It's October -- welcome sweater weather, pumpkin spice, and Socktoberfest! Yes, Socktoberfest, a fabulous month-long event to introduce you to the work of some very talented hand-dye artists and their beautiful yarns, some of which you may only have seen at fiber festivals. I called it Socktoberfest, but this is about way more than socks. Over the years, the term sock yarn has come to refer to any hand-dyed fingering weight yarn, but to serious sock knitters, true sock yarn is a subset of hand-dyed fingering weight yarn with nylon or silk tossed in. Those more durable fiber gives hand-knit socks the strength to stand up to the hard wearing they get, because when you've put that much time into a sock, you want it to be around for a while.
Hand-dyers know that there's no reason sock knitters should have all the fun, so they also dye lots of beautiful hand-dyed fingering weight merinos, cashmere blends, yak, and more. These more delicate fibers are perfect for everything other than socks. Hats, scarves, shawls, and sweaters all look spectacular in the kind of hand-dyed yarns you'll see at Socktoberfest. These yarns, although they're fingering weight, they're often knit larger needles. Socks will be worked on a US size 1, or smaller, but a shawl in a fingering weight yarn is quite happy on a US size 6, and a even a sweater can be worked at that gauge. It makes for a lovely light fabric with beautiful movement and drape.
There will also be lots of yarns at more typical sweater gauges, and in sweater quantities because some of us are sweater knitters. Just as some knitters focus on socks, and others on accessories, some of us just really like to make garments. If that's you, come early so you can get sweater quantities of a the yarn you want to wrap around your whole body. You'll know it when you see it, and you will be so sad if there's just not quite enough left.
Every Saturday, the first 30 customers to spend $50 or more will receive a custom printed, limited edition project bag. You could win a set of Chiao Goo interchangeable sock needles with our fun bingo game, and you could win one of several door prizes each day! It's going to be super exciting all month long. I can't wait!
Here's the line-up
October 6: Rita Mae Yarns from the Baltimore area
October 13: Kim Dyes Yarn from Northern Virginia
October 21: Willow Tree Yarns from Huntingtown, Maryland
October 28: Zen Yarn Garden, Dream in Color, and Brediculous Yarns