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View Full Version : WIP: Fair Isle Made Easy socks


dancejunky
02-10-2013, 11:06 PM
These are going to be my first Fair Isle socks (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fair-isle-made-easy). The yarn is recycled thrift-store-sweater wool, half of it hand-dyed. The Fair Isle part is going to be on the cuff. My construction: 2AAT; toe up; ML; toe, sole, and heel reinforced with a strand of wooly nylon. I really like 'em so far. :knitting:

http://images4-b.ravelrycache.com/uploads/dancejunky/146944908/Feb_10__2013_8.49.55_PM_medium2.jpg

GrumpyGramma
02-10-2013, 11:38 PM
I think you should call yourself SOCKjunky! :wink: Those will be so cool. Please tell me about the wooly nylon, is it the serger thread? I have sock yarn waiting patiently, I really want to get another pair started but priorities say I must do something else.

Jan in CA
02-10-2013, 11:38 PM
Pretty! I like stripes!

dancejunky
02-11-2013, 04:04 AM
Sockjunky. LOL. I've never used wooly nylon on a serger, but yes, it comes on cones that would fit on a serger. It's super thin, so it doesn't affect your gauge, but it adds a lot of strength. After I did the toes with the wooly nylon, I wanted to reinforce just the soles but still keep knitting in the round. So I carry a strand of nylon across just the soles and simply snip it at the end of each row. When I'm all done with the socks, I'll turn them inside out and snip the nylon ends pretty close to the fabric. Since the nylon will be knitted all the way across the row, it should stay in place. The operative word being "should." So far, the reinforced parts of these socks feel very sturdy but still soft and flexible. I tend to knit my socks bullet-proof.

So what are you knitting instead of socks? BTW, I've already got my next pair of socks picked out: a pair of tabi socks out of silk. Silk is very strong, so I might not have to reinforce them. I have to read more about the properties of silk.

Antares
02-11-2013, 09:28 AM
These are going to be lovely. I really like the stripes, too!

Maybe your reinforcement ideas will help other knitters who make socks for people who wear them out in a matter of days.

GrumpyGramma
02-11-2013, 12:46 PM
I meant to get some wooly nylon at JoAnn then forgot to stop at JoAnn. Maybe Walmart has it. I'll have to check. They have some sewing stuff. I made a shawl and need to do another. I do have a sweater going too. I will start another pair of socks soon but I think I'll wait till I can call in reinforcement. Your yarn, is it all wool and no nylon?

dancejunky
02-12-2013, 03:22 AM
Perhaps. There are other ways of reinforcing socks, e.g., using linen st. for the soles, but I think the nylon thread is going to make more of a difference. I had a couple of pairs of handknit socks that lasted about 2 years, but considering how much work goes into them, I'd really like them to last much longer. Once I have a sock wardrobe in place (14 pairs), I'd like to knit only 2 or 3 new pairs a year, so I have lots of time to knit other things.

dancejunky
02-12-2013, 03:25 AM
Yes, my wool yarn is 100% wool. A wool/nylon blend in fingering weight would have been perfect, but I didn't have any. And I'm using stash yarn this year and (hopefully) buying little or no new yarn at all.

GrumpyGramma
02-12-2013, 03:32 AM
Stash Socks. You should copyright it! LOL

salmonmac
02-12-2013, 06:52 AM
You've given that thrift store sweater a happy second life. These socks are going to be lovely and strong. Thanks for the tip on the nylon thread. Looking forward to the finished pair!

nonny2t
02-12-2013, 08:43 AM
Looking good and great to reuse something. Thanks for info too!

dancejunky
02-13-2013, 03:51 AM
You're welcome, everybody. I can't take credit for the technique of reinforcing with nylon thread. I'm sure I read about it on Ravelry. I think it might have been Cat Bordhi who suggested I reinforce the sole by carrying short lengths of the thread across it.

Everybody's welcome to try it!

It occurs to me I should look for a cotton/spandex blend sweater at the thrift store and make summer socks with it.

GrumpyGramma
02-13-2013, 11:08 AM
I'm having trouble finding wooly nylon. It seems JoAnn doesn't carry it. Where'd you get yours?

Hmmm....the idea of a cotton sweater for socks, I like that.

dancejunky
02-14-2013, 01:36 PM
That's weird, because I got my wooly nylon at JoAnn's. Did you ask for it, and they said they didn't carry it? Were you looking in the yarn section or thread? It would be with the sewing threads. Maybe even with serger supplies. I checked the label on mine to see if perhaps it's called something else. Nope, the only difference I see is that it's actually spelled "woolly." Sorry, I don't know what else to recommend, except maybe online sources. JoAnn's has stuff online that they don't sell in their stores. And Amazon has plenty of sewing supplies, too.

Jan in CA
02-14-2013, 03:04 PM
This what you're looking for? There are lots of colors, too. I just ordered a spool of black and white. That should cover my sock and darning needs for the rest of my life. :lol:
http://www.amazon.com/Wooly-Nylon-Thread-1000m-Spools/dp/B0027DZ3N2

Type in wooly nylon in google, too. It's made for sergers so maybe that will help, too.

dancejunky
03-07-2013, 02:38 AM
Almost done, so I thought I'd post a new pic. Fair Isle doesn't stretch as much as stockinette, let alone ribbing, so I might have to keep the cuffs pretty short or they won't fit.

http://images4.ravelrycache.com/uploads/dancejunky/151657204/almost_done_medium

Jan in CA
03-07-2013, 02:42 AM
That's fair isle? Looks like stripes... I like them though!

