Monday, October 24, 2016

Scrappy Sock Experiment: Yarn Sample Cards!

Over the summer I cleared out and stored away some of my yarn to get things a lot neater around here. I also went through all my designing books and files and notebooks and did some pretty serious decluttering. It took a bunch of trips to the recycling center and some shredding, but I feel much lighter for it! I also feel much less distracted by not having everything out and in my face. I'm trying to focus. Give me strength!

Among the clutter there were some old yarn sample cards that, although I won't use again, I just could not part with. Some ideas came to me about how to use them instead of just trashing them. First up was an entire set of samples from Claudia Hand Painted Yarns. I once set up a wholesale account with the company and ordered a fair amount, a lot of which I still have, but that was six years ago. Knowing I would not use the yarn cards again, and knowing they were out of date, I started disassembling them. Once I took the strands out, I could see that most of them were a yard long each. I could work with that!

First I tried tiny granny squares with a few of them, but I soon saw that joining those into one piece or even using them to embellish another piece was about to get really fiddly.

Then I had a eureka moment and wondered if the strands could be worked into scrappy socks, my most recent obsession. I grabbed a partial skein of Claudia's Shells on the Beach colorway for my neutral and knit up a toe using Judy's Magic Cast On. Then I grabbed one of the yard-long strands from the color card and found that it would knit two rounds of the sock perfectly! Using the Fair Isle joining method, I just kept going, joining a new strand every two rounds until I got to the heel. Fortunately, there were two of these yard-long strands for each color, so I just set aside the second one for the second sock. 

It was so much fun watching the colors interact with one another. It was also fun choosing which color would go next and which would go next and...boy, were these not boring socks to knit!

On the first pair of socks, I used the same neutral colorway chosen for the toe to knit the Fish Lips Kiss Heel and then the 2/2 ribbed cuff at the end.

Once the sock was complete, I just turned it wrong-side-out and tidied up the strands. After pulling a little on each one to make sure there were no slouchy areas, I snipped the ends a little. Ultimately there were only two ends to weave in--the one at the cast on and the one at the bind off.

Sock pair number one is the first one that I knit. You can tell that I started with the more muted, natural hues for the foot and then got into some lighter, more playful colors for the leg. I also did not manage to match both the socks in pair number one as well as with pair number two. It took the second pair to get my system down. With sock pair number two, I was left with all the really bright colors. For the second pair I used Claudia's Stormy Day for the toe and the cuff, but used her Caribbean Blue for the heel to keep things more colorful.

So between these two pair of socks, you have just about all the colors from Claudia's 2010 color selection. She still has a lot of these colors available (some have been retired but some new ones have been added) and is now calling her fingering weight yarn "Addiction." Go check out all the beauty!

Now I am looking at some of my other old yarn cards and wondering what I can do with them. I'll show you if anything comes of it. 

Happy Yarn Scrapping!


Anonymous said...

What is the fair isle joining method because I have some samples......

Jen Hagan said...

Anonymous, you just weave the new yarn in as you go a few stitches before the end of the round, and then switch to the new yarn for the next round, weave the old yarn out a few stitches, then break the old yarn and continue with the new. I need to post a video of it, or at least a blog post with pictures!