Daily Archives: September 29, 2006

How to Make Speedy Socks?

Marianne was asking me about socks last night, and I thought, hey! You know who also knows a thing or two about socks? Knit-bloggers, that’s who! And so, I am taking the liberty of bringing her question to you fine folks, to ask you all about socks.

What’s your favourite sock yarn?
I, personally, have never met a superwash sock yarn I didn’t like. Lately I’ve used a lot of Patons Kroy and Austermann Step, and I’ll use them again. I recently (finally) started in on KnitPicks and got their Simple Stripes yarn for my Fair Isle socks (from a couple of posts ago), although despite having an active “shopping cart” with KnitPicks for several months, I still have not yet taken the plunge to order some of their Essential. This is largely because I know I won’t just be able to order a couple of balls of it, and I need to be ready. But I have my eye on some of it, I’m thinking….pink and grey argyles ;)

Behold, my sock knitting yarns of past and very close future. Which one to knit next, which one? The decision-making stress…

(From RIGHT to Left: Austermann Step, Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock (Black Purl), Online Linie 3, Fortissima Color Socka Color, Paton’s Kroy…and Briggs & Little sport weight and Belle Vallee Wools worsted)

Those last two are not “sock yarn” per se, but I have knitted a very warm pair of winter house socks with the Belle Vallee (100% Canadian sheepswool, I love it love it), and the Briggs & Little sportweight is another Canadian wool that I bought several months ago. I had a sockish plan for it in mind at the time, and now I’m thinking it is destined to become an extremely warm pair of knee-highs. (I’ve been itching to try my first pair of knee-highs.)

I know there are other superwash yarns out there, though, in heavier weights, as well as other non-superwash yarns that might make good pairs of socks, and this is what might really help out Marianne. You see, she has approximately eleventy-million pairs of socks to knit before Christmas, and she needs them to go a little faster than the usual fingering-weight-sock-yarn speeed. So…

What’s your favourite non-sock-yarn sock yarn?
This is a question I leave largely to you folks, since most of my sock knitting has involved fingering-weight yarns. I know that there are some DK-weight superwash yarns out there, have any of y’all tried them for socks? A quick google search reveals the following, for example:
Merino Blend DK, Emu Superwash DK, Cherry Tree Hill Superwash DK.

Have you knitted socks as gifts and had success with particular yarns? Would a nice stand-by like Patons Classic Merino or Cascade 220 be just as good, or is the superwash factor more important in the socks that will be gifts? Marianne and her Christmas list eagerly await your suggestions! ;)

Happy Knitting to all on this fine Friday.

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