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Blood Orange Sock Yarn

I take it all back. I adore it, I'm besotted with it, I can't stop looking at it.

Gratuitous close-up:

Vaguely exploitative closer-up:

Delicious melony goodness. Thank you all, lyrical commenters and insightful fiber-people you are, for pointing out that the colors were great as-is: when in doubt, I tend to fall back on a position that if it's not grey or black, it's "too bright". I love that the first impression when looking at the skein is of a vivid, lively color - but a closer look shows that that electric shade is actually made up of many others of subtler hue, blending and shifting. Greater than the sum of the parts, all that.

Fiber: Handpainted Merino Top from Mama-E's C*eye*ber Fiber Shop, in color "Blood Orange"
Weight: 95 grams
Yardage: 405 yards/370 meters (~ light fingering)
Other specs: Two-ply, singles spun from sections of varying thickness.

I used Koigu KPM as a standard - I love that a two-ply can be so round and soft and squishy. I decided that the singles are (relatively) softly spun, then plied tightly to get those wonderfully puffy individual plies in a stable yarn. My yarn is fell pretty far short of the mark - it isn't plied tightly enough, and it's lighter overall, and it's terribly inconsistent, of course - but I think I got closer to what I had in mind than I ever have before. I think I understand the process of making design choices about a yarn a little better, too, the way the whole twist/untwist thing happens during spinning and plying, and how to plan for it.

Anyways. This yarn calls for socks, of course - Aran socks, specifically. Something about the idea of heavy textures meant for a chilly island being reproduced in tropical colors, at a ridiculously fine gauge, makes me smile.

I'm patterning this like the "traditional" Aran sweater - mirrored front and back, central panel flanked by narrow cables. The side patterns - 6-stitch gull wing - will split at the gusset to form a new pattern down the sides of the foot. Cute, eh, if a little precious?

Now, then, I have this:

The top three lovely things are Merino Almost-Solids from Amy Boogie in Juniper Berry, Poppies, and Hyacinth, and the bottom braid is some gorgeous Merino from Hello Yarn in Blows Smoke. Tasty, tasty stuff, friends.

The Almost-Solids I'll spin up very simply like the Blood Orange, possibly for someday colorwork. The Blows Smoke, I'm thinking of spinning so a mostly-blue yarn will have occasional bright spots of electric green - nice for a scarf, maybe, or more socks (MORE SOCKS?!) The question is, which one should I sink my sticky mitts into first?


I loved the yarn when I saw it, but I love it more when I see what you are doing with it! You are such an inspiring knitter!!

I need to learn to spin. sigh.

I am enjoying the lilt in your 'voice' almost as much as looking at your beautiful yarn. I am glad you are enjoying spinning so much, and thanx again for sharing the process of your design.

It is so wonderful to see all the steps as I am a begging spindler.

My current interst is the Merino Silk at Crown Mountain Farms (Chasing Rainbows) handdyed top that is good enough to eat.

Eunny I saw that you had 90 GMS for 400 or so yards. was there any waste?

If I bought 90 Gms and spun it the same thickness would I get 400 yards or does one have to think there is wasted top and buy more

Ok, first I need to learn fair isle knitting and then next spinning!

Wonderful end result with the yarn...well done!

Beautiful job! I am very pleased to see how the fiber turns into a yarn and then into a sock.

The yarn is gorgeous, as I'm sure you've noticed. And the socks you're making are spectacular. I'd have trouble deciding between those rovings, they all look good. Maybe the blue-green (Blows Smoke?) for a change of pace... And no, you can never have too many pairs of hand-knit socks.

You made the right choice. It is delicious and it looks great knit up.

It's deliriously lovely, of course. To my (admittedly unschooled) eye, it looks darn near perfect. And I love how you're planning to knit it up, also. Can't wait to see the end product!

Now, I just need to figure out how to banish these thoughts of "Hmm, perhaps I should take up spinning too...."

Oh wow. Eunny, that's utterly and completely amazing!

It's all so beautiful!

It looks nicely balanced (and beautifully spun) to me. Remember that the grist of the ply is determined by the grist of the single: you just balance the ply as the single dictates. Your fibers in the singles of the finished yarn should be parallel to the length of the yarn. So if you think you didn't ply tightly enough for that koigu effect, it's the single that needs "fixing", not the plying. Overplying makes the knitting a bitch and the fabric biases. Just fyi, dude.

Beautiful yarn. I adore the colors. The sock looks like it will be really pretty, too... not that I'd expect any less from Eunny!

Btw, finally got around to purchasing the Deep V vest pattern. I skimmed through it, and it looks really informative and great. I was waiting around until I found a great yarn, and now that I have found yarn I hope will work, I can't wait to try this out! It will be my first steeking as well as my first colorwork. Do you think Lopi-Lite would work ok for the steeks? I've got quite a bit of that lying around without an intended project, and it seems pretty darn scratchy and felty. Or do I need to find something else?

Love the sock yarn -- I always did like the color, but it lookes even better now. And the socks you have started? Lovely!

I'm not normally a purple sort of person, but that violet/lilac roving is really cathing my eye. Love to see what you would make of it!

"I decided that the singles are (relatively) softly spun, then plied tightly..."

It's tricky to spin soft and ply tight and still make a balanced yarn. You have some leeway (up to 20 degrees), but it's easier said than done.

