St Elias + Petty Harbour

 I suppose it makes sense after pouring myself into my sock drawer last year, but socks are going a little slowly for me in 2015. I view it as the natural ebb and flow of my craft. I just can’t stick with one thing for too, too long. I was given a beautiful skein of Pagewood Farm St Elias in the Maple colorway for my Christmas/birthday from a dear friend though and as we all know, nothing motivates us quite so skillfully than a particularly lovely skein of yarn.

Originally I started out with a somewhat complex pattern out of a book that was given to me with the yarn, but after a couple weeks I noticed I was going no where fast. Life was been busy at the time and it just wasn’t prime time for cables and charts. I ripped the sock out, rifled through Ravelry, and landed on Petty Harbour. Very similar to the crowd-pleasing Hermione’s Everyday Socks, Petty Harbour is easy to memorize and one of those patterns that just kind of rolls off the needles effortlessly.

Pretty much as soon as I was out of the ribbing, I knew this was going to be a good match — both yarn & pattern and pattern & my state of mind. I used my Knitters’ Pride Nova Platina DPNs, too, which were a great fit for this yarn. I really like these needles for general use — the tips are sharp enough to maneuver both simple and more complex patterns, but not so sharp they split the yarn. Plus their chrome finish makes them nice and smooth. It always amazes me how sometimes in addition to just getting the right pattern, simple things like the right yarn & needle combination can make a project a real treat.

Now I have to share that I’ve had to do a bit of hunting to find this yarn available online. I believe my skein was purchased locally and ImagiKnit is the only place I’ve been able to find it in stock online. I’m not personally familiar with this shop nor do I know for sure why this yarn is so hard to find, but I do think it’s one darn nice sock yarn. 80% BFL & 20% nylon put up in hefty 450yard skeins, this yarn has that signature BFL crispness to it. You know what I’m talking about — it just feels like it’ll wear like steel. Perhaps my favorite part of it though is that when knit up it into my Petty Harbour socks, it feels incredibly squishy. I’ve never had yarn with that much crispness knit up with quite so much squish — these are all technical terms, of course. In any case, if you spot a skein out there, I encourage you to pick it up just in case it isn’t available in the future. It’s well worth it.

I got as far as finishing the toe on the second sock on Sunday night…

And I saved weaving in the ends for the morning because… well, why not? And yesterday I took proper pictures.

toesObviously, my friend knows my color tastes very well. Maple is an expert blend of rich blues and chocolate & rusty browns.

heelsI have to admit that when it comes to sock photography, I love this one — the picture in which you see the yarn in stockinette and in the stitch pattern. I think it really helps as a knitter to start to visualize how stitch patterns blend and change the appearance of variegated & hand-painted yarns.

cuff detAs you can see, the stitch pattern is really more textural which is perfect for this type of yarn.

whole sock2I followed the pattern almost exactly and found it to be extremely well-written. It’s nice and simple for novice sock knitters who might want to work on more than a vanilla sock and for the more experienced sock knitter, it’s easy to memorize — a nice simple, but not boring pattern. My adjustments were that I used the Old Norwegian cast-on (my go-to cast-on for top-down socks) and I didn’t bother counting my leg repeats. You can see they are pretty long as they extend off my blockers — I just measured out a very generous 8inches since I had a lot of yardage.

All in all, one excellent pair of socks that — thanks to that squishy, squishy yarn & textured pattern feels great on the ‘ol feet. I think it’s safe to say my sock knitting may be back on track thanks to these beauties. I can’t wait to see what comes next!