Rib Fantastic Socks….Pair # 21 and a Mini Book Review

A while ago I knitted a pair of socks in some lovely yarn and used a gorgeous pattern too. One thing I learned from those socks is I have to control my urge to try and knit socks with an intricate pattern using the wrong handpainted yarn. I’m talking about my Murgrona Socks that I made using Dornröschens Sockenwolle made by Dornroschen-Wolle. As soon as I looked at the photographs of these socks I felt the pattern and yarn did not complement each other. The lovely pattern is ‘lost’ amongst all the colours of the yarn.

Murgrona Socks 1

A lovely knitter left a comment on my blog post suggesting I read Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn by Carol J. Sulcoski. I immediately jumped onto The Book Depository website and purchased this wonderful book.

Knitting Handpainted Yarn lge

Handpainted knitting yarns are gorgeous, and can be a lot of fun to work with. But there always seems to be a bit of danger working with them, particularly when it comes to the fear of colour pooling, those strange zigzags, runs and sort of stripes that sometimes happen when working with multicoloured yarn.

Knitting Socks with Handpainted Yarn begins with a discussion of various methods for hand dyeing yarns, the fibres that are used (most commonly wool) and the broad categories of colours you might find in handpainted yarns. Sulcoski classifies them as mostly solid, muted multis and wild multis, and explains that the more solid and muted colours are best for complex and textured patterns, while the wild colours (and those that have a big range of dark and light values within the skein) are better for simpler projects.

That doesn’t mean you have to use stockinette stitch on every sock worked in bright colours, just that you need to tone down the details a bit when the yarn is attracting a lot of attention to itself.

She spends a good deal of time explaining what colour pooling is, why it might be happening in your work and various things you might do to deal with it.

The book offers 21 patterns and each one indicates which general categories of yarn it works best with, taking some of the guesswork out of pairing up a great looking sock yarn with an effective pattern.

The patterns are mostly sized for women and are ideal for people with a few more basic sock patterns under their belts, because these patterns all use some kind of interesting textured stitch or cable pattern, unusual construction techniques or require other skills to keep you on your toes.

I used the pattern Rib Fantastic, a sock using the stitch pattern of the same name that combines zigzag eyelets and stockinette stitch. However, I’m still not happy with the results as I still feel the short colour repeats of the yarn have overwhelmed the gorgeous pattern.

Rib Fantastic 01

Here’s a photo of my Murgrona socks (left) besides the Rib Fantastic socks (right).

Murgrona v Rib Fantastic-tile

In hindsight I think I should have used just plain stockinette stitch. Would be interested to know what other sock knitters think. Here’s some more photos of the Rib Fantastic socks. This one shows the zigzag detail of the pattern.

Rib Fantastic 2


as does this one…

Rib Fantastic 04

Here’s a pic of the yarn which shows you how different a finished item can be compared to what you see in the skein.

Dornroschen Merino Polyamid 100g 420m

Oh well, life is about living and learning and I guess that applies to knitting socks too!!

The socks will be covered by jeans anyway….it’s not as if I’m going to be walking down the street and someone will yell out….”Look….the yarn in her socks has overwhelmed the pattern….how sad”.

Have a wonderful Sunday. I’ll be having a coffee with my Mum, seeing my son and squeezing in some sock knitting as well.




12 thoughts on “Rib Fantastic Socks….Pair # 21 and a Mini Book Review

  1. I’m glad you enjoyed the book. I do see in the comparison picture that the Magrona socks had a sploch of pooling on the right sock, but the Rib Fantastic socks tamed that down. (By the way, I knit a pair of Rib Fantastic socks and find myself wearing them frequently.)

    Some wild and crazy yarns respond well to a ribbing pattern, such as K3 P2. You do what you can do (think John Wayne drawl).
    Happy knitting!


  2. The yarn is certainly beautiful colour wise. Using patterns that get drowned out by the colours is a mistake we all learn from. Some colourways are just best knitted in st st or some type of ribbed or purl/knit checks.


  3. Hi! I really am careful when using hand dyed and short color runs. You know what??? the stitch on the heels looks really good! (you see I can’t remember what that’s called at the moment)….rib and slip stitches…make the world go round! and the st st on the foot ain’t so shabby, either.

    I like to use feather and fan/shale stitch to break up colors, but don’t work well on socks..very stretchy.


  4. Unpopular Opinion time! 😉 I actually like the Murgrona better, but you’re right about the colourway overwhelming the pattern in the pattern in both cases. I think the Murgrona breaks up the colours a bit more, which is likely why it’s more appealing to me. Jaywalker is usually a good pattern for crazy colourways when you don’t feel like a vanilla sock.

    (Here via the Socknitters Yahoo mailing list, btw.)


    • I’m so pleased you prefer the Murgrona socks…..makes me feel better about them! Thanks for the tip about Jaywalker. Feel free to sign up and follow my blog…you’ll get to see all my sock creations 🙂


  5. Love both socks and the color yarn used. That said the yarn is too bright for the pattern. They are both screaming for attention. The gorgeous yarn needs a subtler pattern or the pattern needs a subtler yarn color to be at its’ best.


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