Stripes Everywhere

I’ve been knitting lots of stripy socks lately. I find them very relaxing and it gives me a chance to investigate the effect of subtle changes.

Regia socks
Regia Design Line Ombré Stripe ©Rachel Gibbs
Opal orange and grey socks
Opal Smokey Eyes & Coloured Lips ©Rachel Gibbs

The socks on the left have featured on this blog before. I used 60 stitches on 2.25mm (US1) dpns. For the socks on the right I used 64 stitches on 2mm (US0) dpns, although the finished size is almost the same for both socks. Both were worked top down with a flap and gusset heel. I found the Opal yarn was a bit softer than the Regia and as the stripes of the Opal are less regular I decided to match them for the second sock, whereas for the Regia I matched the stripe boundaries but not the colours.

Opal The Little Prince and the Geographer socks
Opal Little Prince ©Rachel Gibbs

For my next Opal socks I decided to try using a 9 inch circular as lots of people have been recommending them lately. As I prefer wood to metal, I bought a bamboo HiyaHiya needle in 2.25mm. I haven’t found anywhere in the UK which stocks the Chiaogoo 9 inch bamboo circulars but I liked the HiyaHiya. With such a short needle tip I didn’t have a problem with the bamboo bending, as I have found previously with HiyaHiya needles, and I found them comfortable to use. I also don’t have to worry about laddering with circulars, which is always an issue with dpns and shows up particularly on plain stocking stitch. The only problem I have found is that I have to change to dpns for the toe as the circumference becomes too small for the circulars.

I’ve also been hearing a lot about the Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist so I used that for these socks, which used 64 stitches. It was easy to work and I like the result. The only concern I have is that without a reinforced heel flap the socks will wear out quicker but I will have to wait for the result of that experiment.

WYS Bulfinch socks
WYS Signature 4ply Country Birds ©Rachel Gibbs

The final socks were made using a new yarn, again using the 9 inch circular and 64 stitches. It uses Blue Faced Leicester wool and is very soft but hopefully strong also. By happy coincidence I managed to get use a whole repeat of the stripe pattern for the heel and so the top of the foot matches perfectly with the leg. I wanted to see if a flap and gusset heel was as easy to work with the circular and there were no problems.

My obsession with stripy socks shows no sign of stopping soon and I have cast on another pair in Twisted Limone. I decided to break from tradition and make these toe up. The Twisted Limone is a bit thinner than a standard sock yarn so I am using 2mm needles which seem to be producing a nice fabric so far.

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