Tuesday, May 6, 2008

True Plies: By Shepherd's Crook

True Plies: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock

When I first started knitting socks, one of the great names in handpainted sock yarn (this was before the indie dyer/ yarnie explosion) was Lorna's Laces. Their Shepherd Sock was spoken of with reverence and lust. Fascinated, I tried to find it locally (I lived in Eugene at the time) but no one carried it. When I finally found some whilst visiting my sister in the Bay Area, I suffered sticker shock of the worst kind. I'd had no idea sock yarn could cost so much.
Hey. I was young and naive and new to sock knitting. Koigu was a painful learning experience as well. Anyway. I finally bit my lip and bought a couple of skeins, determined to do something "special". I did. My mother received these:

Seaside socks

At the time, I enjoyed knitting with the yarn but wasn't too keen on the on the fact that I was knitting at 9 SPI (stitches per inch) since I was still a sock newbie.

But, after seeing how they've worn (like iron, y'all), I decided the yarn was definitely worth the investment again. So, a couple of weeks ago, I bought two skeins of Shepherd Sock in "Gold Hill" and decided to make up a pattern as I went:

Lornas Laces Sock in Progress

Now, the yarn specs and I aren't quite simpatico. They say:
Fiber : 75% Superwash Wool, 25% Nylon
Yardage: 196.6 m / 215 y
Skein weight: 56.7 g / 2 oz
Yarn weight: fingering weight
Recommended gauge: 2.8 sts/cm or 7 sts/inch
Recommended needle size: 2.25 mm / 1 (US)
I say this yarn needs to be knitted up at a gauge of 9 SPI (stitches per inch). But we're required to advertise the information on the label the company prints. But, really, I highly suggest sock knitters go with a denser gauge. Your socks'll last longer and be more comfortable to wear.

By last Thursday I had a sock and a half and was really, really enjoying myself...

Lornas Laces Socks

(The Blogger also seems to have enjoyed herself taking photos)

And look at that great flashing:

Lornas Laces Sock

The pooling, especially, of the colors and the feel of the yarn and how it looks when it knits up? I'm sold. I am so completely and utterly pwn3d. I need more. Lots more. The stash is going to be a terrifying thing when one considers how many colors of Lorna's we carry.

On a completely different note, I decided to try the Crystal Palace 2.25mm/ US 1 DPNs (since I couldn't find my 1.5's at home :P) and they're wonderful. The best bamboo sock knitting needles I've ever worked with. I totally have to reevaluate my needle collection now.

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