Oh, Hawthorne how I love you! Thick and rich, squishy and soft. I LOVE this yarn, available only (as far as I can tell) from Knickpicks online. The purple yarn in the photo is Hawthorne!
Oh how I love sock yarn from Fiber Seed! This was one of the first yarns I used to knit socks and, at the time, I didn't even realize how wonderful is was. Bouncy? YES! Slightly thicker than some more typical sock yarns? Oh, YES! Colors are great and always changing - this yarn is hand dyed. Expensive? Yes. SO worth it.
Having said that, I will say that I use a combination of hand dyed, more expensive yarn and some excellent so-call "commercial" yarns to knit socks. (I am looking at you, Opal, Regia and Hawthorne!)
Check out Fiber Seed...you can thank me later! ;)
New new silver stitch markers that will last forever? Click HERE to see!
I love Opal yarn to knit socks. For one thing, it is bouncy! It just feels puffy and wonderful to knit with. No problem with splitting the yarns as I knit. It is also a yarn that has been around a LONG time and knitters who use it will tell you that socks knit with this yarn will last awhile!
Also, the colors are wonderful. Any and all colors!
And price - very reasonably priced. I think I paid around $15.00 USD the last time I bought it but I think it's even cheaper on Etsy (if you are willing to wait for your yarn as it travels from Lithuanian, which I am sometimes will to do). AND that is for a ball that is easily big enough to knit a pair of socks in most any size with some leftover. Opal for the WIN!
My favorite yarns for knitting socks - turns out there are a LOT of great sock yarns out there and at lots of different prices. The prices matter to me because I tend to "collect" sock yarn and, at some point, I have to watch my yarn budget.
Here are a few general bits of info:
1. yarn for socks needs to be made for socks - so it will generally be thin yarn (small stitches make for sturdier socks)
2. sock yarn needs to have wool plus a little nylon for strength
3. very soft yarn (I'm looking at you, beautiful and cozy merino) tend not to last as long
4. mostly your feet don't care if yarn is slightly on the rough side or more soft. These days, I am all about the sturdier yarns. It takes a minute to knit a pair of socks so I want them to last awhile, yeah?
Hack? Be sure to knit yourself several pairs of socks so you can swith them up - that way, they all last longer!
Need stitch markers for all those lovely socks?
Go HERE to see my collection of handmade sterling silver markers!
One of the things we learned early in our trip was not to trust Google info about the hours any particular place was open or even whether it was open at all. This is especially true to restaurants but other shops as well.
Staffing shortages, illness (Covid, right?) and other factors contribute but, whatever the reason, we learned the hard way that, if you are counting on it, CALL before you go to make sure they are open.
Google, like many of us, is having trouble "keeping up" at this time. Just call.
And...for those hours in the car, bring a book or, better yet, don't forget your knitting!!! Need a new stitch marker or two "for the road"?? Go HERE to take a look at beautiful handmade sterling silver stitch markers!!
Food is an issue if a) you want to eat and b) you don't want to go inside to do so. Here are my top four tips:
1. Bring as much food with you as you reasonably can (and, yes, this means you will probably need an ice chest/cooler for milk, yogurt, whatever). I cannot over emphasize the wonderfulness (?) of having good food WITH YOU, in the car. Just do it.
2. Find grocery stores that will let you order online and pickup curbside - Safeway/Albertsons and Whole Foods are the ones we used but I think Kroger is with the program, too. Handy to stock up on such fragile things as bananas and, oh, all sorts of things you need
3. Find restaurants that will let you pick up curbside. Black Bear Diner was kind of our go-to when we were out west. Simple and fast and very decent food!
Warning, finding a place that will do curbside sounds easy but it is not. A couple of times we had to zip in to pick up pizza....it was too late, we were too hungry/cranky to mess around with trying to find curbsite. Nothing is perfect all the time.
4. I need to say again: bring food with you. Bring PLENTY of food with you. It will bring you peace and joy at the end of a long day of doing whatever you do on a roadtrip.
Always bring things to do on those long drives through west Texas....or eastern Montana. When I say "bring things" I always mean "bring your knitting with you"!!! And yes, you need plenty of stitch markers because might (surely you will) lose a few in the car as you go. Stitch markers?? Go here to see my oh so cool handmade sterling silver stitch markers for all your knitting needs!!
So let's just talk about this one right off the bat, shall we? During a pandemic you may not feel comfortable going inside a gas station (or anywhere else) to use the restroom. At the beginning of the trip I was determined not to go inside anywhere there were other people. Later, I relaxed a little bit and "cased the joint" before I determined whether I wanted to go inside. Mainly, If there were a significant number of people inside, I opted out.
All that to say you may find you need an alternative to going inside to use the bathroom. You're a guy? No problem, find the nearest tree, right? Girls have a bigger challenge but I am here to tell you that your good friend, Amazon, has your back! Search things like "female urinal" and you will find several to choose from.
Oh, yes and bring knitting or something else to do "on the road". Want to see sterling silver stitch markers?? Click HERE!
I am Laura Teague, a metal smith, knitter and sewist living and working in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and traveling the western US whenever I can!