NELOSYS: The start of a new obsession?

NELOSYS: The start of a new obsession?

I always have left over sock yarn after knitting a pair of socks. My feet aren’t huge, and I don’t like socks legs longer than 7-8 inches tops. Therefore, I usually end up with 25-40 grams of sock yarn left over when the socks are done. What to do with it? My friend LC, who has even smaller feet than me, knits a second pair of socks for her 10 year old daughter. I stick the yarn in a drawer from which it calls out to me that it’s being wasted. I thought about log-cabin knitting or mitered squares all seamed together, but that didn’t enthuse me enough to cast on.

Then one day, when I was wearing my Landscape Shawl, I had an idea. Wouldn’t it be neat if I could knit a Landscape-type shawl, but each different chevron pattern of stitches were a different (sock) yarn? I wouldn’t be able to knit it like the Landscape Shawl which was knit from the bottom point upwards. But if I started at the center back neck edge, then I could do the chevron wedges in different stitch patterns AND different yarns. I went to the abandoned semi-used-up sock yarn stash and pulled out several balls that all fit a cool-colored palette. I rifled through all the top-down shawl patterns I have and chose to use the first 5 rows of Miriam Felton’s Seraphim Shawl to start, and then I started knitting. I named my project NELOSYS for Never-Ending Left-Over Sock Yarn Shawl. From a cast-on of 5 stitches, I’m now knitting rows well over 300 stitches; I’ve become a little obsessed. But I like it very much indeed.
cool palette
From the top down: Claudia’s Handpainted (Walk in the Woods) in stockinette, Shibui Sock Yarn (Midnight) in seed stitch, Fleece Artist Merino (Midnight–apparently midnight in Japan and Nova Scotia are different colored) in crossed stockinette, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock (Peacock) in rice stitch, Fleece Artist Merino (Nova Scotia) in fleck stitch and Fleece Artist Merino (Hercules) in moss stitch.

Each color transition consists of 3 rows of garter showing a purl ridge on the right side in the old color, a knit row and then a purl ridge on the right side in the new color. I’ve done this in the two possible ways: 3 knit rows starting with a wrong side row or 3 purl rows starting with a right side row. I think it makes for a clean, consistent change.

The 5-stitch cast-on and the addition of 4 new stitches through YOs on each right side row, works quite well for pattern stitches that are 2+1 (or any number of stitches of course), so I’ve limited myself to those for this version of NELOSYS. One of my favorites was the crossed stockinette in the FA Midnight:
FA Midnight crossed stockinette
When changing yarns, I’ve tried to have the new yarn have at least one color in common with the old yarn.
FA Nova Scotia fleck stitch

I have one yarn left, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in Black Pearl, and then this NELOSYS will be done.
LL Black Pearl

I like that it will be machine washable on my front-loader’s handwash cycle, and that it will need only to be laid out flat to dry without requiring pinning out lace points and such. It’s an everyday sort of shawl that is turning out prettier than I imagined. Then I have all my bright-colored left-over sock yarns…

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