As I mentioned in my post about my first socks, my boyfriend immediately asked for a pair of socks of his own after how saw my first completed pair. In reality, he had been asking for me to knit him a pair of socks for a lot longer. He's been asking since Black Friday. Oops!
The only place we ventured to on Black Friday was our local yarn store. I am super lucky that my boyfriend understands and embraces my love of yarn. He crochets (and now knits!) himself, so the local yarn store isn't a total drag for him. On Black Friday, he found a bin full of Diversity Sock yarn by Plymouth Yarn Company. There was a sample sock knit up so you could see the striping pattern, and when you bought the yarn you got the pattern for free. He immediately picked out the colors he liked and asked me to knit him those socks. So, fast forward about seven months... I finally learned how to make socks and he immediately turns to me and asks for the socks out of his Black Friday yarn! How could I say no?!
Plymouth Yarn Company is one of our favorite brands of yarn at our local yarn store, The Knitter's Edge. The yarn is super affordable at about $5-7 per skein, but still feels amazing. Their line of Encore yarn has been my boyfriend's go-to blanket yarn for a while now. He especially loves it when he makes a blanket as a gift, because it is a wool/acrylic blend and machine washable. It is also available in a TON of colors.
Having this relationship with the yarn company made it super easy to decide to buy the Diversity Yarn for his socks. He chose the "Deep Sea" colorway, which includes shades of blue, teal, and white.
The moment I started working with the yarn, I noticed something different.... It was round? This immediately made me question everything I knew about yarn because I never would have described yarn as flat. But now everything compared to this feels flat. Strange! The only downside to the yarn being round is that it twisted on itself very easily as I worked. However, all I had to do was periodically adjust the way I held the yarn in my hand and the yarn would untwist as I worked. Not a huge set back.
Watching the beautiful colors change and stripe was endlessly entertaining. This was my first time working with self-striping yarn. I was amazed at how you can't really tell where the stripe changes. They look pretty perfect! It was also interesting that even though I started the two socks in different areas of the color change, the stripes ended up almost identical. Not too shabby, Plymouth. Not too shabby.
The construction of this sock was pretty simple. It was worked top-down with a heel flap and gusset. The toe was seamed with the kitchener stitch. After knitting up this sock, I can see how socks can become the project you work on when you need something mindless. I didn't have to look at the pattern very often at all. It was basically just a reference for when to move to the next section and how many stitches I should have on my needles. The pattern was extremely clear and easy to follow. I will definitely be holding on to it as a reference.
I did wind up with holes at the corner of the gusset. But, after some searching on YouTube, I found a way to cinch that hole together. Now, you can't even tell there was ever a hole there. I did stumble upon some videos on how to prevent this from happening when you are knitting that section, so I'm hoping I remember that for next time.
On the plus side, the pattern called for two skeins of yarn to make a pair of men's socks. So, I grabbed the 200 grams I needed and was on my way. I used a different skein for each sock out of fear that I would run out part way through the second sock and then mess up the striping pattern. After weighing my yarn at the end, I am left with 102 grams! This means that now I have enough leftover yarn to make myself a pair. Woohoo!
I have two big takeaways from this project: Men's feet are a lot longer than women's feet and therefore, the foot of the sock seemed to go on forever. But at least now I know that for the next one. Secondly, I definitely prefer working with wool or wool blends than with acrylic. But I do see online that Plymouth Yarn Company has a line called "Happy Feet" which is a merino wool/nylon blend. I definitely want to try that!
Let the sock obsession continue...