Hideous things

Favorite lolcat

(This is my favorite lolcat and it totally applies to this project.)

While spending a relaxing weekend at the lakes with my family for Memorial Day I was able to finish the Nightmare Socks.

Ugly socks

Ugly socks on my feet

Ugly socks on my feet

Although, to be fair, the socks themselves aren’t really hideous. It’s the yarn that’s so awful.

“Priscilla’s Dream Socks” is a great pattern. There’s a lot of room for customization across the leg and foot and I was surprised at how nice the short-row toes looked – very smooth and comfortable. I think using a zig-zag bind-off across the toe looks a bit bulky, though. Next time I’ll use something smoother, like a Kitchener stitch or three-needle bind-off.

But the yarn…

Seriously, Hobby Lobby. I’ve spent so much money in your stores on various craft supplies. You offer nice yarns and lower prices than most places and have a great selection. But WTF is this crap? This yarn was beyond awful. I hated every second of working with it. Socks come in pairs. Pairs that should match. This is sock yarn. How in the world can you call something sock yarn if there’s no possible way for someone to make socks out of it?

Once I noticed the problems I started checking it out on Ravelry and I’m not the only one. A few people had the same problems with the crap dye job but nearly everyone struggled with the poorly-woven elastic strands.

Do not buy Yarn Bee Walk Away yarn from Hobby Lobby.

However, you should try Prescilla’s Dream Socks.

Dream Socks or Nightmares?

My mom and dad got me a great sock knitting book for Christmas called Favorite Socks. It has some neat patterns in it and a lot of variety in techniques you can use to make them. The first pattern I wanted to try from the book was “Priscilla’s Dream Socks,” so named because the techniques used make the socks easily customizable. Most socks have a flap heel and shape the toe using decreases. These use a short-row heel and a short row toe – the same techniques used on commercially-made socks. The pattern also calls for an old Norwegian cast-on, something I’d never used before. This would also be the first pair of socks I knit on two circular needles instead of DPNs.

Since the socks themselves have no patterns in the stitchwork I decided to use some self-striping sock yarn I picked up at Hobby Lobby on sale a while ago.

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Yarn Bee is one of Hobby Lobby’s “house brands” of yarn and they call their sock yarn “Walk Away.” I’d never used it before but the striping pattern was pretty funky and I got it at a great price. I would soon discover the reason they call it “Walk Away.”

It didn’t take long to notice the thread of elastic through the middle of the yarn was really finicky and would break easily. It wasn’t woven in very well so it would stretch way too far and all the other yarn would bunch up around it. If I wasn’t careful untangling these bunches the middle thread would break. So there ended up being parts of the sock that lost their stretch and got all saggy.

I also noticed the colors weren’t dyed quite right. There were little muddy splotches here and there, but they weren’t that terrible. In fact, they looked like they were supposed to be part of the pattern. I got a little over half-way through the first sock before I noticed the real problem.

50% of an ugly sock

(That would be Law & Order: SVU on the TV in the background).

At this point the Big Problem with this yarn has just started to emerge. See up near the needles where the red striping has stopped and it looks kind of pink? Yeah, that’s supposed to be green. I thought it would get better but it didn’t. It got worse.

Wtf Hobby Lobby!? This yarn sucks!!

From bottom to top this is supposed to be red/white, green/white, solid orange, solid purple, solid blue, solid magenta.

So you see, the reason they named this yarn “Walk Away” is because you’re supposed to take one look at it, then put it back on the shelf and walk away, never looking back.