Friday, September 14

Contest!

I thought I was going to have to blog about my dear departed chicken. The other night around 11 pm we heard her scream. I went out to her roost --- the rhododendron in front of the house --- and saw a raccoon hiding underneath. It ran off when I shined a flashlight on it, but no sign of Tasty. No signs of a struggle either, but it was dark. I searched again in the morning after it was light. Still no sign. An hour later, there she was on the back deck, perfectly fine! She's a tough old bird, she is. She did spend the day under the deck, except when I was outside she followed me around, sticking very close. I managed to lock her in the coop overnight. Will that work in the long run? Or will she seek out a new roost? Who knows.




Blog contest! I've been planning a contest to celebrate the opening of Yarn Forest, where Erika and I are selling our hand-dyed yarn. Tasty's escape gave me an idea of how to structure it. By far the most popular yarn for hand-painting and selling is sock yarn. By far the most common use for this yarn is knitting socks. What happens to those socks? How well do they hold up? We've been exploring base yarns and have our favorites, but by no means have we exhausted our search. So you tell us what you like.

Instructions: If you have hand-knit socks, tell me about the ones that survive the best. Which ones, after 6 months or 2 years of wearing and washing, do you still grab first to wear? Or which ones do you leave until it's almost laundry day and there's nothing else available? Leave your answer in a comment or send me an email (address is in my sidebar) and you will be entered in the contest.

If you don't have experience with the longevity of hand-knit socks, you can still be entered, just leave a comment about anything related to sock yarn or hand-dyeing.

One entry per person no matter how many comments you leave. Contest closes Monday September 17th at 11:00 PM my time (that's US Pacific Daylight Savings Time)

Two prizes! Two lucky winners will be chosen at random. One will receive a set of mini-skeins of our super soft merino we call Aurora 6.
miniskeins

The second winner will receive this skein of Aurora 6, one of a dyelot of two. Why? Because this yarn is prettier in person than we've been able to capture in a photograph. Frustrating but true. So while one of the skeins will be listed at Yarn Forest, the other is earmarked as a prize.

reds hard to photograph

28 comments:

Jessica said...

My favorites are my Country Socks knit in Cashsoft DK on US 1s. They're soft and squishy, wear well and are machine washable. The hand wash only socks tend to stay in the back of the drawer or worse they get worn and then wait months to be washed.

Michelle said...

Dorothy your yarns are gorgeous, and I love the colorway you sent me for the Vacation swap. I have yet to cast on my first pair of socks, but I feel it coming on!!! :-)

Elaine said...

Hands down the socks I knit with Opal sock yarn last the longest, wash (and accidentally dry over and over again) well, and keep their color/stitch definition. I have 3 pair that are 4 years old and see weekly wear year round.

trek said...

Socks That Rock - hands down!

Treesh said...

The socks that have lasted the longest are ones I made with Brown Sheep Wildefoot. But I must admit that I don't wear my hand-knit socks that much.

I'm hard on socks and I punch holes through the toes in a matter of months. While I love 100% wool, I have been too often dismayed and disappointed when the socks are hole free for less than six months. My favorite 100% merino socks (from Knit Picks) didn't last six months and that made me sad.

Wool socks are a staple in my wardrobe, but I have to admit, most of my wool socks are store bought. I do, however, knit socks, because it is a small portable project.

My wish list? Long staple wool, in a DK weight (or even light worsted) for socks. I have some of my very own handspun Wensleydale I'm going to check out next for longevity.

kmkat said...

I have only knit five pairs of socks for myself so my experience is limited. Plus I don't remember what brand some of the yarns were. The pair I knit from Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima Colori fingering weight sock yarn have held up decently, but the pair I knit from their Mexiko (or Brasil, don't remember) doesn't look like it will be as durable -- too fuzzy.

NH Knitting Mama said...

Sadly I don't own my own hand-knit socks. Not one pair. But, I wish all the lucky people good luck with the contest.

Your yarns are beautiful. I can only hope that my dyeing adventures yield some beautiful yarns like that!

Backwurdsknitter said...

Umm--I've knit lots of socks! Just not in sock yarn. I've used worsted, chunky, eyelash, etc, but never sock yarn. At the moment, I keep using my sock yarn for other things, like the bolero I'm making out of Schaefer Anne. But as far as the non-sock-yarn-socks go, my Schachenmayer Microfiber ones are machine-washable, comfy, and will never in a million years wear out. This is mostly because they are made of a fairly chunky (and synthetic/no memory) yarn, which made the gauge difficult to estimate, so they're (quite) a bit loose. But they're good house-socks!

QueenMeadow said...

What beautiful yarn!

And I'm so happy your chicken survived :).

I made one of pair of socks with wool ease and started my second pair with some seacoast yarn, so yummy! I have only finished one sock thus far but I can tell that it will be a favorite for sure. We'll see how it lasts as I make more to pamper my feet.

Josiane said...

I have just started swatching for my first sock ever, so I really can't say which yarn will end up surviving my feet the longest. One thing I know is that I tend to wear out the soles of my commercial socks relatively fast (particularly under the heel and the cushy part below the toes - sorry, I don't know what it's called in English), so I think something with nylon will be a must for me.

