit using Knit Picks Stroll Tonal sock yarn. It is sold in a wide variety of solid shades as well as multicolours, tonal and hand-painted versions and is a soft and long-lasting yarn - perfect for socks.
The socks pictured at the top of this blogpost are worked in Koigu Painter's Palette Premium Merino (KPPPM), which is another beautiful yarn. Socks made in this wool do tend to need darning after a while as there is no nylon in the mix, but it is a lovely yarn to work with.
This pattern is now available in my Etsy store. Please see my website for further details on this and all my other available patterns.
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