Thursday, February 28, 2008

Socks That Rock Yarn Fading

I have to say I am pretty disappointed with Socks That Rock. I know people rave about their yarns. And the sad part is I *love* their colorways so much.

I have several complaints about their yarns.

The problems started when it arrived. It smelled strongly of vinegar. I know vinegar is a fixative in the dyeing process. That makes sense. But the rinse process should remove that smell. It really seems like the batch I got was not rinsed out enough. It disapated with time, but it was still a bit off putting.

Then came to knitting. It knits up beautifully. The weave is tight and I had really high hopes. But the color kept coming off on my hand! I would get a grey ring around the finger where I wrap my yarn. And another finger tip got colored. This seemed odd to me. So I checked the Ravely boards. Many other people have the same experience! That seems really wrong to me.

So when the socks were completed, I washed them with Synapol and then a dye fixative. I had hoped this would help the colors to stay fresh. The dye fixative is sold by Dharma to help with any sort of dyed piece. It is supposed to help the color fastness. I figured it would be good.

The fit on my Jaywalkers isn't great. The problem is that they are hard to pull over my heel as the leg doesn't have enough give. I suspect that is more an issue with Jaywalkers. But for this reason, I only wear my Jaywalkers once a week or every two weeks.

Since I finished these on 11/25/07, I figure that even if I wore them once a week (which I think is very generous), I would have only worn them 12-13 times. And honestly, I know there are weeks when I didn't wear them.

The color really should not have faded this much in that time. I don't know if the photos really show the difference that well. The ball of yarn is the color I knit. The socks show how much they have faded.

Generated by Flickr Album Maker

You can definitely see how much color loss there is on the foot. And there is a lot of pilling and such. I guess I just expected more from the yarn given the rave reviews and the price. I mean the socks where I dyed the yarn myself don't have a different color on the sole of the foot. Why should professional yarn?

I nearly always handwash these with Eucalan. I put them in the machine once and saw such a difference that I feared putting them in again.

I am really saddened. I love the Raven colorways and really did want to purchase some yarn in those colors. But I can't bring myself to spend at least $25 a skein when the color will not stay!


Tee said...

Oh, that's too bad! And after all the work Jaywalkers take! My Jaywalkers have faded too - let's blame the pattern! Then again, I machine wash my socks in regular laundry detergent, so I suppose it's a wonder they're still around at all.

Stephanie said...

The only STR that I had problems with was the Rare Gems colorway. My fingers turned purple from those. I knit some jaywalkers with the lucy color and it didn't turn my fingers colors...but I gave those away as a gift and haven't asked the giftee if they've faded. I made some mitts for my daughter with the carbon lightweight and, although pilly, haven't faded too much. They did get a lot of use the last 2 months. So I don't know if it just depends on the colorway or what they are doing to them (mine didn't smell like vinegar but I've gotten yarn from Indie dyers that did...and those yarns faded like mad!) I wonder if when it still smells like the vinegar, the yarn didn't have time to set? I mean...obviously....but I wonder how much a difference it makes. Oh the other hand I have some trekking socks that haven't faded AT ALL.

Michele / akkasha said...

I guess I am most frustrated by the fact that STR are not inexpensive stuff. And not inexperienced either. I can see with some small indy dyers they may not have gotten it down yet. But Blue Moon isn't new to this. So they really should be able to do this better.

I suppose given that I dye yarn I have become more fussy about it.

Jamie said...

The picture on the lower left really shows the difference, I think. Wow. this would be very disappointing!

The colors you are left with are not bad, but they aren't the ones you chose, so I can understand how very frustrating that would be. That's a lot of time to invest in something that disappoints so quickly.

I do wonder if that vinegar smell might have been some sort of 'indicator'. I haven't used enough indie yarn to have useful experience. Quite a puzzlement.

Sheila said...

The exact same thing happened to me. I was so disappointed. My yarn smelled very strongly and they faded and felted. UGH. I've been knitting socks for two years and I've never experienced anything like it before.
Check out my poor Whitby's.