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FO: Peacock Socks (One of These Socks Is Not Like the Other)

At some point this fall, the self-striping bug bit me hard. Living overseas, I hadn’t bought yarn in a while, plus I started listening to highly enabling podcasts, plus my previously boring-sock-wearing husband started buying obnoxiously bright socks with his sober suits… something had to be done.

Enter Janel from Quaere Fibers on Etsy. I believe I heard about her on some podcast, but a perusal of her Etsy store displayed some truly delightful listings, including a sale skein of her Peacock colorway. For all her self-striping yarns, she lists the color progression so you’ll know what to expect – plus some even have swatches displayed. I ordered my skein, which arrived a short time later. She even got bonus points for being in Rhode Island, which is where my husband and I met.

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Then I had an unexpected trip to the States that involved a lot of sitting in waiting rooms… and I started cranking out what most people refer to as “vanilla” socks but I think of as just boring. The stripes and the super bounciness of the yarn kept me entertained, though, and I cruised towards the toe of the first sock in just a couple days. Whoosh.

Then I realized I had made the most rookie of all rookie knitting mistakes. I was going to run out of yarn. And not close to the end of my project in a yarn chicken kind of way… I had enough yarn for *maybe* a sock and half. This was particularly embarrassing because I had actually publish a sock pattern this year in four sizes and had put a lot of thought into how much yarn would be needed for each size. I knew this yarn was sport weight, but I just didn’t think about how that meant it was less yardage than a fingering weight skein of the same total weight. All I can do is blame addled pregnancy brain and the extraordinary stress of that trip.

Enter Janel to the rescue. I wrote her and asked her if she would pretty-please dye me another skein… and she did. This is where working with independent dyers and Etsy sellers can really pay off. Soon enough, I had my second skein, and it looked… different. I know it was a different dye lot (duh), but I was a little stressed that my final socks would be completely different. My husband, the person who’s going to wear these things, did not care. But I did, and I kept kicking myself for my rookie mistake.

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My two skeins (not the best lighting – what looks maroonish-brown is actually a rich royal purple)

After briefly starting the second sock with the new ball of yarn, I decided to continue with the original ball till it ran out. I reasoned that the legs of the socks would be from the same original skein and would match, while the foot parts that didn’t match each other would usually be hidden in a shoe. Again, whoosh – the second sock flew off the needles in just a couple days.

Now, here’s the shocker. Even though the skeins looked COMPLETELY DIFFERENT to me, the socks aren’t that far off. The lime green stripe is a little brighter and the dark gold stripe a little darker in the second skein, but a side-by-side comparison of all the other stripes shows no visible differences. Even the green will never be noticed unless I shove the socks in someone’s face and say, “Look! They’re different! Can’t you tell they’re different?!”

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Peacock Socks!

Basically, I’m counting these as a win. Plus, now I have a ton of leftover yarn, so I think the new baby will get some tube socks and can be matchy-matchy with Daddy. 🙂

I’m SO grateful to Janel for rescuing me from a big experiment in frogging an entire sock, but for the love of all that’s holy, people… buy enough yarn for your projects. Don’t get distracted by the pretty. Or rather, do. The link to the Quaere Fiber Etsy shop is here.

Another hot tip, folks: taking pictures of your on feet is really, really hard when you’re 8+ months pregnant. Don’t be impatient like I was – just wait for a friend to help.

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