Comparing self striping socks for Christmas

Comparing self striping socks for Christmas

Comparing self striping socks for Christmas

I thought it would be fun for us to have matching pairs of festive socks this year for Christmas, so had a look around for yarn that would knit itself up into its own design. Yarn that self stripes or designs makes for a quick and easy knit, which was also helpful for whilst I was moving. Some companies, like West Yorkshire Spinners develop special Christmas yarns each year, but I was looking earlier than these were released. I also wanted to find something that was more than stripes so settled on Regia design line by Arne and Carlos. There were two different types that I used to experiment with to create our co-ordinating pairs....

Regia Design Line Arne and Carlos Pairfect Summer Night


Regia Arne and Carlos design line yarn is widely available. I bought mine from the Wool Warehouse at £9 for each 100g skein. Both skeins are the Summer Night colourway, which I selected because I thought the colours were festive and wintery rather than very Christmassy. The difference is that the yarn I selected for my pair is a 'Pairfect' colourway. This means that you get a contrasting cuff, heel and toe built in to the yarn. Essentially, for both yarns, you cast on and keep knitting. The yarn will then create its design as you knit, and seeing how it all starts coming together is very addictive, making you want to keep on knitting to see what the next line looks like. I knit a large (72 stitch count) and a small (56 stitch count), and both patterned up well. 

Regia Design Line Arne and Carlos Summer Night

The composition is 75% wool and 25% polyamide, so hard wearing enough for socks but also fairly comfortable still.

For my husband's socks I chose to use a different yarn for the heels, as I wasn't sure how the self striping would work out using the heel pattern I had in mind. I had a 10g ball of Pigeon Fancier MCN from Stranded dyeworks in my stash and this worked perfectly. Before casting on the second sock, I made sure to wind on the main yarn so that it matched the same starting point as the first one, leading to a fully matching pair.

For my 'Pairfect' socks, the contrast was already included, which was great except it really is designed for you to use the whole 100g skein for the pair of socks. This is a lot more than I need and I would end up pretty much at knee length if I just knit these. Instead, I had to cut the yarn and wind on until the next section, then join it again. This just means that there are a lot more ends to weave in than you are meant to have. The only other thing I noticed is that the cuff feels looser in this yarn than usual (not sure if this is the yarn or the 2 x 2 rib, when I usually knit 1x1 rib).

If you want contrasting colours all in one purchase, or you are knitting a large pair of socks, the Pairfect is a good pick. otherwise, you might be best with the other design line styles, matching with mini skeins from your stash. I had about 35g left over from the large size, using it for cuffs and toes. I'm planning to pair this with the left overs from the Pairfect pair (a collection of small balls) to make a pair of mittens (which may well end up as a Christmas gift to someone)

Regia Design Line Arne and Carlos Pairfect Summer Night

Pattern and Construction

The skeins do have brief instructions, recommending needle size and stitch count. I always use a US1.5/2.5mm needles for my socks, as that's what gives me the best gauge. For the Pairfect pair, they also tell you how to make sure you work matching pairs. 

I knit plain 'vanilla' socks to make best use of the design. I knit 2 x 2 rib for the cuff until it reached a length I was happy with, then I switched to stockinette, knitting in the round on 9 inch circulars (Addi sock wonders) until I reached the heel. I used the Fish Lips Kiss heel pattern for this part. I did need to dig out my DPNs to work the heel. I could have found a work around that meant I could have stuck with the 9 inch circular, but found it easier just to use another needle. I also switched to these to work the toe when the stitches were reducing because it was hard to keep on with the small circular. 

The best thing about using the Sock Wonder needles, along with this yarn and the Fish Lips Kiss heel pattern is that these are a very quick knit. All these elements together mean that all you have to do is knit in the round for most of the sock - handy if you want to concentrate on other things at the same time!

Regia Design Line Arne and Carlos Pairfect Summer Night


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Welcome to Sewing and Other Stories; my journeys with sewing and knitting; pattern reviews, tips and guides for beginners. I'm also the designer behind West Beach Knits knitting patterns and I host a Knitting and Sewing channel on YouTube where you can see all of this in person. Come have a look!

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