WIP: Rose Pebbles Sock and Variegated Sock Yarn

I spent last night casting on and re-casting on for a new pair of socks. whilst I tried to find a pattern that would work with this yarn.

I bought this yarn (The Yarn Yard Bonny, I think it is) in a de-stash. You see, it’s really not the type of yarn that I’d usually go for. I think it is absolutely lovely, but i am really, really poor at working with variegated yarn. I think. I wouldn’t actually know because I never do work with them. I cast on, knit three or four rows and then back away from the confusing mess of colours that I have no control over. My name is Mimi and I am a yarn control freak.
But I know exactly why I bought this yarn. It was that little mini-skein of co-ordinating yarn that came with it, and I’m a sucker for the cute things in life.
But ‘The time has come’, Eskimimi said, ‘To think of many things. Of pooling, flashing, spiralling, In blotches and in rings, And will I ever knit this yarn, And turn it into ‘things’?
I’m going to have to try, because winners never quit and quitters never win. Unless they are quitting smoking, or biting their nails, or any other bad habit.
So, I had a look around Ravelry for some likely contenders for socks that would help to break up any areas of pooling and narrowed it down to about six.
I experimented with Drip Candles, Button-Up Socks, Sarleena, Handpaint Highlights, Classy Slip-Up Socks and Hiker Socks, but after swatching every single one of those stitch patterns, there weren’t any that I really liked. I had the most success with the Hiker Socks, and I think that they would have turned out alright, but they are knit in a kind of mistake garter ribbing, which means knitting in an alternating k3, p3 pattern for the entire sock yet with the vertical stitch contraction of garter stitch. This gives a lovely smooshy sock, but means many more rows per inch of completed length, and combined with having to knit the entire sock in ribbing… I thought life was too short.
So I started swatching and experimenting with other stitches, changing the stitches a little and knit sample after sample until I decided to plough ahead with this one:
It’s apparent even here that the yarn wanted to play games in the cuff, but once it gets to the actual stitch pattern the yarn starts to behave as the stitch forces the yarn to break up the rows. I think they look like little cobble stones or pebbles of colour, hence the working name. I’m going to persevere with this stitch, and if they turn out nicely I’ll write up the instructions into a pattern for anyone else bewildered by variegated and hand-painted yarns.

14 thoughts on “WIP: Rose Pebbles Sock and Variegated Sock Yarn

  1. It looks like little flowers.

    I’ve decided I like linen stitch for variegated yarns. But that’s no good if you’re knitting socks I suppose…

  2. No, linen stitch is brilliant for variegated yarns (I’m knitting a never-ending scarf in linen stitch at the moment) but it would make socks with about as much stretch as cast iron.

  3. It looks lovely so far! If you write it up, I’d definitely be interested in giving it a try for my few remaining variegated yarns.

    My current favorite pattern for highly variegated yarn is Aquaphobia Socks. The slipped stitch pattern breaks up the pooling and creates a pretty speckled effect.

  4. I have socks that don’t behave in the cuff. I’m okay with it. I’m, apparently, not as much of a yarn control freak as you are.

    But, one that worked for me for variegated yarn was the Simple Skyp Socks. It might be worth a look if you’re ever in the market for something to do with variegated yarn…

  5. That’s looking rather lovely! I’m also not a huge fan of variegated yarns for the same reasons. They look so pretty in the skein, but I hate pooling so I’m often disappointed with how they knit up. Looks like you’re on to a winner of a pattern there though, I can’t wait to see more! I’d definitely be interested the pattern when you’ve finished 🙂

  6. The pooling in variated sock yarn depends a lot on whether the dyer knows their stuff. I’m making socks in Yarn Yard Bonny too (in ‘Ice Cream’)and so far I’m just getting perfect pink and green spirals down each leg.
    Also you should check out the ‘planned pooling’ projects on Ravelry sometime. If you think *you’re* a yarn control freak, you ain’t seen nothin yet!

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