“ Brand: Violet Green / Type: Knitting yarn / Blend: 80% superwash merino, 20% nylon, 4ply sock yarn „
One of my main hobbies and interests is knitting. I am a keen knitter and I particularly enjoy making socks. These are a good item to make as you can get lots of wear from them, and it is easy to carry a small ball of sock yarn around with you and knit on the go. I came across Violet Green when I was searching for independent yarn suppliers based in the UK. Among other things, Violet Green sells a range of hand dyed yarns in various different weights. I was drawn in immediately by the range of colours and how vibrant they were even just looking at it on my computer monitor. I have tried several of these yarns and I will definitely keep going back for more!
The Socrates Solemate Merino Sock Yarn was one of the more common types available and has proved to be very popular, although it is no longer available to purchase as the base yarns have been updated and there are now new ranges in stock. It has a standard composition for sock yarn and I was keen to try other products from Violet Green as I absolutely love the other yarns that I've worked with previously.
Product description... 80% superwash merino, 20% nylon for sock strength, though this yarn is very soft and great for any garments. Gentle wash at 30 degrees. Hand-Dyed by Violet Green.
This is available in 100g skeins which cost from £8.99 - £10.00, and this gives 400 metres / 437 yards. This is a very generous amount and is more than enpugh to make a pair of socks, or even a scarf or shawl from just the one ball. Merino wool is beautifully soft and the addition of nylon makes the wool more durable and hardwearing, as well as allowing it to be machine washable.
There are usually several different colourways available to buy at any one time, but as each skein is hand dyed in batches there will only be a limited number available. Violet Green is constantly creating new colour combinations and the shop is re-stocked frequently so there is plenty to choose from. You just have to be quick to buy, as if you wait too long it may be gone forever. Now if I see a colourway and love it then I will snap it up rather than risk losing out as I have done in the past. When I received my wool through the post, it was still in a skein and I had to wind it into a ball to allow me to be able to knit from it. Having it displayed in a skein allows you to see the full colour variance and gives you a good idea of how the colouring will turn out as you are knitting it up. I have bought his yarn in a few different colourways and they are all very different. The first one that I tried was "Equinox", which was a dramatic range of tones including vibrant turquoise, inky violet and deep black. The next colourway I bough as called "Sleeping Beauty", and was a lot softer with subtly toned shades of pink, peach and lilac hues. I still have one final skein that I haven't used yet, in the colourway "Plum" which is a semi-solid plum colour and is awaiting use for a special project.
As I was winding my yarn into a ball, it gave me an opportunity to really get a feel for the yarn and its texture. It has a soft feel and the yarn is plush to the touch. I could tell that the wool has been spun evenly and it had a nice tension to it that makes for neat, even stitches when knitting. It is recommended that you use with 2.25mm - 2.5mm size knitting needles, and work to a tension of approximately 32 stitches per inch using 2.25mm needles, or 28 stitches per inch using 2.5mm needles to get the best results. This is a very standard sock yarn in regard to its properties and uses, although it could have many different uses other than socks. I feel that the colours are a bit too wacky for making clothing from, but a flash of brightly coloured socks keeps my feet happy! You could also use this yarn for making scarves, shawls, hats, gloves or clothing if you are more fond of wearing bold colours than I am!
I did enjoy working with this sock yarn as it was a pleasure to knit with. The smooth feeling of the yarn slipping through my fingers as I formed the stitches has a calming tactile sensation and it was as much of a treat to knit this yarn as it is to wear my finished items. The yarn formed very even, neat looking stitches and I managed to get a uniform tension with little effort. It was really fun seeing how the colours developed and established some their own undulating pattern as I was knitting along. I made a pretty scalloped lace pattern scarf with my first ball of this yarn and it really showed off the colour variations to full effect. I made a pair of socks with my second ball, and although they looked great to begin with they have not fared so well over the time that I've been using them. The yarn is machine washable at 30 degrees, or you can hand wash if you prefer. Even so, I have noticed that over time my socks have started to shrink somewhat in the wash as the stitches pull together. The knitted fabric has also worn in places due to heavy usage when I am wearing them with boots and walking around a lot during the days. My scarf is still in fabulous condition and looks as good as it did when I first finished it, so I think that this yarn is best suited to occasional wear garments that will not receive heavy use to help keep it in its best condition and avoid wear and tear.
I always keep my eye out for new colour ranges of this product, and I would definitely buy sock yarn from Violet Green again. Socrates Solemate has a lovely soft feel, and is a dream to knit with as it has a fine stitch definition that really shows off your knitting skills. The colours are to die (dye lol!) for, and as they are hand dyed you will end up with an original creation which is perfectly unique! I would highly recommend this yarn to other sock knitters, just don't buy it all make sure you leave some for me! An addictive sock yarn that is a pleasure to work with and has a huge range of amazing colours.
For more information and to browse the pretty yarns go to www.violetgreen.co.uk - this place is a real temptation for me and I am a loyal customer thanks to the beauty of these products. You can also sign up to the Violet Green news letter for updates on new stock and promotional offers.