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Lost in a sea of yarn and needles. Lusting after handmade socks and all things lacy


Lacy Legs and Yarn Shop Rant

I loved both these patterns from the first moment I saw them. Marguerite's pattern Shetland Lace Rib came out in July. I was not in a sock knitting mood. But I printed it out for the future. Marguerite has designed so many beautiful patterns. A good many are for children in the CIC (Children in Common) KAL. Her patterns are well thought out and balanced.
Shetland Lace Rib
The MagKnits pattern was published in Sept and I thought, ohhhhh another beautiful lacy sock.
Both are beautiful and I can see them in a soft creamy off white merino. Or Regia Silk in an off white. Excuse me while I dither a bit.
I am going to chart both of the patterns. The person who once hated charts has become a convert.
I was thinking the new KnitPicks Superwash might work for either of these.
Last year when I did the Embossed Leaves pattern from Interweave Knits, I used a very soft non sock yarn. The socks came out well and I wear them often. But even though I live in clogs, the top of the foot is getting worn out. Just from sliding my foot in and out of the clog. I had a strand of yarn break. Thankfully the yarn has fuzzed up enough to keep the broken stand from unraveling. I secured it with a few stitches. I now treat this pair as extremely delicate. I would like to go with a more robust yarn, but finding a solid color in sock yarn is not all that easy. Most of the yarn companies are still in stripy self patterned mode. My daughter still loves them. So I have a fair bit of this type of yarn in my stash.
I have tried KnitPicks Essential, and they didn't thrill me. The yarn seemed a bit thin and scratchy. Of course it may wash up into socky wonderfulness.
If I don't start soon, Socktoberfest will be over and I will still be deciding on which yarn :-)
In an effort to secure my yarn I decided to go on a Yarn Crawl. We have 5 yarns shops locally. All of them sell sock yarn, none of them sell needles small enough to knit socks with. What the hell is that all about? Not only that, when asked about needles to knit the yarn with, I was directed to needles that were too large for the yarn. If this is ignorance, it seems to be universal. The ball band size needle is always too large. You can't knit a decent sock using Lorna's Laces sock yarn and size 3 needles. What you will end up with is a loose baggy tube. One shop owner offered that the socks would shrink up and I would be glad I had knitted them a bit larger. "Hello, dear lady. They are superwash, and don't shrink up." I shudder to think of the hapless first time sock knitters out there wondering what they have done wrong. At one shop I was told, I didn't want to use small sized needles because they would take forever to finish. Go up a size and the socks will be done in no time at all.
I realize that not every shop owner knows how to knit everything, but come on folks. This is the equivalent of taking your car into the shop for work and finding out the owner has no idea what a piston is.
At another shop I was told they don't carry sock sized needles, because people who knit socks (you weirdos out there) already have the correct needles.
So after five shops and a lot of frustration, I came home and turned on the computer and started my yarn search.
I really want to support my LYS and almost always buy books from them. So many of them seem to be missing the boat. It would be so much better to admit you have never knit a pair of socks and only carry the yarn. Or you don't carry the needles because there isn't much of a call for them. Those are honest reasons, and I can certainly live with them.

By Suzann
On Thursday, October 05, 2006
At 10/05/2006 06:38:00 AM
Comments :

for this post

Blogger junior_goddess Says:

Oh, Suzann-

HAHAHA-the blind (shopkeeper) leading the masses. I was really disappointed when I knit my first pair w/ needles specified on the ball band.

I believe I have a little solid colored such and such Opal. I'll look this weekend. Did you find some Regia Tweed, or something of ilk?

Blogger Marguerite Says:

How about Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock yarn? Soft and cuddly but very tough.

For your online sock yarn browsing, try Simply Socks Yarn Company. She carrys the solid colors of LL as well as many other lucious sounding sock yarns that I want to try someday.

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

Simply socks


has a nice white Jawoll


Blogger CatBookMom Says:

I'm with you on the lacy stuff. I have dozens and dozens of patterns for lacy scarves, socks, shawls, tops. So many projects, so little time!

It is disheartening to find that a LYSO or LYS staffer doesn't know as much about your knitting question or problem as you do. And it's even worse when they are clueless about their merchandise or relatively basic techniques.

You might try your questions at the About.com Knitting Forum, (http://forums.about.com/n/pfx/forum.aspx?nav=start&webtag=ab-knitting) if the Elannites can't solve the problem.

Blogger jayne Says:

And of course...to keep humour in alll things...read some of Franklin's posts on his army of sock yarn.

Blogger Kim Says:

So sorry to hear about your LYS woes. When I head over there this week I'll trick them and ask for needles too large for the yarn just to see what they say!

Blogger Suzann Says:

hahaha Kim that would be funny. Actually I was just curious, as I have plenty of sock sized needles. But I didn't see any 2.00 to 2.50 mm on the shelves so I kind of wondered what new sock knitters were supposed to use. All of the shops are small, and I guess the owners don't want to invest the capital on something they don't think will sell.
At one time I taught tatting at the Hook and Eye and the owner would hardly ever have shuttles around for sale. It got so, I just ordered them online and sold them to my students. Of if she did have shuttles, they were the awful metal ones. No one listens to their teachers ;-)

Anonymous Anonymous Says:

What a shame to get bad information. And I thought I was deprived because there is only one LYS in my city. (The internet is a great resource .) But at least I get accurate info. Always go with your instincts and that will end up being the right answer.


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