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Tay



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 2786
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 08 11:13 am    Post subject: Socks  Reply with quote    

Now that I've mastered knitting in the round on a circular needle, I figured that it's time to have a go at making some socks. Problem is, I don't know what yarn to use. I have a small stash, but most is man-made. Not a problem for making stuffed toys as I have been doing, but I wouldn't really want to wear anything man-made; especially on my feet. I'd have thought that cotton was the best, but after searching for info online, I've seen a lot of 'sock yarns' which are a mixture of acrylic and wool. Is this the norm? I'd imagine that this mixture would be cause sweating and itching?

Sarah D



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 2584

PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 08 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Anything with a high wool content is best; man-made fibre (acrylic/nylon) is added for strength, especially in heel and toe areas, so is the norm for sock wool. If you use DK, they will knit up quite quickly, but be on the chunky-ish side; 4 ply will give you a thinner, lighter weight sock, but take a bit longer to knit. Avoid cotton for hand knitted socks.

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24569
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 08 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Although there is a lovely 85% cotton sock yarn out there. Can't remember it's name, though...

Tay



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 2786
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 08 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Thank you both - although, that info has thrown me. I can see that the yarn needs to be strong and durable, but does the wool let your feet breathe ok? Rhetorical question - the answer must be yes, or else nobody would knit their own socks!

n



Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 211
Location: Lothian
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 08 12:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You have many choices here.
The most basic choice is actually not about the nylon IMHO it's about whether you want them to be machine washable!

My own yarns come as Superwash or non-superwash.
A superwash/machine washable yarn will withstand a 40 degree machine/hand wash It won't felt on your feet either.
Wool felts in the presence of heat, detergent or friction. A non superwash wool sock on a hot foot will felt eventually even if it's handwashed because unless you only wear it in bed, it is subject to heat and friction... AND you must handwash it.

Cotton sock yarn exists but cotton is not absorbent as readily as wool, so cotton socks become less bouncy and cushioned and they just get hard like sports socks.

Most people knit socks from 75% wool 25% nylon yarn which is both pretty and hardwearing, my husband has socks in this type of yarn which are two years old, worn lots and there's no sign of felting or holes.
If you want no nylon then you need to compensate by choosing a "high-twist" sock yarn which will be harder wearing.

Not trying to blind you with science, socks are great fun to knit but many hours of work so picking the right base yarn matters.

n

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24569
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 08 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Tay wrote:
Thank you both - although, that info has thrown me. I can see that the yarn needs to be strong and durable, but does the wool let your feet breathe ok? Rhetorical question - the answer must be yes, or else nobody would knit their own socks!


I don't have any problem with blended yarns for socks, and I seldom wear any that I haven't knitted myself. Just trying to track down the one I was thinking of...

Tay



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 2786
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 08 12:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Hadn't realised that felting could occur. Doh!

So, I need a superwash yarn, 25%/75% mix of manmade/wool - dk for chunky, and 4-ply for a lighter sock? At least now I know what to look for when I next make it to a yarn shop.

Thank you.

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24569
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 08 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

There's a brand that I use for everyday socks which is Regia or Opal. Both interesting, self-striping yarns in a good range of colours.

KrisWW



Joined: 21 Jul 2008
Posts: 51
Location: Southern most South Yorkshire
PostPosted: Mon Aug 11, 08 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I love making socks and have made them out of 'regular' sock yarn, like Opal and Regia (German brands) and out of pure wool and alpaca, which makes the most wonderful soft socks. But you have to handwash those.

There are all kinds of mixes out there though - I'm looking at stocking Tofutsies sock yarn from the USA which is a mix of superwash wool, their own soysilk fibre, cotton and chitin which is apparently made from crab and prawn shells and is anti-bacterial, so good for smelly feet! I've not tried it yet, so I can't vouch for that particular claim.

The first ever pair of socks I made, I used Sirdar Town & Country yarn - doesn't felt, washes well and is reasonably cheap.

I find it easier to knit socks on four or five short double pointed needles.

BahamaMama



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 2315
Location: Away with the fairies
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 08 8:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I am glad I found this thread! I have started knitting my first pair of normal socks using Regia and 4 pins but I find that I am getting quite tangled up in pins and progress is painfully slow.

For the real sock knitters out there, do you use 4 pins or circular? I have ordered a circular needle to see if I get on any better, can I transfer over to a circular needle mid-sock?

Jamanda
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 22 Oct 2006
Posts: 34920
Location: Devon
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 08 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I saw some baby yarn made out bamboo. Anyone tried that?

sally_in_wales
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 06 Mar 2005
Posts: 20809
Location: sunny wales
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 08 9:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Jamanda wrote:
I saw some baby yarn made out bamboo. Anyone tried that?


I've got some bamboo sock yarn, feels lovely, havent started using it yet

mochyn



Joined: 21 Dec 2004
Posts: 24569
Location: mid-Wales
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 08 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

You can use circular needles for socks although I don't. I prefer dpns for everything and only use circulars for things that are really long such as shawls. Don't see why you shouldn't be able to change in mid-sock, though. Probably the shortest circular you can get.

BahamaMama



Joined: 21 Sep 2006
Posts: 2315
Location: Away with the fairies
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 08 10:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I can't think of any reason why I should not be able to change (apart from undoing the mistake I made last night - grrrrr) and I have ordered 2.5mm x 40cm needle.

There may be an update.....

Tay



Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 2786
Location: Newcastle-upon-Tyne
PostPosted: Tue Aug 19, 08 11:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

mochyn wrote:
Probably the shortest circular you can get.


Does this really matter? I don't have any dpns, and hoped to get away with not buying any. Yet I have a very long circular needle. Although I've yet to do socks, I have used the circular to make some tiny baby mittens... Would a shorter circular have been easier/better to work with?

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