I love to knit socks. This came as something of a surprize, since I don’t like to wear socks (they require shoes and I’m not that big on shoes). But they’re small, experimental and there’s just something magical about turning a heel. They shouldn’t work, but they do — every time!

I was working on a sock in a nice pumpkin color, an attractive rib stich and a reasonably good yarn from Knit Picks, but I hated it. Can’t really explain why…but I’ve been working on that same sock (yes sock, not pair) for the better part of a year. So, I decided to switch projects to see if I could get back into it.

The next yarn in the sock stash…well, actually the only yarn in the sock stash…is a green Elann Esprit, which is the version of Cascade Fixation. I love Fixation/Esprit, but it seems like a lot of the people writing on the sockknitters list hate it. So, for all you googlers out there who might be looking for inspiration on this yarn, these are my thoughts. And my socks.

I love the way it is mostly cotton, so doesn’t ever make me itch. I like the way it feels a bit like terry cloth. Although it does knit up a twitch thicker than many sock yarns, I don’t find it bumpy or uncomfortable and it still fits in my shoes. I also enjoy knitting with it — the fact that the cotton stretches amuses me endlessly.

It did take a couple of tries to figure out what stitch patterns work best. Basic stockinette ends up a bit nubby, in a good way, but this means that patterns that rely on the difference between knit and purl don’t really show up. I think this includes cables. For example, my first pair used an embossed leaves kind of stitch from the Leaf socks in Socks, Socks, Socks, which was a lot of work.


My second pair used the Gull Wing Lace pattern from Socks, Socks, Socks. Lace works better:


Even better is a Diamond Lattice stitch from Vogue Knitting:


Another good stitch is the Leaf Vein Insertion from Knitting on the Edge:


Generally, I look for patterns that rely on yarn overs to “draw” lines. Otherwise, Fixation/Esprit is great stuff — you should try it!


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