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  1. There's something about self striping sock yarns that lends itself perfectly to vanilla socks. Watching the stripes grow in a pleasingly regular repeat makes it easy to work just a round or two more.

    self stripe sock image 2

    Simple. And yet very satisfying.

    Our self striping sock yarns have a long length of the main colour, then much shorter lengths of three colours. I wondered what would happen if I knitted all of the stitches when I was working with the main colour and purled the other stitches. The result? - caterpillar socks.


    self stripe sock image 3

    If you look at the foot of the front sock you can just see that I deceided I'd prefer less texture on the sole, so once the heel was turned I knitted all of the sole stitches regardless of the colour I was working with.

    self stripe sock image 9

    The same stitch pattern in a different colourway. I'm pretty sure that blocking would even out the stitch differences where I went between needles - and now that I know these stitches tend to be a little looser it's easy to compensate.

    self stripe sock image 5

    I knit 4ply socks on 64 stitches, so any pattern repeat with 8 stitches fits in well. Here I knitted in the main colour and slipped every 8th stitch when working with the contrast colour. On the next stripe I worked the slip stitches 4 stitches further on so the slip stitches are staggered. I didn't worry about working complete rounds of slip stitches and let the colour dictate when I went back to plain knitting.

    self stripe sock image 10

    Again you could choose to work the sole plain if you want to minimise texture in that area.

    self stripe sock image 8

    The last sample I played with with a 6 by 2 rib. There's a subtle dufference to the look, and ribbed socks tend to be that little bit snugger. I even managed to sneak in a 1 by 1 and 2 by 2 rib on the ends to check which I'd prefer for ribbed socks - and 2 by 2 rib works beautifully.

    Want to cast on your own self striping socks? Find the yarn here.

  2. Our splodge yarns have become one of the most popular things we sell. They're great fun to work with, but the way they're dyed means they're pretty time consuming to make.

    One of my jobs for last week was to try to figure out a quicker way of achieving the same (or even better) result. It's a real treat to get to just play with dyes like this, and I'm thrilled with the results which will be added to the shop at 1900 tomorrow.

    experiment 1 hand dyed british bfl silk alpaca luxury indie yarn

    There are single skeins of some of the colours - I wanted to test a couple of differemt ways of applying the dye and until I was happy with that part of the process there wasn't any point in working with more yarn.

    experiment 2 hand dyed british bfl silk alpaca luxury indie yarn

    Clear splodges rather than speckles or freckles of colour. One of the things I ;ike most about our splodge yarns is that the splodges are bold.

    experiment 3 hand dyed british bfl silk alpaca luxury indie yarn

    I've chosen our BFL, silk and alpaca base for these experiments. While spoldge colourways make great socks where they really shine is in shawls - and the BFL, silk and alpaca is perfect for a luxurious shawl.

    experiment 4 hand dyed british bfl silk alpaca luxury indie yarn

    I'm looking forward to casting on with one or two of these colours. There's something about the idea of combining two splodge colours that's very appealling.

    experiment 6 hand dyed british bfl silk alpaca luxury indie yarn

    I'm planning something very simple for these yarns - possibly a feather and fan (or old shale) stitch pattern, or something along those lines so there are waves of colour.

    experiment 5 hand dyed british bfl silk alpaca luxury indie yarn

    Much as I love the pale background I wanted some other colour options too. There's something very berry like about this one, and it feels perfect as it's starting to feel more like autumn every day.

    experiment 7 hand dyed british bfl silk alpaca luxury indie yarn

    One of the things it took a little time to get to grips with was consistent colours across a batch. The way thee colours are dyed means there will always be some variation. That can work beautifully on some shawls, especially triangle shapes. As always you can work between two skeins to mix colours up.

    experiment 8 hand dyed british bfl silk alpaca luxury indie yarn

    All those teal greaan make this experiment absolutely my colours. I'd love this combined with a neutral, perhaps in our linen stitch cowl.

    experiment 9 hand dyed british bfl silk alpaca luxury indie yarn

    The experiment colours will be in the shop at 1900 on Thursday 10th September so if you're browsing before then you won't see them.

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