Tuesday, July 15, 2008

My ears perked right up

when I heard that Red Heart has released a new sock yarn.

For one thing, I was pleased that after all these years Red Heart is making a small turn toward using some natural fiber. I'm not an "opposed to acrylic on principal" sort of knitter, but for my own wear I usually find yarn with at least some wool content more comfortable. Especially for socks.

And for another, I'm always on the lookout for moderately priced sock yarn. I love, really love, the higher end brands. But sometimes what I need is a good sturdy workhorse.

This looks as though it might fit the bill (Heart & Sole from Red Heart). With 30% nylon it should be sturdy. It says to machine wash and dry flat, but I will try my regular routine of machine washing in cold and drying in the dryer on low.

So far, I've only swatched a bit. The ball band lists 9 sts/inch. I'm working at my normal 8 sts/inch and it seems just fine at that gauge. It has what I would call a moderate twist - I'm having no problems with splitting, and the stitch definition looks good. It's not merino soft, but to my hand it's not unpleasantly stiff or scratchy, either. The label says "with Aloe". To me, there's no sensation of it having been imbued with aloe or anything else, but then I have no idea what it might feel like without the aloe.

The colorway on the left is "Tequila Sunrise", a random stripe. The yarn comes in some more random stripes, several patterns that combine random stripes with random jacquard type patterning, and three solids. I like the look of most of the colors, at least on the computer screen. (The ones above are the only ones I have seen in real life, and they are pretty true to the computer color card as it shows on my monitor.) I would class most of the patterned colorways as "feminine", but the Toasted Almond looks like it might work for a guy.

Alas, the solids are limited to white, black and the dark navy on the right of the photo. These days I'm into combining variegated with solids, so I wish it offered more solid options. But for starters the color selection ain't bad. (Hint to Red Heart: please release some nice bright solids that will coordinate with the patterned yarns, and maybe a brown, grey, rust olive green...a little more choice for the more conservative men in our lives.)

All in all, this looks like a decent basic sock yarn at a reasonable price.

These two balls are destined to become part of a project that's keeping me pretty busy these days. Can't say too much about it, but it does involve quite a few socks.


smariek said...

I wonder if the "with aloe" is a marketing thing. (It brought to mind Purell hand sanitizer with aloe). I guess Red Heart is trying new things with the sock yarn, and I just noticed that they have a kitchen cotton yarn called Creme de la Creme which I think is supposed to compete with Sugar & Cream and Peaches & Creme.

YarnThrower said...

WOW -- Now I've seen it all! I have so much to look for the next time I go yarn shopping... I agree with you about the solid colors, though. Just to be able to see some pattern definition, black and dark blue would not be my first choices...

Your top secret project sounds interesting! I know that all will be revealed in due time :-) Of course, you know you're a tease, though, right? All good fun, though!