I think the type of wool has a huge influence on the round/squishy nature of the final product. My spun-hard and plied-hard Cormo yarn has unbelievable lightness, roundness, and sproing, but a Merino spun like that would be dense but drapey. Cormo's weird in that way (huge bloom after washing), but it's one of my favorite fibers for next-to-skin use.

Oh! I made a scarf last fall in a similar ombre. It's the perfect hues for those autumn days. Can't wait to see the finished product!

Hm, it's delightful. I spun silk today, and I admire this so fine yarns...

Your celebration of the "stuff-ness" of your fibers warms my heart. Thanks! I think I'll go ogle the roving on my desk....

You are just bound and determined to be good at all things yarn/fiber related, aren't you??!! Just keep up the fabulous work :)

Sink yourself into the purple of course. Push your eye for color a little more.

and maybe a little of the red and some of the blue.

I have a feeling your going to want to ply some of those together, so perhaps you should do a small handfull of each as a test run.

Yes, just the color of blood orange juice, and now you've made me thirsty.

I am thinking that next year's to-me-from-me-with-love Christmas present will have to be a spinning wheel. I sold my old one 15 years ago, when we moved.

I remember how the worst possible day would be redeemed by an hour spent at the wheel before going to bed.

The yarn you spun is really yummy looking. I can't wait to see the finished socks (or at least more of them).

Ooh, ooh! Spin the Hello Yarn in Blows Smoke first! I wanted to get some of that, but decided to go for a cheaper option. Maybe if I see it spun up I won't be able to resist buying some.

There's no turning back now.Start looking for places to store your next purchase: RAW UNWASHED FLEECE AND DYE!

I'm a little biased because orange is my favorite color but I love the yarn. It seems like all you needed was to spin your own sock yarn to rediscover you love of knitting them - yay!

Interesting how the finished yarn is so much more vivid than one might think from the unspun top. Can't wait to see how the Flame top comes out!

Love your new yarn!!! I wish I could spin as neatly as you do. Did you use a lazy kate to ply the singles?

If it's a hot day, go for the cool colours. If it's a cool day, go for the warm and brights.

Just step up to the pile, close your eyes, turn around once and put your hand down into it all. The first thing you grab is what you spin.

Your "gratuitous" and "vaguely exploitative" close-ups crack me up! And the Aran sock is so beautiful it nearly makes me cry. Thanks for the emotional roller coaster ride!

Love the yarn. You're spinning along beautifully!

Is this blood orange yarn edible? It looks like it should be....

Gorgeous yarn and beginnings of an Aran. I can't wait to see t he finished product.

I hate to say it, but, I told you :-) Lovely, lovely sock yarn. And the new fiber looks drool-worthy.

Oh, this is so beautiful, Eunny!

I'm usually an all-gray-and-tan kind of gal, but spinning really brings out my desire for color and play. Seems like that might be true for you, too!

I hope to meet you at the spinning group next week in Hyattsville.

Hey, what happened to the girl who said she didn't like knitting socks?? I thought you were my compatriot in holding out against all this sock knitting frenzy. Betrayed!

I really have to recommend the Spunky Eclectic Fiber of the Month Club -- everything I've received from her has been as beautiful as the fiber photo you posted. Plus, there is something wonderful and surprising about not knowing what you're going to take out of the box once a month.

The color is wonderful - like a hot Midwestern summer sunset!
(Waiting for patterns for that arrowhead sweater and the pink one you did awhile ago!)

If you are doing cables, you'll do better with a three ply yarn. It makes a rounder yarn and the cables with stand out better. I did the Traveller's Socks in Koigu and was not pleased with them. The 2 ply made a bumpy looking cable. The horizontal color of the yarn fought with the vertical cables. The old time Aran/gansey yarns were 5 ply.

I do like the colors. I'd overply the singles a bit more and maybe ply on a smaller whorl on my wheel.


I never thought I'd ever call a yarn juicy, but wow! Gorgeous stuff!

I say they are all gorgeous. Put them in a bag and then, close your eyes and pick one out!
Let it be a surprise and then decide what to do with it as you spin.

Mmm, lovely orange yarn. Isn't this FUN??

i've never thought i wanted to learn to spin, but i'm having second thoughts now.

That yarn is beautiful. And anytime you think your yarn is too bright, feel free to send it to me.

Those colors look delicious!

Just a question. About how long does it take to spin enough yarn for a pair of socks, if you are a regular-speed spinner? I have never spun, but I am seeing if I could (time-wise) possibly fit another hobby into my long list. thanks

Your newly spun orange yarn is fabulous! It's even more wonderful than I imagined from looking at your singles... not that I would know, since I'm not a spinner, but still. :-) And that little bit of orange Aran sock you have done is a delight.

I just love to drop by and see your creative thought processes in action! Spinning really does add a new dimension to designing, since you get to the root of how yarn "works"... now, orange is another matter. My least favorite color on the spectrum, but then this IS some fabulous yarn to handle, turn over and see all the variation.

Lovely, lovely, lovely! But then, orange is a favorite color of mine. And *that* is a really gorgeous orange. I'm glad you didn't ply it and calm it down.

Hello. What a site! Do you know how many times I have looked at this orange treasure?? and how many people I have directed to your site?? Am in the process of trying to duplicate the colours. Good Job! Love that Orange. Susan

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