Today we are looking at one of our favourite sock yarns, John Arbon's Exmoor Sock. Why is it one of our favourites? Firstly, it's made up of fabulous fibres that are local to the lovely people at John Arbon. The Exmoor Blueface is a crossbreed of the Exmoor Horn (which produces a full-bodied and hard-wearing fibre) and the Bluefaced Leicester (renowned for its softness and lustre). To that, they have added Devon Zwartbles, a naturally dark brown/black fibre that gives it extra bounce and a subtle fleck of colour, plus Falklands Corriedale to enhance softness and stitch definition and a hint of nylon for durability. Gorgeous!
Secondly, there's the colour palette. The shades were all inspired by the changing seasons of the Exmoor landscape, the national park that John Arbon calls home. Exmoor Sock launched with an impressive selection of colourways right from the get-go, so imagine our elation when they told us that four new shades were being added for Spring!
new colours of exmoor sock in fairy thimble, fuzzpig, peggles and plashes.
Do you hear that? That's us jumping on board the Spring sock-knitting train, and seeing as Exmoor Sock comes in handy 50g skeins, we thought it was a great opportunity to check out some sock patterns that make the most of those stunning colourways. Ready to take a look?
Sweater Weather Sock Collection Cuff Down by Carlie Perrins
If you are new to sock knitting and the thought of combining more than one colour leaves you overwhelmed, check out the Sweater Weather Sock Collection by Carlie Perrins. It's a collection of three sock patterns of adventurous beginner level and all feature contrasting toes and heels. This is a great option if you struggle with second-sock syndrome too, knit one of each sock and embrace the mix-matched style!
When you are ready to move on from contrasting heels and toes but aren't quite ready to tackle stranded colourwork socks, then the Kigi socks from Yuka may interest you. The two-colour textured stitch on the leg uses just one colour at a time and complements the simple texture of the foot perfectly. We particularly love that extra flash of colour on the cuff!
Are you ready for some all-over colourwork sock action? If you are determinedly shaking your head, fear not, because we are still not in stranded colourwork sock territory. The Studzen Socks by Alena Malevitch are created using slipped stitches, so there are no colour changes during the round, you simply work in one colour, drop the yarn at the end and pick up the next colour. Slipped stitches also help create a very durable fabric, so ideal for sock knitting!
Now we arrive at stranded colourwork socks! The Mosaic Socks by Joona Höri are a work of art (just check out that heel detail!) and definitely work the extra effort that goes into colourwork socks. If stranded colourwork socks feel a bit daunting, just remember three things; always swatch to get the right gauge, make sure you keep your colourwork floats on the loose side to allow for some stretch and always choose a size that gives you 0 negative ease, or as close to that as you can. Stranded colourwork fabric has little to no stretch, so choosing a size with a good amount of negative ease as is typical with sock knitting won't work here. Don't be afraid, give it a try!
So what do you think of the new Exmoor Sock colours? Share your favourite in the comments below!
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