Well I haven’t done one of these for a while, it’s about time. I’ve been poking around Ravelry as you do and now I’m going to reveal my finds.
Like many of my round-ups, this one has been driven by the question “what the hell do I do with this spare yarn??”. Specifically crazy sock yarn. Crazy sock yarn is a very marketable product. You only need one skein to make something useful with it, therefore dyers can go absolutely nuts without fear of not selling it. There are two main types of crazy sock yarn:
Skein-dyed: Here the dyers have wound the yarn into a skein about a yard long, and dyed directly on to it. It looks terribly pretty in a skein as a result, and knits into a fabric with very short streaks of constantly changing colour. Like this example from the Yarnyard…
Self-striping: Yarn with much longer colour runs, giving you stripes as you knit, with none of the effort. So much fun! Recently I bought a great example from Easyknits.
So what can you do with this stuff that’s interesting? I have found several examples. They are roughly arranged in ascending order of complexity/mentalness. Let’s begin.
With short colour runs, the occasional slipped stitch produces a very small break in the colour. A single slipped stitch may not be noticeable, but a repeated pattern produces a magic-eye effect quite nicely!
Pair with a solid
Sometimes, when you have particularly crazy sock yarn, it needs a sensible straight man to play off. You can have a 50/50 split of crazy and sensible, like these socks here:
Or you can really punch up a basic colourwork pattern with no extra effort. Nice!
Use on biased lace patterns
By biased lace patterns, I mean ones where the pairs of yarnovers and decreases that form lace are distinctly far apart, causing the fabric to pull in different directions. Works particularly well with self-striping, like in this version of Cookie A’s well-known sock pattern, Monkey.
Show off odd construction
Getting a little crazier here…if you have a pattern with an unusual twist in the knitting, nothing will show it up like crazy sock yarn. Look at Skew. Q.E.D.
Ok this is like, ninja-level knitting. Do you have the patience to measure colour runs? Do you like maths? Are you possibly operating on a higher plane of conciousness? Then line up your crazy sock yarn and see what happens.
That’s right, this was done with just a regular commercial hank of sock yarn. And magic.