Review: Socks Yeah!, Coop Knits and KnitPro Zing DPNs!
Designer Alice Neal is a self-confessed yarnoholic, so we asked her to review Socks Yeah!, the fabulous yarn from Rachel Coopey, a copy of Coop Knits pattern book and some new KnitPro Zing DPNs…
The most beautiful parcel of delights landed on my stoop, filled with what was, essentially, a divine kit for the most luxurious socks in the world. Seriously. You’ll struggle to give them away. Your inner Selfish Knitter will want to just tuck them over there, under that pile of ‘normal’ socks, where no one else will spot them…
Pictured above are two 50g skeins of Socks Yeah! sock yarn: 75% super wash merino wool and 25% nylon, in shade 102 – Ammolite, requiring 2.25mm needles. Also the fantastic Coop Knits book of sock patterns by Rachel Coopey, each pattern more intricate and stunning than the last, and a pack of 5 KnitPro Zing double pointed needles size 2.25mm. I also used KnitPro Symfonie fixed circulars in 2.25mm.
I’ve made a few pairs of socks in my time, but they’re usually of a chunkier nature and simpler design – thus I cast on cheerfully, ready to rise to this new challenge. I chose the Pennycress pattern.
I was grateful for the 19 rows of K2 P2 rib to cut my teeth on – plenty of time to acquaint myself with the very fine and potentially fiddly dpns and the fine-spun yarn. On the subject of needles: I have many a knitting chum who will only use double pointed needles for socks, and others who swear by long circulars and the magic loop method.
Personally I found the dpns enormously helpful for the beginning rib but got on much more efficiently with the circulars for the lace pattern. The number of yarnovers, spaced over three needles, provided me with too much scope for losing one or two stitches on my way around.
The KnitPro Zing DPNs were just right for the rib: the points were sharp enough to knit each stitch without splitting, (which we all know can cause havoc in the ensuing stitch count) and they also provided the perfect combination of allowing the stitches to flow off the point as they were worked, whilst holding them on the waiting needles without any slipping, losing, and collapsing in a small pool of tears.
The patterns are clearly set out, with both charts and written instructions, and the process for turning the heel was comprehensive and straightforward to follow.
Now, perhaps saving the best till last, one of the most persuasive reasons I can think of for knitting socks is this yarn. Wrapped in its skein, its colour is undeniably beautiful but you could be forgiven for thinking “Yup, that’s a skein of sock yarn.” Do not be fooled! Knitted up into a sock, the result is a beautifully soft, deceptively robust and, frankly, bouncy fabric that feels (and looks) delightful on the foot.
I’m left with two dilemmas: 1) Do I really have to give them away, and 2) If I don’t, can I wear sandals all year round, so people can gaze in wonder?
Calling all sock knitters!
Take a look at Rachel Coopey’s Coop Knits and Coop Knits Volume 2 books, and then positively drool over the Socks Yeah! yarn…
Last updated: January 4th, 2017.