When two skeins of discontinued blood-red sock yarn appeared in the sale bin, I pounced on them. They were labelled ‘beef’ by the dyer, Fleece Artist. The colour does look like raw meat, but in a good way. I like a dark red.
The yarn is a mixture of bluefaced Leicester and nylon for strength. I feel an affinity for bluefaced Leicester (and their bendy noses) because my family kept border Leicester sheep, the source of the bluefaced Leicester, in my childhood.
I used Wendy Johnson’s toe-up sock pattern ‘Lace and Cable Socks’ to knit one skein into a pair of socks for me. I remain a fan of knitting socks two at a time and from the toe up. By knitting them together on long circular needles using the magic loop method, I ensure that I have two matching socks. Starting at the toe, I know that I will have enough yarn; shortening the leg length is never as problematic as running out of yarn on the foot. Starting at the toe and working with circular needles also mean that I can try them on periodically to check the size.
I always find sizing makes me nervous with knitting, especially when knitting socks, when I am trying to determine the difference between foot size and sock size and negative ease. So much time can be spent knitting something before I realise it is not going to fit. Thankfully, these socks fit me perfectly, both in width and length.
I did not know that the yarn is supposed to be a 5-ply (sport) yarn and not a 4-ply (fingering) yarn until I finished. If I had known, I might have worried more about size! The socks knitted up exactly as I would expect a 4-ply to, so all is well.
From this skein, I have a little bit of yarn left, and I also have an untouched skein, enough for another pair of socks.
I have to knit a bit faster. During my New Zealand holiday in September, the temptation of possum yarn was too great and my yarn stash grew. Yarn is now overflowing the top of the basket that I keep it in. My goal is never to have more yarn than will fit in one plastic tub – or one large basket, where I moved it because it looked prettier. I am stretching that rule a little because the basket is piled high. Most of my collection is 4-ply yarn, the weight that is suitable for socks, but I also have half a dozen balls/skeins of lace weight. I think I have enough yarn for nine pairs of socks. Yikes! Do I have enough time to knit nine pairs of socks?