Thursday, January 10, 2008

True Plies: From the Inside

Note to last column's readers: the needles I'm using are size US 1/ 2.5mm 6" DPNs (Knit Picks brand, actually). The yarn is fine but not too fine, I think, for socks and knits up comfortably at 8 sts/ inch like many other sock yarns.

True Plies: ShibuiKnits Sock

They say you should write what you know, and I do know about knitting socks (next week: the needles). I have knitted with this sock yarn almost incessantly, since we keep ShibuiKnits yarn in stock as much as we can. Who can resist? So, here it goes...
The specs? Well, I was amazed to find out earlier this week that the yarn base is NOT, in fact, Louet Gems. Yes, read that again. Despite having been told by many people that it was, it isn't. I was pleased to find out that the yarn is specially milled in Peru (ultra-fine merino superwash) and then hand-dyed in Peru (ETA: Silk Cloud and Silk Puff are dyed in the US). Wow, I knew I liked this stuff for a reason. Anyway, back to the yarn specs:
  • Fiber: 100% superwash merino wool
  • Skein weight: 1.75 oz / 50 g
  • Yardage: 191 yd / 175 m
  • Yarn weight: fingering weight
  • Recommended gauge: 30 sts = 4"
  • Recommended needle size: 2 (2.75 mm) (US)
Now, I don't agree with the recommended gauge or needle size - but I'm a sock freak who thinks sock yarn should always be knit tighter than what the ball-band calls for. Religiously, I aim for 8 sts and 12 rows/ inch with Sock on size US 1/ 2.5 mm needles.

It would probably take me hours to track down all the projects I've knit (or received) with ShibuiKnits Sock, so here's just a taste:

Jaywalkers knit with "Spectrum"

baudelaire - silhouette
Baudelaire knit with "Orchid"

My most recent Sock FO was a pair of Autumnal Socks that I would wear everyday, if I could. I have a stash of this stuff that is slightly frightening and that demands attention frequently. It's nearly as bad as the Smooshy in that regard (but that's another post).

All in all, I have to recommend this stuff for quite a few reasons. It's:
  1. Hand-dyed, in a world of machine-dyed yarns
  2. Specially-milled and super-soft
  3. Machine washable AND dryable (ask me how I know this)
  4. Fantastic for colorwork
  5. Doesn't have to be used for just socks, because it's 100% superwash merino wool with no nylon.
I have to admit that I was a bit annoyed about 6 months ago, as the demand for Sock exceeded production and I couldn't get certain favorite colors. Since they've fixed that problem now...the more Sock addicts in the world, the merrier.

And before you ask: yes, I do have a pair of ShibuiKnits socks in progress - my January Mystery Socks. Loving the Pagoda, which is odd for me since I tend to hate orange.

Next week: DPNs for socks.

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