“ Brand: Violet Green / Type: Knitting yarn / Blend: 80% superwash merino, 20% nylon „
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 SuperSock Merino Sock Yarn was one of the first types available through the website, and is still going strong now which goes to prove its popularity. It has a standard composition for sock yarn and I thought that this would be a good way to test the waters; the first yarn I tried from Violet Green was indeed the Socrates SuperSock.
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 £9.99 - £10.99, and this gives 330 metres / 360 yards, which is just about the perfect amount for a pair of socks. 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. The first time I bought this yarn I chose the colourway 'Phoebe', which was a mix of black with neon green and neon pink - very funky! I bought some more a while after in the colourway "LHC" which was a vibrant royal blue with stripes of firey red and orange shades mixed in.
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 springy feel and the yarn is plush to the touch. It is recommended that you use with 2.5mm - 3mm size knitting needles, and work to a tension of approximately 28 stitches per inch using 3mm needles, 36 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 silky 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 well as to have it on my feet with the finished socks! 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 pair of socks from both of my skeins of this yarn, and they were completed over two years ago so have been getting plenty of wear since. They have both been thrown in the washing machine along with the rest of my coloured laundry. The yarn is machine washable at 30 degrees, or you can hand wash if you prefer. My socks have stayed in a reasonable condition considering the amount of use and wear they have had, although I did have a few minor problems with the first batch. The colours were initially very bright and vibrant, but after the first few washes they had faded considerably. The next batch that I tried had no problems in this area and the colour was fixed permanently - the wool looks as bright now as it did when I first unpacked it. There is a slight amount of fuzziness and pilling from where the socks rub on the inside of my shoes and boots, but they still look good and the colours have stayed nice and bright. This yarn is definitely suitable for making a cosy pair of handknit socks and keep my feet toasty warm!
I always keep my eye out for new colour ranges of this product, and I would definitely buy this sock yarn again. It has a lovely soft feel, and is easy care thanks to being machine washable. 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 never-ending 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.