A Pairfect Pair of Socks – Part 2 – by Winwick Mum

Posted by Amy | Posted in Guest Blog | Posted on 03-11-2015

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Part 2 of Winwick Mum‘s guest blog post………..

In my last post (read part 1 here), I told you about the new Regia Pairfect yarn that I’ve been trying out.

regia pairfect

Black Sheep Wools have six colours in stock: Cinnamon Colour, Wood Colour, Fresh Colour, Waterfall Colour, Moor Colour and Oriental Colour.  They’re all striped in exactly the same way and are suitable for either men or women, which makes them pretty versatile.

I mentioned last time that I was following the guide on the ball band for a pair of size 6 socks.  The ball band doesn’t give you a pattern so you will need to know how to knit a pair of socks (and don’t forget that there are free tutorials on my blog at www.winwickmum.blogspot.com that can help you, so don’t be put off!) but it’s helpful to have the ball band guide so that your socks and stripes line up.  And boy, do they line up!  I am seriously impressed!

The ball band says that with a 64 stitch cast on, you will knit 5cm of the first colour.

regia pairfect socks

Look at that!  You’re impressed too, aren’t you?  And wait, there’s more.  The ball band also says that after the cuff there will be seven stripes of colour before the start of the heel.

regia pairfect socks

Seven stripes exactly and I was ready to start my heel!  The rest of the sock is plain colour knitting which is less exciting, but I raced down the foot of the first sock eager to find the yellow marker that would tell me where to start my second sock.  It was easy to find in the centre of the ball – you just finish off your sock and then keep pulling the yarn out until you find the yellow yarn again.  Then you find the point where the yellow ends in exactly the same way as you did with your first sock and off you go.

I was interested to see just how close a match these socks were going to be.  I was very careful about where I started both socks, but even so, I expected that it might be just a little bit out – after all, dyeing yarn isn’t an exact science … or is it?

regia pairfect socks knitted by Winwick Mum

It would appear that it is!  I was stunned and, being a stickler for matching socks, delighted to see how well they turned out.  I would definitely consider using this yarn again – it’s certainly an easy way to get a Pairfect pair of socks!

A Pairfect Pair of Socks – Part 1 – by Winwick Mum

Posted by Amy | Posted in Guest Blog | Posted on 26-10-2015

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Super sock enthusiast Christine Perry, aka blogger Winwick Mum has been testing out the new and ingenious yarn from Regia – Regia Pairfect. Read her guest blog post below……………

One of the things that I have always liked about Black Sheep Wools is that they listen to their customers.  You only have to look around the Craft Barn to see how it has evolved over the years to provide the best service; up-to-date yarns and patterns, luscious fabrics, a café with fabulous cake, workshops on a wide range of crafting subjects and more cross-stitch kits than you can shake a stick at – Black Sheep Wools really want to meet their customers’ needs.

So it is no surprise then, that when a particular customer asked about the range of sock yarn a lot (ahem – mentioning no names but you can probably guess who that was!), Black Sheep expanded their range quite considerably to shut her up meet the demand for quality sock yarns from an increasing number of new sock knitters.

Their selection of yarns is ideal for beginners and more experienced sock knitters alike, and one of the most popular brands that they stock is Regia.  My first pair of “proper” socks were made with Regia yarn and I’ve been a fan ever since.  Regia produce some fabulous self-striping yarns, which means that the yarn is striped within the ball so that it changes colour all by itself – no uncomfortable joins on your feet! – and come in various colour mixes from subtle to bold and even in Norwegian Fair isle-style stripes.  There’s no shortage of choice!

However, with those stripes comes a whole new debate – to match or not to match?  I am very definitely a sock-matcher and hyperventilate at the thought of putting odd socks on my feet.  In fact, I have been known to spend a ridiculous amount of time getting my yarn just right so that my socks will match – so Regia’s latest yarn is right up my street.  They have developed a yarn called “Pairfect” which makes it easy to match the stripes on your socks, or so the yarn band claims.  Naturally, when my friends at Black Sheep Wools threw a ball in my direction, it would have been rude to not to catch it with both hands and cast on straight away!

regia pairfect yarn

How does it work, then, this idea of easily producing two identical socks from one ball?  It sounds too good to be true!  According to the ball band, you use the yellow yarn as a guide and follow the instructions printed inside.  This does involve removing the ball band which I don’t usually tend to do as the ball will quickly unravel if the end is not secured, and once removed, I think the ball looks a little like a hot air balloon, or perhaps an old fashioned fishing float, but it’s not a big problem to tuck the end in safely.

