Remember this Gale’s Art Special Secret Sock Blank I bought at MDSW earlier this year?
I took this along on our trip to Europe. I knew that with all the cognitive overload and beautiful things to look at, any knitting done there would need to be autopilot knitting. So I took a vanilla sock. Now they are done!
I was enchanted by this as it emerged. The way Gale dyed the blank results in a gentle gradient effect, and the relief printing she did on top of the base dye yielded the speckles. (I’m not totally sure if that’s how she does it.) You can’t get identical socks from a blank like this, but matching isn’t something we care much about in this family. I used less than half the blank on the first sock, so to ensure that I would reach the printed part again (that results in the speckles), I wound some off before beginning the second sock. I probably should have wound a little more, but I wanted to get the yellow-into-light-blue part of the blank on Sock #2. My finished socks weigh 72 g and my leftovers weigh 32 g.
This is my standard sock but knit over 68 stitches instead of the usual 64. You can see how far I got on 64 stitches above – I thought it looked a bit small so I had Boy 1 try it on. Too tight! I ripped back and started again on 68 stitches. The sock is worked top-down with an eye-of-partridge heel and round toe. The eye of partridge stitch doesn’t even show here. It looks like stockinette but it’s so much stronger. Now to answer the question everyone keeps asking: how did it feel to knit directly from the blank? I’ll be honest: I didn’t love it. It definitely required an adjustment in my tension. If I didn’t stretch out the yarn, it resulted in a very loose, messy, uneven stockinette surface. But stretching out the kinks made my knitting uncomfortably tight. Maybe this is less of an issue for continental knitters than throwers (I’m a thrower) … I’m not sure. If I were to knit from a blank again, I might go to the trouble to skein the yarn, wash it, and wind it before knitting.
The fabric knit directly from the blank had a nubbly texture that I knew would go away once the sock hit water. The photo above shows an unblocked sock on the left and a blocked on on the right. Can you see the difference? I’ll zoom in: Boy 1 has gotten a lot of new socks lately. I guess we’re ready for cooler temps!