Wednesday, March 19, 2014

VKL - Sock Yarn and Crocheted Socks

Close-up Rosaline Shawl (RCYC MCAL)
This year I have developed a whole new appreciation for sock and fingering weight yarns. It's not just for socks anymore! When I was asked to design the RCYC MCAL Shawl (pictured in Black Trillium, Lilt Sock), they wanted me to use a sock or fingering weight yarn. I realized I hardly had enough in my stash to start swatching the lace patterns, let alone to make a practice sample.

Once I started swatching the lace, and then when I blocked the first shawl, I was enchanted with the possibilities for this light weight yarn in crochet. I also remedied this major hole in my stash in a big way last weekend at VKLive (Black Trillium was there too) and during the yarn crawl, as I picked up yarns from many of the local hand dyers I will be working with in the coming months.

There were a few skeins in my stash that I had picked up many years ago when I first tried crocheting socks. I have always loved the idea of yarny socks, but got frustrated with crochet patterns that seldom used actual sock yarn so the socks were too thick, and I often fell prey to the inevitable curse of single sock syndrome. When you get one sock done, and just never get around to the second.

If you want to crochet socks, you need to get my friend Karen Ratto-Whooley's book Crochet Rocks Socks, she is the queen of crocheted socks. Since she is based in Seattle, I got to see her this weekend at VKL too. Her patterns are so much better than the ones that were available when I tried years ago. Inspired by her grandmother's knit sock patterns, she has developed formulas for constructing truly awesome crocheted socks. Each pattern is inspired by one of Karen's favorite Rock'n'Roll songs, and uses sock yarns from Black Trillium or Knitted Wit (both local Portland-area dyers!).

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