I have a review for you today, but first I want to give a big shout out to Roxanne from Zen Yarn Garden who dyed the yarn for this last month of the sock club. Not only did she dye up some gorgeous skeins, but she even named the color after James. I've gotten many e-mails about how much you like the color and the stitch marker that I included in the packages. If you missed out on this 3-month club, just keep posted here b/c I will likely open up the next 3-month club in a couple months. You can also sign up for the newsletter, should you want to keep posted on SSYC news.
And, in case you haven't seen... SSYC's exclusive line of stitch markers are now available! These feature small loops for sock needles that fit up to US 4 needles (most markers fit up to size 10 needles, which can be too cumbersome for sock knitting), high quality- some even have semi-precious stones, and the prices range from $7 to $10.50. Very good prices for quality, hand crafted markers. I already sold out of some of them, but more are being crafted so that I can fill your orders without delay.
So let's get to the review! Harriet knit up some of Farmhouse's new Fannie's Fingering Weight yarn for me in the Confetti colorway (this color should arrive in a few days). As is the case with all my test knitters, she didn't know exactly what she was knitting up, just that it was a 80/20 merino/nylon blend. I'm quite happy that she got such great result, barring those annoying 7 repairs, which I'm assuming was a fluke as I've checked several skeins since and didn't see more than 1. Should you ever receive such a skein from SSYC, let me know and I'll make it right- it's not okay to get a skein with so many flaws in fiber, but things do fall through the cracks once in awhile. So, I'm happy to say that I now have 9 colors in stock, and it is priced at the introductory price of $20 a skein, rather than the regular $22 a skein. And since I'm being charitable, I might as well put the Bo Peep Sock Yarn on a reduced price as well, right? Sure! The Bo Peep yarn sold so quickly last time that I ordered LOTS this time. Bo Peep is what I consider to be sport weight, even though the label indicates that it's fingering weight. Remember, this is the yarn that the wool all comes from the US- read this post if you want more info on that.
OKAY- really, it's now time for the review...
Stats- My socks used up about 100g of the 126g skein. 66 stitches and US 1 (2.25mm) needles for the legs, 60 stitches and US 0 (2mm) for the feet.
Presentation- The hank was neatly twisted into a thick cocoon. The multitude of colors was immediately obvious: mostly pink with splashes of green, yellow, blue and burgundy. These lovely colors were very appropriate to the season, either as spring flowers or Easter pastels.
To be able to wind this skein into a cake, I had to remove a "leg" from my Beka swift. Other than the small skein circumference, the yarn was easy to wind. Unfortunately, I discovered 7 spots where broken plies had been repaired. Most of them were small sections that would need about half an inch excised.
Texture- I quite like this smooth yarn; it was strong yet soft. The twist seem to be about medium; neatly twisted and sproingy in appearance, but easy to untwist with some effort. I did occasionally split the plies by accident when using a sharp, metal DPN. The finished fabric was on the stiff side, especially in areas where I used a firmer gauge. After machine washing with gentle cycle setting and cold water, the fabric feels wonderful on my feet, soft with absolutely no itch factor.
Knitted Fabric- It was a suprise when mottled stripes formed on the first sock leg, and even more of a suprise when a completely different variegated pattern formed on the second sock. Why did this happen? Becuase I knit one sock from one end of the skein and the other with the other end. Not unexpectedly, changing guage and stitch count for the insteps caused the colors to pool or spiral crazily.
I chose a simple cabled rib pattern that worked fairly well with the busy colors. This colorway would be perfect worked in stockinette, ribbing and simpler patterns. I would avoid using it for complicated patterns. These socks did not acquire a fuzzy halo that sometimes appears after machine washing. However, I noticed the soles became a bit fuzzy after walking on carpet. With good care, I think these sock will last awhile. They fit beautifully and after several hours of wear, are staying up with very little bagginess.
Misc.- Overall, I like this yarn, even with the 7 repaired plies. It was strong, yet soft, and did not cause and itchiness, qualities with are important to me when choosing sock yarn. The colors did not bleed at all, while knitting or in the wash. If I were to work with an equally multi-colored yarn from the same dyer, I might try "feathering" or alternating the different ends of the skein for better color distribution.