Colour genius

I first came across Kaffe Fassett in a book of Rowan patterns (Vintage Knits) – to be honest, I didn’t think much of them – too many colours, very boxy patterns (to be fair, they were mostly men’s garments, which you expect to be a bit boxy).

Then I saw some of his quilts (I would buy all of his quilt books just to look at the gorgeous quilts, a riot of colour, which you wouldn’t think works, but which do). The man is a colour genius.

And so when I had the opportunity to buy some of his sock yarn for Regia (at the time not available in Australia, although it is now!), I leapt at it! I’d just realised how addictive it is to knit self-striping socks, and this particular colour, having the most red, called to me.

When it came the time to knit another pair of socks for husby, I gave him a few different yarn options to choose from. To my utter surprise (and let’s be honest, a little bit of dismay, as I’d picked this yarn for me!) he chose this one! Husby is quite the conservative dresser, so I never thought he’d go for this.

But of course he did, and I’m really very glad actually, it’s fab to see him wearing something a little different, even if it is just socks! (although Lyn I’m sorry to say I haven’t yet been able to convince him to wear them to work with his suit, although I do think that would look fabulous – very Paul Smith (well almost!))

Regia Design Line: Kaffe Fassett – Landscape Fire (col 4259) – 2 x 50g balls. Like all Regia yarns, this is not the softest yarn to work with, but it washes up beautifully, and I’m expecting it to wear really well. The colours are just amazing! I would never have thought to put them together the way they are (and I can assure you the camera just doesn’t capture the depth of colour – for example, that bright blue wide stripe is actually only half bright blue, the other half is ocean green!)
Sticks: 2.25mm KP Options 80cm circular (magic loop)

Pattern: My own, using a number of sources. Since I wanted to use as much of the yarn as I could, I decided on toe up socks. So Judy’s Magic Cast on was used (as always for me when it comes to toe-up socks). Husby has quite wide feet, and so with the smaller sticks, I increased to 76 stitches. I don’t like the fit of short row heels much, so I thought I’d try something new and do a gusset heel.

I used Wendy’s instructions, a free pattern from her site, and it worked really well. I had to fudge the numbers a bit, as her pattern had fewer stitches, but it worked out fine, and fits really well – I’m very happy with this gusset heel method (although it does take longer to knit than a short row heel – or at least it seems to! Next time I might try doing a slip stitch heel on the heel turn portion, to see if that makes a difference to wear.

Oh, and I did a sewn bind off for the cuff!

I didn’t bother to try matching the stripes on both socks, I knew I wouldn’t be able to get it just right, so I just went with the flow!

Time: Longer than I thought, actually, although I really did mainly use these socks as my go anywhere easy knitting, so I wasn’t knitting on them “full time” so to speak. I cast on the first sock on 1 February 2009 and finished the second on 7 May 2009.

What I learnt: Well, apart from the gusset heel, you’ll remember I learnt exactly how much knitting you can get done in a hospital emergency room on a Sunday afternoon! (Husby’s arm almost healed now…thanks for all your well-wishes at the time!)



Filed under socks, stashbuster

24 responses to “Colour genius

  1. i've said it before and I'll say it again, the day that man agreed to lend his colour skills to sock yarn was a wonderful day. They really are amazing aren't they. I can see the blue and green together. It's a lovely touch.You are clever using so many different elements together in one toe up sock pattern. Nice work! Sean loves wearing his handknit socks under his work pants but then I've not made him bright ones. The brightest he goes is the flecked olive coloured ones. I should try a brighter pair for him!

  2. Wonderful socks. I still want to see them with a suit! I have a great partiality for non-matching stripes, so I approve that you've just allowed the stripes to fall as they will. You've also prompted me to think about my 1980s reaction to Kaffe Fassett…hmmm…

  3. I think he does need to wear these with a suit! They are fabulous socks. I was very tempted to get me some Kaffe the other day at Cassidy's as I'm curious to see how they crochet up. I might just get some for mum though, as she's on a sock knitting binge at the moment (lucky meeeee!)

  4. Oh, so cute! Love 'em! I have to try toe up socks some day. I'm always too lazy to try (or in too big a rush to just get a pair on the needles so I can knit already!)

  5. Arm nearly better – fabulous socks on his feet – husby must be a happy man 🙂

  6. they look like a great fit, and that heel is very neat :)beautiful colours, aren't they? now you'll have to buy more so you can have matching pairs!

  7. Terrific socks! Look great on him… well, what we can see of him. 🙂

  8. I can just make out the greenness on my monitor. Very distinguished socks!

  9. Lin

    They are great. I have some that I won from Clarabelle and I lov ethe colours but I know that my husband does too. I am not sure if I can let him have them!

  10. I agree with all the others – get him wearing them with a suit! I've seen the yarn in stores and not been that excited by it, but seeing it knit up is great – you've totally inspired me to buy some of this! I also really want to learn how to turn a gusset heel on toe up socks, so thanks for the link!

  11. mem

    I've just about finished a pair of these – Kaffe's yarn in the green/blue/purple colours. I found the yarn about a week ago. They knit up a treat!

  12. Ann

    Lovely socks & the colors are gorgeous. Wendy's pattern for the gusset & heel is the best & I use the slip stitch heel all the time.

  13. I love self striping sock yarn. It fascinates me to watch each stripe appear. Those colors are perfect together although I wouldn't have thought so. I love it when my husband wears the socks I made for him to work.

  14. I love self striping sock yarn!! They're always so hard to find in Aussie!! Can you let me know where can I get them?

  15. Em

    Jim's afraid that handknit socks will be too nice to wear. I think I'm just going to have to make him a pair and convert him stealthily. Or just point out how many husbands out there are wearing wonderful handmade socks on a regular basis.

  16. Fee

    Lovely socks. I like the colors, too. And Fassett books? *giggle* I did it: I bought two of his books only to look the wonderful pictures, quilts and colors 😉

  17. Great socks – and they suit him down to the ground!

  18. it was the sight and touch of these magic socks that inspired me to get some of my own kaffe-yarn. self striping makes one feel so bloody clever, doesnt it? these are just gorgeous!

  19. kim

    Love.those.socks! The colors are amazing, and the tiny, perfect stitches…. Great!

  20. Greater love hath no knitter than to clothe the feet of her spouse in the Blessed Regia

  21. Even if you hadn't told me, I would have known who put those colours together! I am a KF fan though I probably wouldn't wear most of his stuff!Good job on the socks and now you'll have to stimulate the economy and buy some more yarn for yourself!! LOL

  22. Regia is fabulous sock yarn for durability so perfect for a man!! Love those colors. it's amazing what happens when you put colors together that you wouldn't normally think of as working together. I don't do it well but love it when the yarn companies do it!

  23. I think I need a pair to wear with my scrubs! Do they come in green tones? 😉

  24. Oh how lovely to see the finished socks. I feel extra pleased because I saw them in real life too. You knit so finely and so beautifully!!!

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