regia pairfect yarn

 

Having made many pairs of socks, I’m about to do that “I don’t need to read the instructions” thing that my husband has often been guilty of, but on closer inspection, I’m glad that I did.

regia pairfect yarn

This is where the Pairfect yarn comes into it’s own.  First of all, it tells you exactly where to start your pair of socks – which is just as the yellow yarn ends – and it’s easy to see where that point is.

regia pairfect sock

Next, and most helpful of all, the ball band tells you how many stitches to cast on for the size of sock you want to make.  It’s never an exact science as the number can change from yarn to yarn even if it is the same weight, so it’s very useful to have this guide.   I’m making a size 6 pair of socks so will be casting on 64 stitches.  In my next post, I’ll show you how I get on!

Winwick Mum Sockalong Progress

Posted by Emma Eaves | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 22-06-2015

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About a month ago the Winwick Mum sock along began, I joined a week later and I am still going!! It has been a slow process, not because it is particularly difficult just life keeps getting in the way!

You can read about my preparation pre sockalong here. I had chosen to use a long circular, as advised by Christine I cast on and knitted a couple of rows on DPNs, then changed to a circular…it took me a while to figure out the magic loop, once you get the hang of it it is pretty easy, but a bit fiddly and you are only working on half of you stitches at a time so can’t get too much momentum going as you have to keep feeding the cable through. I used the metal novas and I must say I really like them, they are very smooth and the yarn just slides off.

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I decided to make my socks a little shorter in the leg (and I just wanted to get onto the heal!) the heal flap was very easy and knitted up pretty quick. Onto turning the heal, this is where I struggled and had to ask the Facebook group for help. I had picked up my stitches but then couldn’t figure out how to knit across the front of the foot as these stitches were in the centre of my cable!! Luckily several people were able to point me in the right direction and I was soon on way again. I did get a bit mixed up on the first couple of rounds as I put in too many markers! But I persevered and worked through the pattern and got back on track. I am currently finishing my foot and should hopefully soon be up to the toes and have a finished sock. I just need to make the second one so I have a pair.

sock_heels

I think for my second sock I will be trying a short circular instead to see if I prefer this, I am hoping my tension won’t differ too much.

I am not sure if I am a sock convert but I do love all the different sock yarns and we have just had a delivery of some gorgeous pink Botany Lace, so I may just knit some more in the future.

winwick mum sockalong

Winwick Mum Sockalong – Preparation

Posted by Emma Eaves | Posted in Staff Projects | Posted on 30-04-2015

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I’ve always fancied making socks but am put off having to make two!!

I almost participated in the Stylecraft CAL, however when I saw the finished design if I’m completely honest I didn’t love it…I am new to crochet and felt that I couldn’t perceivere with something which I didn’t absolutely love. So that was that. Then Winwick Mum announced her Sock Along…and I decided that would be a great project 🙂

The sock along is due to start on the 3rd May (unfortunately, well maybe not! I am off on holiday that day, so I am going to have to play catch up when I get home a week later).

So far we have had information on choosing your yarn, needles, the dreaded tension square, matching yarn and accessories.

I am lucky enough to be able to chat with Winwick Mum as she is very local to us and pops in to see us now and again. So I had a chat with her recently and she was telling me about how important it is to knit the tension square otherwise your socks might not fit…there is nothing worse than spending all that time and effort and it not fitting!

So I have chosen my yarn, I have gone for the Regia 4ply Color, I had a few shades but narrowed it done to the Pink and Orange shade (Papagei – 7203) – it will hopefully knit up with a nice fairisle effect. For the needles, on the advice of Winwick Mum I have gone for the KnitPro Nova fixed circular, these needles are metal and look like they will be very smooth to use.

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Lovely Shades of Regia 4ply

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Papagei Color – 7203

Next up is my tension square…I used Winwick Mums technique where you only do knit rows; first knit a row and then rather than turning your work, leave a long thread and go back to the beginning of the row and knit the row again.

tension1

tension3 I have decided that I am not going to match my yarn on this project, it looks rather complicated and I am not too fussed if the pattern does not match…maybe I’ll do that on my next pair.

I can’t wait to get started, check back in a few weeks to see how I am getting on.

Is anyone else joining in with the sockalong, we would love to see your progress.

Emma