I love handspun handknitted socks. They are a lovely little treat to myself; I can pick a decadent fiber blend to use for the yarn and also have the enjoyment of spinning the fiber and knitting the yarn. A new pair of socks for the sock drawer is icing on the cake.
I like BFL for socks as I find it wears nicely, and the addition of the silk also adds some wearability as well as a nice sheen to the finished yarn. I dyed this up in the “Wine Country” colorway, which is a blend of dark green, a dark walnut brown, a dark purple, and a burgundy red.
To spin the yarn, divide the 4-ounce braid of roving into three equal pieces and spin it as a three-ply fractal. I like three-ply yarns for socks, as I think this helps them wear longer. For the fractal striping, keep one of the thirds as is to spin end to end, creating long color runs on this set of singles. I did no other preparation to this third other than lightly fluffing the fiber. Split the second third of the roving lengthwise into four long strips. Split the final third of the roving lengthwise into eight very narrow long strips. Spin all of the singles with a short backward draft, smoothing the yarn to create a firm worsted-spun singles. Ply the three sets of singles, putting in plying twist equal to the spinning twist for a plied yarn that is just slightly overplied. Soak the skein in a lukewarm bath with wool wash until thoroughly saturated, spin out the excess water in the washing machine on a no-rinse cycle, give the skein a few snaps to even out the twist, and hang it to dry unweighted.