Do you remember trying to mix paint colours as a child? And how easy it was to produce mud-like colours? A few weeks ago I started knitting a pair of socks using Noro Kureyon sock yarn (blogged about in “A Tale of Two Yarns“), which I bought because I loved the purples and greens. A single ball of this yarn usually contains three repeats of the colour sequence; fortunately I have feet small enough that one repeat will make a single sock.
I wound the yarn into balls of one colour repeat. I decided to knit a pair of socks working alternatively from each end of the ball in narrow stripes, that is, one set of stripes is worked with the beginning of the ball (deep blue) and the other with the end (grey). I chose to knit a toe-up sock with a short-row toe and heal. Things started very well; the toe was easy to work, the colours in the foot looked lovely, the heal was simply a repeat of the toe. Then a few rounds into the ankle the problem started.
The colours from each end of the ball started to merge. So much, that when knitting in artificial light (there’s no choice in winter) I could not distinguish them, hence the title of the post – muddy socks! You may think the photo above is a poor exposure, but it does illustrate the problem. The colours in the foot have a tonal high contrast, and the upper part of the ankle have a good contrast in hue, so the stripes are distinct. However, there is little contrast between the colours in lower part of the ankle, either with respect to hue or tone, so the stripes merge. So much so, that some of the two round stripes had more than two rounds because I could not distinguish the colours! So, should I knit a second identical sock or should I try something different? I decided to divide the yarn into two small balls, so that I could knit two row stripes, but with one set of stripes is worked with the beginning of the first ball (deep blue) and the other with the beginning of the second (deep green).
This meant that one set of stripes has exactly the same colour sequence in both socks, and the other set is reversed.
And of course a similar problem occurred on the lower part of the ankle, but not to the same extent.
So, now I have an intriguing pair of socks. They don’t match, but clearly they are related; maybe non-identical twins? I could knit a third sock to match one of these, but I think I’m going to stick with my interesting socks.