Antares
03-07-2013, 09:17 AM
Very nice! I like the colors you've chosen!

GrumpyGramma
03-07-2013, 11:52 AM
Oh, I like them.

dancejunky
03-07-2013, 02:48 PM
The entire foot is striped. The Fair Isle part is only on the cuffs, which you can't see in this pic. I'll take a new one and post it in a minute.

P.S. Here's the Fair Isle part so far. At the bottom, you see the top of the heel section, and you can just make out the reinforcing woolly nylon thread (the thin orangey tan).

http://images4-b.ravelrycache.com/uploads/dancejunky/151739801/Fair_Isle_detail_medium

dancejunky
03-07-2013, 03:02 PM
Thanks, Antares. This is recycled thrift-store-sweater yarn that I dyed. The light color is the undyed yarn, and the dark is what I dyed. It's more subdued than I was going for, but I'm happy with it.

GrumpyGramma
03-07-2013, 03:02 PM
That's nice! You do such beautiful knitting and I love seeing it.

dancejunky
03-08-2013, 02:00 AM
That's nice! You do such beautiful knitting and I love seeing it.

Aww, thank you so much! :aww:

Jan in CA
03-08-2013, 03:10 AM
Now I see the fair isle! That's beautiful!

ArtLady1981
03-08-2013, 06:21 PM
Color me GREEN with envy! :mrgreen: Sock envy!

Way to go, dancejunky! Your work is impeccable! Very innovative, too!

dancejunky
03-08-2013, 06:24 PM
I've switched over to the Fair Isle technique you put me on to, and I'm loving it! I've never been a thrower, but it only took me a few minutes to get used to the 2-handed approach, and it's going pretty fast now. It might be my imagination, but it seems like the fabric has more stretch done this way than with floats. Maybe that's because the yarn winds around more than the floats, which are straight.

So now I'm wondering whether this method would make corrugated ribbing stretchier. I had sort of abandoned the idea of using it on the cuff edge, because it's not very stretchy. Guess I'll have to do a little cuff swatch and test it.

Jan in CA
03-08-2013, 07:01 PM
I've switched over to the Fair Isle technique you put me on to, and I'm loving it! I've never been a thrower, but it only took me a few minutes to get used to the 2-handed approach, and it's going pretty fast now. It might be my imagination, but it seems like the fabric has more stretch done this way than with floats. Maybe that's because the yarn winds around more than the floats, which are straight.

So now I'm wondering whether this method would make corrugated ribbing stretchier. I had sort of abandoned the idea of using it on the cuff edge, because it's not very stretchy. Guess I'll have to do a little cuff swatch and test it.

I haven't done corrugated ribbing, but it's worth a try. I find the two handed approach must faster and more even. I'm glad it's working out for you!

GrumpyGramma
03-08-2013, 08:17 PM
What's corrugated ribbing?

dancejunky
03-09-2013, 03:34 AM
What's corrugated ribbing?

The ribs alternate color. So for example, if you're using pink and gray, you might do K2 with pink, P2 with gray, and keep going like that. It creates vertical stripes with colors and has some texture, too. It looks very cool but doesn't stretch much.

dancejunky
03-13-2013, 04:18 PM
http://images4.ravelrycache.com/uploads/dancejunky/152863683/finished_medium

:woot:

GrumpyGramma
03-13-2013, 04:21 PM
Beautiful! Love 'em! Well done!

I'm looking at learning Fair Isle knitting right now.

AH1OZ
03-13-2013, 04:24 PM
Looking good!

Jan in CA
03-13-2013, 07:26 PM
They came out beautiful!

Nanaof6
03-14-2013, 12:33 AM
I've switched over to the Fair Isle technique you put me on to, and I'm loving it! I've never been a thrower, but it only took me a few minutes to get used to the 2-handed approach, and it's going pretty fast now. It might be my imagination, but it seems like the fabric has more stretch done this way than with floats. Maybe that's because the yarn winds around more than the floats, which are straight.

So now I'm wondering whether this method would make corrugated ribbing stretchier. I had sort of abandoned the idea of using it on the cuff edge, because it's not very stretchy. Guess I'll have to do a little cuff swatch and test it.

I love your socks , you do very nice work and I love the recycle idea. I read somewhere that in World War I & 2 the women would frog old sweaters that their families had out grown and use the yarn to knit new garments because yarn was expensive and had to get. My daughter gets old wool sweaters and felts them down and then makes slippers and handbags and what ever else she can think of from them.

I've always wanted to learn Fair Isle , what is the technique that you've learn?

dancejunky
03-14-2013, 02:30 AM
I've always wanted to learn Fair Isle , what is the technique that you've learn?

Thanks. It's the two-handed Fair Isle technique in this video (http://www.philosopherswool.com/Pages/Twohandedvideo.htm).