Monday, May 19, 2008

Puzzled by sock yarn

Since I began knitting socks, I've been frustrated by the fact that many yarns do not clearly state on the label that when knit up the colors will form stripes. I know there are some beautifully variegated yarns out there, but every time I think I'm buying some it turns out to be striped. For example, the Tofutsies I used for my Monkey socks. There are so many colors that not only didn't I realize it was striping yarn when I bought it, I didn't even notice it as I was knitting. I'm so daft that I first noticed the stripes when the socks were completely done and I tried them on.

I have nothing against yarns that stripe, but I do like to have some idea how a yarn will look knit up before matching it to a pattern. Yarn stores are full of swatches of their various yarns so you can see how they'll knit up, but sock yarn remains a mystery. No swatches. Do the yarn manufacturers and yarn shop management think that because the yarn is just for socks, we care less how it will look than if we were knitting a sweater?

A couple of weeks ago I was at Webs and saw what I thought was a bunch of swatches stuffed on a shelf, but turned out to be Flat Feet, sock yarn sold in knitted flats. Hey, I thought, what a great idea! Finally, I can see what the yarn looks like knit up. But no, that would make too much sense in the bewildering world of sock yarn. It doesn't look anything like the flat once it's knit up. Why, you may ask, does it come as a piece of knitted fabric?

Because it is portable.

Just think about that for a moment.

I mean, it is such a BURDEN to carry around sock yarn that is wound into a ball, right? Seriously, a ball is more compact than one of these flats which presumably must be folded to fit into your knitting bag and thus will be *more* annoying to unwind than a ball (what with having to unfold it), so I fail to see how one could argue that it is more portable.

Also, "no tangles!"

So, same as a ball, right? There are no tangles in balled yarn until you pull it OFF the ball to use it. Just as this will tangle once you pull it out of the flat. Plus it's all crimpy from being knit up already.

You know how you feel when you're the only person who doesn't get the joke? That's how I feel about sock yarn, especially Flat Feet. Perhaps I just don't truly understand sock knitting yet. In all fairness to Conjoined Creations, the colors are lovely. I just think they could have done without the silly gimmick.

2 comments:

Heather said...

I feel your pain as far as self-striping yarns. I usually will just do stockinette for those. Boring, but there is a thrill in seeing how it knits up.

I don't get Flat Feet, either.

myboringblog said...

I haven't tried Flat Feet, but I'm not itching to do so after hearing everyones comments. Just a gimmick. In defense of the striping sock yarn, I think it stripes differently depending on how many stitches you cast on and your gauge so it's hard to show what it will do. But yes, it's a pain with it pools or stripes when you don't want it to. :-)