Saturday, February 21, 2009


I spent quite some time last evening looking up sock yarns on the 'net. I found some beautiful yarns. unfortunately the vast majority of them were not at all suitable.

There were some, lots actually, that were pure yarns; merino, alpaca, cashmere. Totally useless for socks you want to last more than five minutes.

There were others that had a good synthetic mixed in for durability but the majority of them came up short! How daft is that? Most were 300m or less per 100gm and they cost a fair bit, like £15. I'd have to buy two hanks to get a pair of socks and my feet are only a UK size 7.5 = 10" long and I knit 8" around. I hate ankle socks but my legs not knitted overly long. At a rpi of 12-13 I knit 120 rounds for foot and the same for leg and this using my own Andersson Method which uses less yarn than a traditional top down heel flap.

Just because it's a single hank of a hand dyed yarn does not make it a sock yarn!


knitwych said...

When I was first starting to knit socks, I was pretty confused by some of the "sock" yarns out there. It took me a while to figure out how much yarn I needed to make myself a pair of well-fitting socks. I bought a hank of hand-dyed yarn from a woman on eBay, and although it was advertised as being enough yardage to make a pair of women's socks, I found it to be short. I started those socks cuff-down, then had to frog them and start over toe-up. I'm glad I did - if I had kept on cuff-down, I would have run out of yarn probably 3 inches before I got to the toes! I don't have big feet, either. Size 7.5-8 (US), and quite narrow, with spindly little ankles. These socks come up maybe four inches past my ankles. I wear them, but I prefer socks that are longer in the calf.

What I find most confusing is trying to figure out yarns by weight. To me, it makes much more sense to figure by the yardage - but some people don't give that information on their commercial sites. They just tell you X gm or X ounces. I hate that! Shortly before Xmas, I was in a LYS, and the owner was talking with a woman who was trying to get the shop to carry her hand-dyed sock yarns. The woman had OK-looking yarns with lovely labels (really labor intensive with lots of frilly stamping and hand-lettering - honestly, it looked like she spent WAY more time prettying-up her labels than dyeing the yarns), and there was nothing in the way of yardage included on those labels. The LYS owner kindly told her that she needed to include yardage info. The woman's response: "Why? No one cares about that. Sock knitters buy yarn by weight."

I couldn't believe it!

The LYS owner, with the lady's permission, ran one of the yarn hanks through a counter, and found that it was only 130 yards. Retail price: $12.50 USD.

Wanna guess which yarn was NOT accepted at my LYS?

Anonymous said...

Hi lovely, just breezing through after a long day on the dissertation :(
Your post made me giggle, some sock wool is shite isn't it? Just frogged a sock that was plain f^$%-ugly lol Just over half way through a pair for my man in Wendy Guernsey and it's like iron. I'm interested to see how it wears as there's no nylon it it but bloody hell it's tough stuff. If anyone can walk straight through it he will! They are my first toe-ups and I must admit it was cool to know how far I could go on each one. Better get back to it- no peace for theose who are behind schedule Take care,
Love Salxxxxx