In Review: String Theory Colorworks’ *NEW* Infinity

There’s been a whole lot of String Theory Colorworks love on the blog lately and rightfully so — so many good things are happening in this awesome little shop! Aside from the always fab colors & bases like the pair I shared last week and the wonderful sock club that I also wrote about last week, they’ve been adding some new bases to their regular line-up. I don’t know about you, but I love to try out new bases so when Caitlin asked if I’d like to audition one of her newbies for a review my response was pretty much, “OMG YES!!!” followed by a whole lot of jumping and dancing around. In the email reply, I tried to keep my cool, but agreed with lots of enthusiasm.

Since I told her just surprise me with whatever she’d like me to try out, when I got my skein of Infinity in Stellar Nursery I was totally jazzed.

IMG_0548The lovely new Infinity base is 80% SW merino/10% cashmere/10% nylon and I’m ecstatic to share that it’s a total dream. It’s everything you’d expect an merino/cashmere/nylon — or MCN — yarn to be — the very best combination of soft and strong. It’s a heavy fingering weight that is put-up in skeins of 383yards which is more than enough for a pair of socks for my size 9 foot. In the end, I had about 20% of the skein leftover even with a generous 8″ leg & cuff.

foot bodyThe colors are the same gorgeous vibrant beauties that I’ve come to know and love from String Theory Colorworks. While this colorway, Stellar Nursery, isn’t something I’d have chosen on my own I absolutely adore it. That’s why I so enjoy surprise yarn — I always discover a new love!

I had thought of trying a couple different stripe-friendly patterns, but I decided I really just wanted to enjoy this yarn without having to worry about a new pattern, so I just went with the basic AfterThought Heel Socks by Laura Linneman that I’ve used often and pretty much know by heart.

After my hilarious failure at mismatched stripes on my last pair, I decided to make this pair opposites. One start and ends with a grey stripe and one starts and ends with an orange stripe.

toes

And for the heels…heelsI made those opposites, too. Just because.

wholeAll in all, I have nothing but fantastic things to say about these socks. From the luxurious base to the super fun colorway, you can’t go wrong with String Theory Colorworks’ new Infinity base. I know my toes are thanking me for these socks — yours will, too!

Talk Nerdy to Me

I hinted earlier this week that I had some more to share about my love affair with String Theory Colorworks and today is the day! Or at least one of them. In any case, let’s travel back in time to last December. String Theory Colorworks announced their 2015 Sock Club and I was sorely tempted. It’s the kind of club where you get to select your base and in winter I absolutely adore knitting up socks in their Orbit base. As I’ve said before and I’ll say again, it’s one of my all-time favorite bases. An 80/20 SW merino/nylon sport weight and always in fun, vibrant self-striping colors. These socks are the ultimate in instant sock gratification and they are wonderfully warm to wear in our cool house. Alas, with other expenses around the holidays and attempting to curb my yarn intake, I passed on membership to the club.

¬†Fast forward to this spring. With only one skein of Orbit left in my stash, when the opportunity to join the second half of the sock club presented itself in June, I went for it. I knew I’d love it, but I could never have anticipated exactly how much I’d love what arrived in my mailbox.

capacitorMy first installment included a super cute project bag and the Capacitor colorway in my selected yarn weight with a coordinated mini-skein for the heels and toes. That wasn’t all though. It also came with this super cool page-long story behind the colorway. You see, the brains behind String Theory Colorworks are Caitlin, who studied biology, and her husband, who is an electrical engineer. Being scientists by training, they thought it was only right that their yarns reflect their own science backgrounds. For this month’s installment, not only does the info sheet talk about what a capacitor is and how it’s made, it talks about how they arrived at the colorway by combining two scientifically related items for which they already have colorways. It totally speaks to the science nerd in me; the girl who loved building circuits in physics class, who loves to understand how things both great and small work, and who routinely watches science documentaries over the latest rom-com.

The absolute best part of this set, however, is the coordinating stitch marker. Did I mention each skein of String Theory Colorworks yarn comes with a coordinated stitch meatier? Well, Capacitor came with this one…

capacitor 2It’s a teeny-tiny capacitor!

Nerd. Mind. Blown.

The only thought I had when I opened this up was that I was a fool for not subscribing earlier. I emailed Caitlin just to convey the “WOW” factor I experienced and mentioned that I should have joined right away. She just happened to have extras of each colorway in my base from the first half of the club and asked if I’d be interested.

IMG_0566Suffice to say, I added them to my to-knit pile along with a skein of Mercury, a colorway that includes red stripes, for my son loves red and adores the Mars Orbit socks I knit for him this spring. And Caitlin included a copy of the print-out for each installment. I can knit and learn new tidbits about science? Now you’re speaking my language.

Thankfully, we can all rest easy now. I am assured that this winter our toes will be warm, the science-nerd in me will be inspired, and we will have some amazingly bright and fun socks to wear. Just talk nerdy to me & let me knit socks and I am one super happy lady.

Accidental Twins

So I decided to do this thing where I’m trying to knit up the yarn I wound for our vacation in… um… April. Don’t judge, it could be worse. Probably. Anyhoo, first on the list was my String Theory Colorworks Inertia socks in Oeneology. Inertia is a great base — an 80/20 SW merino/nylon base, it knits up really nicely and withstands the wear of use very well. I got the Oeneology (‘oeneology’ is the study of wine & winemaking, in case you were wondering) colorway a while back. A year ago? Maybe more. In any case, it’s one of those skeins I was saving because it was so pretty, but was completely inspired to treat myself to in April. Well, August rolled around and I needed a good basic knit so I finally went for it.

