“ Brand: Violet Green / Type: Knitting Yarn / Blend: 100% superwash merino wool / Type: Sock yarn, with high twist for strength and durability „
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 Utopia High-Twist Merino Sock Yarn was added to the range some while ago and has now become a firm favourite of mine. I was curious to try it out as most sock yarns have a blended composition, with the fibre content usually being 75% wool with 25% nylon. The addition of nylon makes the wool more durable and hardwearing, as well as allowing it to be machine washable. However this Utopia sock yarn is made of 100% merino wool which is beautifully soft, and I wanted to see how it would work when made up into a pair of socks.
Product description... This 100% super wash merino sock yarn has been given a high twist for strength and durability, so no additional nylon is needed. The high twist also produces fantastic stitch definition.
This is available in 128g skeins which cost from £11.49 - £11.99, and this gives 345 metres / 380 yards, which is just about the perfect amount for a pair of socks.
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 chose the colourway "Lionheart", which is a rich Autumnal palette with a blend of colours ranging from deep burgundy to bitter chocolate and ochre gold.
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. Because it is spun to have a higher twist than usual it feels more dense than other sock yarns. The merino is spun more tightly and this will make it more durable. This also means that it will behave slightly different when it is knitted, as it will have more resiliency to it. 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. You should knit at a tighter than usual gauge for socks. Even though it is highly spun, this merino yarn is still beautifully soft and has a silky feel to it that is characteristic of merino wool.
I absolutely loved 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. I used this to make a pair of low ankle socks and I finished knitting them back in August 2009. I have been wearing these socks ever since and they have 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 very good condition considering the amount of use and wear they have had, and the yarn is still in lovely condition. There is a slight amount of fuzziness 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. I am very fond of the high twist merino yarn and I think I would say these are probably the plushest, cosiest hand knit socks that I have made so far. They have a snuggly cushy feeling underfoot 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, is hardwearing and 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.