Did you know that Tour de Fleece has started again on June 26th? “Tour de Fleece?” you might ask, “Don’t you mean Tour de France?” Well.. yes and no. Tour de Fleece is about spinning yarn, rather than riding bicycles, but it’s always organized on the same days. Both tours are 21 days long, and on the ‘mountain days’ of the Tour de France, yarn spinners joining in the Tour de Fleece choose more challenging spinning projects for those days.
It’s quite fun really, and even though I don’t officially participate, I’m always motivated to do some spinning again. The yellow yarn you see in the picture above is one of the skeins I spun during the Tour de Fleece of 2019 (how time flies!) and this year I was finally confident enough to knit some socks with it.
If you are curious where I got the spinning fibre from, it’s by Alterknit Universe. Find their spinning fibres here.
I’ve always wanted to knit some handspun socks, as Amy from the Stranded Podcast frequently says her handspun socks are her all time favourite ones. For handspun socks, you need to make a 3-ply yarn, preferably with some nylon content.
And even though this yellow blend had nylon in it, I was hesitant to use it for socks. It just felt like it would not make a nice fabric. As I cast on for the sock, it felt a little bit rigid and I was unsure if it was going to work. It didn’t feel very soft, and when I would put it down the sock would almost stand up by itself, haha.
But still, I continued knitting on the sock. I followed my own Simple Toe Up Socks pattern with a few modifications. If you’re curious: I cast on 16 sts in the round for the toe, increased to 48 sts, and then did a German Shortrow Heel. The yarn I spun is in between a sportweight and a DK weight yarn, and I used 2.5 mm needles. I did not have quite enough to finish the sock, so I knit the ribbing with Scheepjes Metropolis in a matching yellow, double stranded.
As soon as I finished the first sock, I put it on… and I instantly loved it! The ‘rigid’ fabric actually felt quite nice on my feet. Because I had knit at a tight gauge, the sock almost felt like a hug! I knit the second one in a flash, and now I had my first pair of handspun socks! I’m so happy with this pair, and I’m actually knitting a second handspun pair as I’m writing this blog. Ooh and, if you’d like to see a fun video I made of the process of knitting this first pair, click here.
Now I’m curious: if you spin yarn, have you ever considered knitting a pair of handspun socks? I don’t know if this is the case for anyone else, but I usually don’t spin yarn with a finished project in mind. I buy some roving with colours I like, and then see if I can spin it really finely, or if I need to spin it a bit thicker. For these socks I really had to plan. I need to buy roving that had some nylon content – even though I think 100% wool can also work – and I needed to spin very thin so I could have a 3-ply yarn that would still be close to a fingering weight.
But now that I’ve knit one pair, I can’t wait to knit more! I’ll update you on my next pair very soon 🙂
I’ve thought about spinning for socks, but it’s so warm where I live that sport to DK weight would rarely be worn. But last October, I fid the next best thing. I used some of my all-wool 2ply and knit Christmas stockings for my daughter and her fiance. I used several mosaic stitches from two of Barbara Walker’s books, and added some beading. It was fun!