This post is part of the Tuff Socks Naturally project, an open, collaborative project exploring more sustainable alternatives to superwash and nylon in sock yarn. You can join in on the discussion, share pics and projects on this blog or the glorious Needle and Spindle or on instagram using the hashtag #tuffsocksnaturally.
Once upon a time there was some raw Suffolk fleece. And then, it was spun into a 3 ply yarn. And then, it met several eucalyptus dye baths… and then a nice gentle soaking rinse or three…
A series of small skeins arose.
They were weighed and wound into balls by hand and prepared for hand knitting. This picture captures the colours best, I think.
There was knitting on public transport.
there was knitting on the road to Warrnambool.
There was knitting on the way back.
And finally… on a day so overcast as to leach colour from the knitting:
There were socks long enough to go all the way to the top of a gumboot (wellington, galosh) on a chilly morning feeding donkeys. These socks are bound for a lovely friend who keeps a small farm with a lot of chickens and some rescue donkeys. She had some specific requirements! She wasn’t the least bit concerned about socks that would not be silky soft.
On top of the 3 ply, Suffolk yarn with high twist (and on the thick side for socks), I reinforced heels and toes with silk/cotton thread. I dyed some in eucalyptus but underestimated how much I was going to need. When I ran out while on the road (to dye camp!) I wasn’t prepared to stop.
I think the reality about these socks is that they have been knit at a dense gauge that will hopefully result in long wear even in a gumboot, but it is not very stretchy!