Friday, October 21, 2016

Fresh Off The Needles: Vanilla Is The New Black

How excited am I to finally have a long-standing sock WIP off the needles? Ok, confession: I actually had these finished back in July but since it was summer time and hot, I really didn't feel like putting socks on. So since July this newly finished pair were sitting patiently on top of a pile of knits that need to be blocked (I'm slowly getting there). Now that the cold weather has arrived, it's time to put these bad boys to work!

There's not a ton of things to say about these socks since it is essentially a top-down plain vanilla sock. The only thing that makes this sock stand out from all the other plain vanilla socks is the heel, which is a Strong-style heel. What's that, you ask? The Strong Heel was originally designed by Gerdine Crawford-Strong and is a heel that you knit continuously with the rest of the sock. You are knitting the heel flap and gusset at the same time. Meaning you don't need to stop knitting in the round to create a heel flap, you don't need to pick up stitches, you don't need to switch to another skein of yarn or have to incorporate the other end of the skein; you can continue knitting with the same working yarn without creating any distortion in the yarn pattern at the ankle or heel. Cool, right?

The heel in the Vanilla is The New Black takes the concept of the Strong Heel and made it more structured, more fitted, and from what I've read online, not so "twisty" because the heel of the sock molds to the heel of your foot. I've never knit a Strong Heel myself so I can't give a proper opinion on the differences between the two heels but I can agree that the heel on the Vanilla is The New Black socks cups your heels perfectly. I have super narrow heels and find that some heel methods are too baggy and I find myself tugging at my socks because of this. So far I haven't experienced any issues with these socks. If anything, I find myself admiring my shapely heels whenever I'm sitting down!

As for the yarn, it's holding up really well. This is my first time knitting with Prairie Dye Studio and most definitely will not be the last! The base of the yarn is the Wild Rose Sock, which is your basic merino/nylon blend, but it is so soft that I kept thinking it was an MCN base. I want to get my hands on a skein of MCN just so that I can compare. But I promised myself that I will not buy any more yarn (unless it's to finish a project!) for the rest of the year. So maybe I'll make this happen next year. And by next year, I mean I'll be on the computer doing some online shopping the second the clock hits twelve o'clock on January 1st. Don't judge.

Overall, I highly recommend this pattern, especially if you like knitting plain vanilla socks but want to add a little spice from time to time. While this pair is knit cuff-down there is a sister pattern called Vanilla Reversed for the toe-up version. And if you act now, you can get either pattern (or any other of Anneh Fletcher's single patterns) for 25% off for the month of Socktober!! Check out the pattern pages for either sock for sale details and coupon code. Yay!! Now everyone can knit these socks!!

:: Sock Details ::
Pattern: Vanilla is the New Black by Anneh Fletcher

Yarn: Wild Rose Sock by Prairie Dye Studio
Colour: Prairie Sage
Needles: Hiya Hiya Sharps Fixed Circulars in 2.25mm (US 1)
Ravelry Link: MisoCraftyKnits Vanilla is the New Black

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