Wool and The Gang Kinda Magic Socks Kit Review
I love knitting socks, so when I started seeing the kinda magic socks pop up on my Instagram feed I knew I had to try them out. The yarn for the socks is dyed in a way that when you knit them at the correct gauge a super cute leopard print pattern emerges in the socks. Me being me, I couldn’t just go for one colour, so I bagged myself ‘Pink Paws’, ‘Purfect Purple’ and ‘Feeline Good Green’. The kit also comes in two further colours ‘Cool Cat Copper’ (mustard and grey) and ‘Candy Claws’ (blue and pink). The full kit comes with the yarn, instructions and 3 sets of DPNs in order for you to achieve the correct gauge needed for the pattern, however as I already have every needle size under the Sun, I opted for the yarn only option.
The Kit and Yarn
As expected from Wool and The Gang the kits come well packaged with a cute little instruction guide. On first impressions the skeins already look cute and Instagramable before even starting. The yarn itself is a collaboration with Schachenmayr REGIA who are sock yarn experts and is made from 75% Virgin Wool with 25% Polyamide to give it that extra hard-wearing sock strength. Compared to my favourite sock yarn – Signature 4ply by West Yorkshire Spinners – this yarn is smoother and feels slightly more artificial, but it seems strong, not too scratchy and the colours are vibrant, and after all it’s the colours we are interested in on this one! The pattern construction is designed to be knitted one sock at a time, top down on DPNs, which is the complete opposite to my usual sock knitting preference with is two at a time, bottom up on long circular needles.
I decided to compromise and make my first sock top down on 25cm fixed circular sock needles from Knitpro, these are tiny circular needles one needle is shorter than the other, so they take some getting used to. The pattern is very easy to follow and gives very clear guidance on getting your gauge right, the stripping effect on the cuff is designed to help you perfect your gauge before moving onto the patterned section, and you get a couple of chances to get it right before moving on. I love this feature as it means you can get struck in straight away without having to make lots of swatches. Although I could just about reach the gauge knitting tightly with the suggested 2.5mm needles, I preferred switching to 2.25mm. As is stated many times in the pattern, the gauge is very important, if you go slightly off the design starts to lean to the left or the right, so this is not a great project if you don’t want to concentrate a little on your work.
Next comes the heel, the pattern uses an after-thought heel, however the contrast colour for the heel is integrated in the yarn, so you have to cut the yarn, save the contrast colour and then come back later to make the heel. Now, I am far too lazy to make an after-thought heel and the idea of cutting my knitting and picking up stitches later didn’t sound fun, so I opted for my favourite heel construction using the ‘Fish Lips Kiss’ heel which can be purchased for less than £1 from Sox Therapist and is well worth the investment for sock knitters! This heel approached worked really well, although I still had to cut and re-attach the yarn at the end of the heel as there was a lot of the contrast colour remaining. You then continue to knit the foot and toe, because the pattern cannot be altered in diameter, the ‘size’ of the sock can be adjusted at this point. I found the patterned section to be a bit too long so had to cut and re-attach the contrast colour before the pattern ended. In the end I was pretty happy with my sock and the fit wasn’t too bad, I wear a UK size 6 shoe and found the diameter to be ok, although if you’re feet are much smaller, they may be loose.
Knitting Two at a Time
After successfully knitting the first sock I of course never got round to the second due to the dreaded second sock syndrome. I tackled this by knitting the other pairs two at a time from two balls of the same colourway. I tried both top down and bottom up, for the bottom-up socks I started the yarn ball from the outside rather than the inside, both approached worked well, although a bit of yarn re-attachment is needed to make sure the heels start at the exact same point for both socks. Of course, this approach also requires two balls of each colourway, but that’s ok.
In the end I LOVE how these turned out and have already gifted a few pairs. I’ll certainly be making more and stick to my personal sock construction preferences. The changing pattern in the yarn is super addictive and they knit up so fast, if you’re an experienced sock knitter, bored of plain socks these are certainly worth a go. Even if you have never knit socks before but you’re patient and willing to stick to the gauge I think you can do it, I mean nothing motivates you more than to have a super cute pair of handmade leopard print socks!!
This review is not sponsored by any of the companies mentioned.
Wool and The Gang Kinda Magic Socks Kit – https://www.woolandthegang.com/en/products/kinda-magic-socks-1-pair-knitting#
Use this link for 15% off at Wool and The Gang: https://woolandthegang.mention-me.com/m/ol/ec1ju-iris-hardege
Fish Lip Kiss Heel - https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/fish-lips-kiss-heel
Knitpro 25cm sock needles - https://www.woolstack.co.uk/knitpro-zing-25cm-fixed-circular-knitting-needles/?sku=KP47060&/checkout/order-confirmation&gclid=Cj0KCQiA88X_BRDUARIsACVMYD_onfmCWmNYMqCmEuwN_5pB0nLI2GnYAdhHi9P0R5FIulS6-6RCv9oaAsnoEALw_wcB
West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4ply - https://www.wyspinners.com/4%20Ply/4%20Ply%20-%20Country%20Birds