Shortly before Knit Picks debuted their new Hawthorne Kettle Dye yarns earlier this year, I was lucky enough to receive a sample skein.
Kettle dyes were something that, in my opinion, really rounded out Knit Picks's sock yarn offerings. They already had lots of beautiful variegated handpaints and tonals, as well as solid colors, but were missing something in between--something with just enough differences in shading to keep things interesting, but not so much as to detract from a busy pattern.
Hawthorne is sturdier than Knit Picks' other primary sock yarn, Stroll--it's more tightly plied and uses a tougher highland wool, rather than merino. This does mean it's not as soft, but when it comes to socks, I don't mind sacrificing a bit of softness for longer wear. I know Stroll has many fans, and I enjoy working with it for scarves and other projects, but personally find it too flimsy for socks when working at my preferred gauge. Hawthorne, however, seemed up to my sock standards, so I started swatching with my skein of Serpent, a deep emerald green with just hints of lighter and darker tones.
The end result is a new sock pattern I'll be sharing with you just as soon as I can; here's a little sneak peek:
Hawthorne is definitely a winner in my book--the tightly plied yarn highlights the cables in this design, the color variation gives it depth without being distracting, and while the yarn is not as soft as merino, it did soften up with washing and is quite comfortable on the feet.
Of course, a knitter cannot live on one sock yarn alone, so here's a quick look at some other sock yarns I've been (accidentally) hoarding lately:
Desert Vista Dyeworks dyes to order, which means it's a bit of wait, but worth it! Here are Wildflowers and Cowboy Sunset, both self-striping.
If you don't listen to the Prairie Girls Knit & Spin podcast--and you really should, it's one of my favorites--you might not be familiar with Danie's yarn, One Twisted Tree, which is also something you should remedy. Here are One Twisted Summer and 93 Diagon Alley.
The only trick here is remembering how to spell "quaere" so you can look up Quaere Fibre on Etsy. Had to check this shop out after hearing about it on . . . I want to say the Commuter Knitter Podcast. Possibly. These half-skeins (Sunshine and On a Cloudy Day) are destined to be Rose City Rollers, someday.
Another bright pop of sock fun from Western Sky Knits. I had to round out a Loopy Ewe order to get the free shipping and this just jumped into my cart! Poppyseed.
So please share--what sock yarns are you excited about right now?
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