Tuesday, April 24, 2012


My previous post was all about patterned sock yarns, but a few years ago some yarn manufacturers came up with a new cool idea for getting colors and patterns onto hand knitted socks. White, undyed sock yarn was machine knit into a little scarf-like affair called a "sock flat" or "sock blank". It was then dyed into interesting patterns and colors at the factory, or you could buy it undyed and color it yourself any way you liked. Then the "flat" or "blank" was unraveled and re-knit into a pair of socks. What fun!

 The top photo shows a commercially dyed sock flat by Conjoined Creations, and the sock resulting from half of it. Truth be told, I was pretty disappointed. The colors on the flat were rich and lovely, but the dye didn't really penetrate deeply between those stitches. The resulting sock showed plenty of small white undyed flecks, and the colors seemed pale and washed out in comparison to the flat. The yarn was also stiff, inelastic, and scratchy, and not much fun to knit up.

 My next attempt was with an undyed sock flat. These are still available for sale, and can be purchased HERE.

The flat was fun and easy to dye up.

I unraveled, then wound one of the balls with reverse colors just for fun.

The resulting socks were (naturally) fraternal twins, but fun to knit up. The yarn was soft and pliant.

Sock flats were, for a few years, the only way to get long gradual color shifts onto socks. But ultimately I lost further interest in them because it seemed no matter how wild you made the patterns on the blanks, the results in the sock were stripes or flecks. Or flecky stripes, or stripey flecks. The flats were far prettier and more interesting than the socks!

If you would like my free generic pattern for all of the socks shown in these photos, go HERE.



Friday, April 20, 2012


I'm on a sock jag again. Maybe I've been on a sock jag my whole life. I always have at least one sock on the needles, and often have three or more going at a time. It got me to thinking how much I love patterned sock yarns. It wasn't too long ago when sock yarns came in solid colors only. BORING! The only way I could stand to knit up a sock in only one color is to make it in a complicated stitch pattern. I've done it more than once, but still find it boring. I NEED COLOR!!!!!

First there was sock yarn dyed up with short color changes, known years ago as "variegated", but commonly called "hand painted" nowadays. These were fun to knit up, and usually resulted in random stripey patterns. At left are socks from Mountain Colors Bearfoot.

It frustrated me that the color changes occurred randomly, sometimes forming stripes in one sock and puddles in the next. I devised a way to puddle the colors in every sock (top photo)-- and Sara's Colorwave Yarns was born. Details are in a previous post HERE.

The yarn for the sock shown at top is available for sale HERE.

Next were yarns which knit up in stripes and small checks- these were wildly popular when they first came out! The sock in the photo is an older version of Regia 4-ply, but there are still many colors and styles available HERE and HERE.
Then came sock yarns with longer and slower color changes. I love these! There are many brands available now, but these happen to be Fame trend.
You can get self-striping yarn with sharp color changes now too! Check out these from String Theory and Knitpicks!



Saturday, April 7, 2012


This is my favorite trick to use up one ball each of two complementary colors. The yarn is Koigu KPPPM.

HERE is a rather different way to do it, from an earlier post.

Below is my daughter proudly wearing her Haruni shawl (previous post) on prom night.