Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The cure for the common pool.

Teenuh and I were discussing pooling sock yarn and what could be done to "unpool" it short of knitting your sock sideways or adding 20 stitches to the width of the sock. After a bit of brainstorming, Teenuh, made a freakin' brilliant suggestion, to knit the pooling yarn in a stranded pattern to break up the pooling. She had seen a sock somewhere that was stranded and the colors that were lifted up broke up the pooling a little. Merely from the strands in the front breaking up the color blocks. I totally dug the idea realizing she was right because the strands would use less yarn than a knitted stitch and the colors would start repeating differently than they were. So I grabbed my trusty pooling Tofutsies yarn and started to work it out. Here you see the sock with it's pooling in full effect.

After reaching this point I began stranding only in the front and it started to shift the pooling but did not get rid of it entirely. It wasn't until I started working the pattern on both sides of the sock (imagine a pattern on the sole of your foot!!?) and it was then that the pooling magically disappeared! Hurrah! Here you can compare the front (left) to the back (right duh!) and see that the inch and a half that I was only working the pattern in the front was changing the pooling somewhat into longer strands like windblown clouds, thinner but still connected.

You can really see the slip stitches changing the course of the colors as I work the pattern on the front and back stitches, the pools just slip into lines and actually break up. Here is a close up of the unpooled section as well. You can see the yarn is even kind of striping.
This is MUCH more pleasing than the blotchy pooled up yarn isn't it? The first problem is you have to keep doing this pattern which isn't very exciting or interesting to knit. Row 1: ( k2, sl2 with yarn in front) across, Row 2: K across, row 3: (sl2 with yarn in front, k2) across, row 4 k across, repeat until brain falls out bored slack jawed mouth and I did try knitting it without the knit rows on even rows but it began looking like a bizarre old thing with tons of strings stringing flatly across the front. The second problem is how many pairs of the same style of socks can I knit? I have 2 different colorways of Lorna's laces that pool and the Tofutsies as well as some other yarns I know I have in my stash which would make at least 3 pairs of socks knit from this mind numbing pattern. Any suggestions? I will have to sit and think about it and maybe incorporate the strands into another more interesting pattern. Maybe a barred stitch with some cables or something? Hmm.

Anyway, here is a glimpse of my Monkey socks in progress. The photo really doesn't do the color justice. The purple is much deeper and brighter and the green more shady forest-y. I am LOVING the Melody yarn and wishing I had bought like 10 skeins of this instead of only 2. I could have had one in every colorway.... What a fool....


Teenuh said...

Another pattern that you could do with the strands in it (that is entirely more interesting and fast to knit because you slip so many stitches) is the whiskers and paw prints one I did! I will have to wait a good long while before I knit my Lorna's Laces into that pattern again. Two pairs in a row is enough for a good while! That is cool how it breaks up the Tofutsies, I may just do that with my yarn!

Teenuh said...

Oh, and I saw the sock at Purlescence. They had it on display and I was working on my first whiskers & paw prints sock and knew I could remember that pattern!

HoJo said...

There are a number of sock patterns that SWTC has put together for tofutsies. I'm betting some of them may work for you too. Just let me know.

Also, I've started carrying the Jojoland Melody and Harmony. I think their yarns are amazing. Their superwash sock yarn (also some great colors) arrived on Monday!

Teenuh said...

Oh I so forgot to tell you that after you do one row of the stranding, you could just knit a row. I'm making this with my socks and I think that's how the stitch pattern does it, with one row of the strands and then a knit row, then the alternating strand row. I'll take pics soon of how I am doing it. That is if I don't throw the wool away, it's kind of icky scratchy.

Sharon Dereschuk said...

Hi , I am having the same problem with Lorna's Lace yarn. I am trying to make Lady Violets Dinner Gauntlets and the yarn is pooling so bad I'm going to rip it out & start over. any suggestions ? you can find the pattern on Raverly.
Thanks, Sharon
Not sure how I can do the stranding in this pattern.