IMG_0325I’m pretty sure you know where this one is going — the love for these was instant and intense. And that really makes sense because my love for String Theory Colorworks yarn always is.

Because I just did a plain vanilla socks with an afterthought heel, these were my take everywhere socks.

IMG_0386And I really did take them everywhere with me for a stitch here and a stitch there. I did take a short break between the first and second sock to finish up my SpringTastic Socks, but once I got back at these, I finished sock number 2 in near record time.

IMG_0558My intention for these socks was that they just be fun. I loved the colorway and I just didn’t want to think twice about stripes or matching or anything.

topsAnd of course, because I wasn’t trying at all, the stripes lined up perfectly with zero effort from me.

toesBecause the main body of the socks matched, I did go ahead and match the heels because that really took very little effort and at that point — you know — why not?

heelsI did one little thing differently on these than on previous socks — when it came time to do the afterthought heels, I went ahead and pulled from the opposite end of the center-pull ball. Hence, the stripes on the heels go the opposite direction. I have to admit, I kind of like that and will most likely do it this way with future socks.

full sockSuffice to say, I love these socks. A lot. They are really gorgeous. I tip my hat to Caitlin at String Theory Colorworks because she really outdid herself with this colorway. In any case, I’m really happy to have finally gotten to this skein because it’s even prettier than I expected. I’m also oddly satisfied with the fact that these came out matching, even if they are only accidental twins, but that’s another story. Now only two wound skeins remain from my over-ambitious April vacation preparations. Unfortunately, they’re going to have to wait just a little bit longer… I’m on a little String Theory Colorworks kick at the moment and I have some more fun things to share soon!

Matching Stripes + Strontium-90 Socks

I have to say that as the Socks with Sarah official KAL timeline winds down (official end date is January 14th at which point it will go from ‘KAL’ to ‘open knitting group’), I have received so many wonderful notes from fellow knitters who took this little journey with me. I will admit that I never quite know what to say when I hear ‘thank yous’ for this — after all, each of your needles are those that have created these wonderful drawers full of socks. My organization, inspiration, and motivation is so intertwined with the other knitters in the group that it really never crosses my mind that I deserve any credit whatsoever. For this reason, all your kind words really touch my heart in a special way and all I can say in return in ‘thank you.’

My pinched nerve issue yesterday has set me a bit behind in my end-of-the-year giveaway announcement, but rest assured that is coming. In the mean time, I thought I’d share a quick finished pair of socks. I have made a point of not mentioning ‘my number’ throughout the year because for me this KAL was not about cranking out as many socks as I could. It was just about getting back in that routine of including a little sock knitting every day in my life. Some pairs definitely flew, some dragged, and some were somewhere in between. This pair — #24 for those who are counting — was actually leap-frogged by #25, but thanks to their sport weighted-ness they were finished up within a couple days of wrapping up that sneaky #25.

Today I’m sharing with you another pair knit in String Theory ColorworksOrbit base. I will admit that I love telling you how much I adore the Orbit base. It is fun, wears very nicely, and knits-up quickly. If I hadn’t been in desperate need of a new swift, I would have absolutely signed up for the String Theory Colorworks Sock Club in Orbit. Unfortunately, the yarn constantly tumbling off my $1 swift could not outweigh the dreamy idea of receiving Orbit on a regular basis. Sad, but true. If I had to rate them, Orbit is one of those sock yarn bases that would probably make my top 5. I’ve tried a lot of yarns for socks over the years, so that is really saying something!

In any case, I had stocked up on Orbit using the discount code String Theory Colorworks so very generously offered Knitting Sarah readers back in September. I thought I’d be stocked for a good long time, but I’m horrified to report that I have but one skein left. I’m trying really hard not to panic.

This yarn, the Strontium-90 colorway, was originally purchased with my daughter in mind. After a cold snap in November, however, I am only mildly ashamed to say that I decided to knit them up for myself instead. I couldn’t resist.

strontium toesThe colors are absolutely electric — neon & fan-freaking-tabulous.

strontium heelsI also tried something a bit different with these heels — joining the afterthought heel with the color in which the rip-cord for the heel was placed. I think they turned out so much better than my past attempts. I will definitely be going this route from now on.

strontium whole sockNow I’ve been asked a few times lately how I get the stripes to match up on both socks. I am the first to admit I’m not always perfect and there is probably a much easier and/or more efficient way to do this, but here’s how I’ve been doing it.

1. Starting at the beginning of your skein, find the first color change — cut the yarn here. This guarantees I am starting with the full length of the stripe. Set aside scrap for whatever purpose you desire.

2. I cast-on using the Old Norwegian cast-on which is a cast-on that leaves a tail (like long-tail cast-on). DO NOT cut the tail.

3. Knit sock #1 per instructions.

4. When it comes time to cast-on sock #2, find the next full color change that matches where you started sock #1. Basically you will repeat step 1 here, but you are mid-skein instead of at the beginning of the skein.

5. Cast-on making sure the long-tails left for sock #1 & sock #2 are close (within an inch or two). This may take a couple attempts, but it is well worth the time.

6. Knit sock #2 per instructions.

Voila! Your socks should be identical! Obviously this will not take into account if you gauge varies between socks or if you measure the socks differently, but as long as you keep an eye on those basics and compare the two socks as you go it should work just fine.

Needless to say, these socks are an insanely fun addition to my sock drawer. I’m thinking if anything can fight off the February Blahs, it’ll be these neon stripes. Just don’t tell my daughter they were originally intended for her… I think she’d be pretty jealous & I might be in a heap of trouble!