Way back in July, Natalie from Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber and I started talking about a custom colorway. I sent her a couple photos from hikes around the area that took place right around the time of the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival where the yarn & fiber would make its debut. While there are elements from all of the photos I sent her, I think this one is from which most of the inspiration came…
Horicon Marsh, just as summer has begun to wane and autumn is taking hold.
From this, came the fiber…
It’s an 85% Superwash Merino/15% Nylon blend.
And the yarn…
It’s a 80% Superwash Merino/20% Nylon blend.
Well, I’ve knit the yarn & spun the fiber, but for today I’ll be sharing the finished socks with you. The fiber, I’ll share soon, I promise.
I wound my yarn the day I got it at the WI Sheep & Wool Festival. Really, nothing could have delayed this a moment longer.
I cast-on a basic stockinette sock just to have something to show the next day at the festival…
I had never collaborated like this with a dyer, so I will admit I was a little nervous and I certainly wanted to do everything I could to help make it a success. I should have known better though — Natalie has magic in her dyeing because it all comes out gorgeous. I think she sold out, or very nearly sold out, of both fiber and yarn and I am not surprised — it’s beautiful!
In any case, I started these socks and kind of plugged away on them and then had a few other socks that came up and had to be knit for one reason or another. Then a couple weeks in, I looked at these beauties and decided that even though I really loved them in stockinette, I wanted to add a little texture. I ripped back and cast-on for Clare Devine’s Tarsi-Grande. And then they started to fly.
Really, any hand-painted yarn would be a good match for this pattern, but of course, I especially love the beautiful custom Quick’s Point colorway here. I love the just barely slate-y blue, the bright yellow & little pops of green, and the little glimmers of white mixed with a dabbling of brown. Just a perfect late summer/early autumn mix. And now, when the temps are below freezing almost constantly, they are especially warm on my toes.
I found Tarsi-Grande to be a very well-written pattern that I had no trouble following and — as I mentioned early — I enjoyed that the heel was just a bit different than that which I usually knit and that I could pretty easily work without a pattern most of the time. I think this pattern is a great option for anyone looking for something a little more involved than stockinette, but not still pretty straight-forward. It’s a lot like Hermione’s Everyday Socks in that regard. If you are looking to branch out a bit, Tarsi-Grande is part of the Sock Anatomy — a collection of 9patterns that highlight different heels & toes — from Clare Devine of Yarn & Pointy Sticks. The patterns all originated as socks for babies, but she has added in some adult versions, too, like Tarsi-Grande here. Her eBook is very informative and well done. And she’s a Socks with Sarah sponsor — so many reason to love Clare & her work!
As I place this latest pair of socks into my sock drawer, I can’t help but feel like they are my favorite socks yet. Of course, I realized earlier this week that every time I put a handknit pair on my toes I think to myself, “These are my favorite handknit socks. Oh, I just love these.” So, it’s most definitely true. These socks are my favorite socks yet, probably tied only with the other 20 or so pairs in my drawer. Although I do have to admit that the fact that these are a custom colorway based on my own photo is pretty amazing. I think these will hold an especially special place in my heart just for that.
For more information on these socks, please visit my Ravelry page here.