As you can see, this set consists of two grey-violet tonals (on the far left here), a dark due and medium hue. The other 4 mini-skeins are spaced dyed with muliple colors at play — purples, blues, greens & yellows, and a kind of coral-y orange & yellow. Each mini-skein is 92 yards making the total set a whooping 552 yards. You might be thinking, “That’s a lot of yardage!” I’m thinking, “That makes for a lot of options!”
There are no shortage of mini-skein patterns out there for which this set would be perfect. After all, mini-skein sets have been popular for long enough that loads of people have developed patterns for them. This set being made from a Merino + Nylon 75/25 base making it a great fit for just about any project your heart desires. Personally, I had a vision early on that I simply had to pursue: stripey socks.
Now it’s true that when I was deciding what to do with these minis, I had just made a sock with the Storm’s End Self-Striping skein, but I had a vision for these. I saw this oe-Up Mini-Skein Striped Socks pattern on Ravelry — another free pattern, by the way — and I had to make a pair, but with my own twist, of course. I read through it and then opted to actually follow the Churchmouse Yarns & Teas Simple Toe-Up Socks pattern just because they are about the same and I knew the Churchmouse pattern was easy to follow and fit well for me.
I opted to work these socks 2-at-a-time because I wanted to really use up colors without worrying about running out for the second sock. Of course, 552 yards is a lot of yarn for a pair of socks for most people. If I had to do it over again, I would work them one at a time and I would carry the yarn up as I went to minimize the ends I had to weave in. As it was though, I was in a rush and working 2-at-a-time magic loop, pulling yarn from both ends of my mini center-pull balls. I made it this way through exactly one color change with 4 live ends. I won’t mince words, it was really not enjoyable. I just started cutting long ends to eventually weave in as I went and — sure, there were a lot of ends when I’d finished, but I got them all woven in during a movie one night. Worth it to spare myself all the winding around of everything I’d originally tried! And most importantly, it really allowed me to enjoy the knitting.
When I started knitting, I decided to designate all the purples as one half of the stripes — this included the two tonals and the purple space dyed skein. The other half of the stripes would be the coral-yellow, green-yellow, and blues space dyed skeins. The goal was to alternate into stripes and change the colors at varying intervals. I’ll try to walk you through with images here…
I started the toe with the dark tonal and worked with it until I finished all the toe increases. Then I added the green-yellow skein and started working in 4-row intervals. After 2 repeats with the dark tonal, I switch to the light tonal and continued on with the green-yellow skein.
Continuing to alternate between tonal and space dyed skeins, I went until I had 5 repeats of the green-yellow and I switch that out with the coral-orange-yellow skein.
And after 8 repeats of the medium tonal, I switched it out for the purple space dyed skein. And after 8 repeats with the coral-orange-yellow space dyed skein, I switch it with the blue space dyed skein and finished out the sock alternating that with the purple space dyed skein. It sounds complicated, but it really wasn’t. I was just kind of eyeballing it as I went and it was loads of fun.
When it was time to place the afterthought heel rip cord, I did just that. I worked an inch or so past it and then grabbed some DPNs and put in the afterthought heels right away. The plan was to use the dark tonal for the heels (so they’d match the toes) and then use whatever I had left for the ribbing, so getting those heels in was important.
They fit like a glove and while I could have made knee socks if I had really wanted to, I really kind of liked how they fit and looked when I made it to about 7.5 inches. I put a generous inch of ribbing on, half of which was that dark tonal and then finished them off withe Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off.
I adore the results. Plain and simple.
I like the matching toes and heels.
I love the slightly irregular cadence of the color changes.
I even think my jogless jog turned out pretty ok. This is amazing especially considering 1) that I kept forgetting to do it and 2) it can be tricky tensioning it right when you’re also changing yarns. Alas, I think they turned out lovely and I am just beyond tickled with the finished socks.
Now, as I said, these mini-skeins could be used for almost anything. They are super, super versatile. The set is available by pre-order through July 23rd via the Three Waters Farm Etsy shop. Three Waters Farm focuses on hand dyeing spinning fibers, so this is a pretty special event for them and a really awesome opportunity for fiber artists who would like to enjoy the TWF color touch, but don’t spin. The Mini-Skein set would be an excellent introduction — of that, I’m absolutely certain!