Christina said...

I haven't made very many socks for myself either. And in not very many years. Still, I've been prety happy with Regia and Opal.

MoMo said...

I haven't knit many socks using wool. The most comfortable and longest wearing socks have been made with Cascade Fixation. I am working with Colinette Jitterbug right now and love the way it is knitting up. I hope that they will stand the test of time.

Iota said...

Your yarns are gorgeous! I really want to try knitting socks, but must til there is time

Elaine said...

First - I'm not the same Elaine as the one who entered earlier.

I've knit 7 pairs of socks, but all in the last 4 or 5 months, and since most of that time was summer, I haven't even worn them all.

But I'd love your yarns and would LOVE to win some and try it.

ikkinlala said...

I've only knit a few pairs of socks, and all of them recently, so I don't have much to say on the subject of longevity - all of mine are holding up well so far. I can say that I usually choose to wear the socks with some wool content first; the cotton/elastic ones are okay, but not my favourites (although I've only made one pair of them, so that may depend on the specific yarn too).

Our chickens have gotten used to being locked in the coop overnight, so it might work to establish that as her roost. Does your coop have roosts built in, or something above the floor for chickens to sit on?

Heather said...

I have been knitting almost 2 years now and I am addicted to knitting socks. I am all about the hand dyed sock yarns. Anything superwash is great. I am not so much about the yarn base as I am about the colors. Some of the hand dyers I have knit or purchased are, yarn pirate, vesper sock, lovesticks, socks that rock, duet sock yarn,yarntini, zen string. All of them have different base yarn and I do love them all. Some of the yarn bases are superwash BFL,80%superwash merino 20%nylon, 100% African superwash merino :) Good luck

MrsFife said...

I live in a climate where we never need socks...I'm fascinated by the fascination socks seem to have for so many of the knitters I encounter online. What especially scares me is the precise shaping, and the thought of having to make two of the things, and match them!
That said, I have attempted socks, started twice or thrice. But the tubes are now languishing at the bottom of my stash :(

Rachel said...

I have very little experience with knitting socks - I'm mostly a sweater knitter - but would love to try.

Congrats on your new etsy shop - the yarns are lovely.

purple said...

I knit socks with Knitpicks Memories. They were my first pair of socks and the only one I've worn and washed several times. But they are hand wash which is a pain and so I've only worn them 5 or 6 times.

Sorry I'm not more help but I'd love to win your contest and try your yarn :-)

Lindsey said...

I've only completed one pair of handknit socks, and they're pretty new at two months old. I wear them a lot but I tend to avoid using them as actual socks. I prefer to keep them for wearing around the house. I have worn them with sneakers a few times, and they don't seem any worse for wear. I try to wash them only when they absolutely need it, and of course only by hand. They're made from Lorna's Laces Shepherd sock in the Happy Valley colorway, and I absolutely love them.

KarenJoSeattle said...

I just took a workshop in dyeing self-striping sock yarn from Weaving Works. I used some KnitPicks yarn just because it was cheap enough to not worry about experimental disasters.

I plan to try Louet's Gems and Brown Sheep Wildfoot, both of which WW sells off of or by the cone. I'll be interested in the results of your contest. I think I'll end up doing a lot of dying.

debbi said...

I have a pair of socks from Kougiu that I have worn every week for over a year. They get washed, and dryed and except for now starting to get a little pilly they are great. The did start out a little big, have shrunk to the right size so no more drying but when I started wearing them (they were a gift) they were NOT at all comfortable, but have improved with age. I have dyed and knit but not worn knitpicks superwash, not thrilled, have dyed but not knit kraemer yarns (check them out) and they dyed up nice. Good luck with your yarn.

Jess said...

Is it too late to enter? I hope not. I love your yarn and would love to get a chance to try them.

I've actually only knit one pair of socks so far so and they were Regia and I've barely worn them. They are OK but I don't love them.

Melinda said...

All the socks I've made out of wool/nylon blends seem to be wearing equally well - Fortissima, Opal, and Regia. The only exception is the Meilenwite (sp?) wool/nylon sock yarn, which has faded signficantly, although the structure is fine.

The worst yarn for longevity is Koigu, I'm sad to say. I do love it, though. In the mid-range, I made some socks from Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino on 2.5, and although they seem to be steadily releasing big wooly catepillars, they don't seem to have any thin spots.

The most durable socks I've made are a pair for my husband, made from Cheviot, lincoln, and a little mohair that I painstakingly carded together. Those suckers are impermeable.

lakegeneva69 said...

I'm a pretty new sock knitter without much experience in these matters. But my confession is that since I'm so picky about the socks I wear everyday with shoes (cotton, thin, no lines or bumps etc.) I just use my hand knits to snuggle up at home! So I'm not really paying attention to wear. :)

Book and Hook said...

I just started sock knitting, so far it has been very fun, though lately other projects have taken the fore-front I look forward to getting back to knitting my socks. I love the colors you gals are putting together.

Anonymous said...

So have you picked a winner yet? Hmmm?

mollydog said...

Is it too late?
I only have one pair of socks that I knit and I love them. They are knit of machine wash and dryable regia 4. I wear them on weekends working in the yard. Love them furry little things!