Sock relief

One of the things I never expected when I first started knitting socks a few years ago, was how much room there is in my life for sock yarns that behave completely differently. I started out thinking I needed to simply find sock yarns that would knit well with the needle size I always use, and avoid the others. The more I started branching out and finding new yarns to work with, the more I realized it isn’t a matter of right yarns and wrong yarns, as much as it is about right yarns for the right kind of project.

After finishing my Jaywalkers I needed a new pair of socks to travel around with, and grabbed a skein of Socks That Rock from my Rhinebeck purchases last fall. (It’s a mill end and therefore unlabelled by colourway, but I’m pretty sure it’s ‘Rolling Stone’).

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It was like comfort food. As soon as I wound it up and saw all the colours mingled together, I knew I had picked well, and STR is so squishy and relaxing in your hands that it almost doesn’t matter what the colours are. It just feels good in your fingers. After knitting with this yarn a few times, I have learned what it can do for me (tactile and visual comfort) and what it can’t do (yardage for yarn-eating cables for Size 11 feet), and I’m good with that.

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And the thing is, I love the Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock that I just came from, too. I have learned about what it can do for me (sturdiness from the extra nylon blend, fantastic colours and yardage) and what it can’t (squishy texture, needles above 2.5mm), and I’m good with that, too. I’d never ask these two yarns to do the same thing, and that’s why I can continue to stash them both (well, and many others, let’s face it) without worry. I keep on stashing sock yarns because I know there will come a day when I will need each one in turn.

In fact, I have several favourite sock yarns that I have known and loved:

  • Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock
  • Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock
  • Dream in Color Smooshy
  • Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label Fingering Weight
  • Malabrigo Sock
  • Patons Kroy (dude, it does not wear out)

What’s your favourite sock yarn, and why?

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24 Comments

Filed under socks, stash

24 responses to “Sock relief

  1. I used the Trekking Pro Natura for some kiddie socks, and it’s fantastic. Nice and soft, hasn’t pilled even after two kids wore them (and wore them HARD), and it’s sturdy, too. Must be that bamboo content! I have another nice big skein of it waiting to be turned into something for me :)

  2. LadyO

    That sock looks like comfort food.

    That is a question… I know my favourite pair of socks is knit out of Kureyon sock, they are sturdy and comfortable (and I matched the stripes…), I would not have expected it to become one of my favourites, though it is.

    Malabrigo sock I think is my current favourite, the colours are great, it is soft and squishy, decent yardage.

    I haven’t really found another that I love, I enjoyed the one experience I had with Lorna’s Laces, and I have some Tanis and Wollmeise to try so the jury is out for those. And some day I will try Socks that Rock.

  3. Melina

    I haven’t knit enough socks to have favourite sock yarn but for a heavier sock, the Silk Garden Sock yarn comes to mind. I first used it for your So Simple Silk Garden Sock pattern and then for striped socks. It is so fast to knit and the socks are warm and feel so comfortable.

  4. Abby

    Socks That Rock is definately great, though sometimes the pooling does bother me. I just have to be in the proper, Zen frame of mind – ‘Let the yarn do what it wants to.’ For luxury, want to snuggle them love, Koigu produces my absolute favorite sock yarn. The combination of size 2 needles and 64 stitches produces a perfect fitting sock for me every time, and I love their semisolids! I’m discovering Arucania Ranco is also nice – not as soft, but hard-wearing!

  5. Susan

    Really like Pagewood Farms. Great colorways with fun names–not sure why that gets me but it does–and the stuff wears really well.

  6. Jessica

    I second you on the Tanis yarns. I haven’t used mine yet, but I stalk her etsy site often. They’re lovely lovely things.

    I also like the On you Toes from Kertzer. I think it’s much like the Paton Kroy, good value and somewhat indestructible!

  7. Koigu is on my list, as well as STR. Cherry Tree Hill and Shibui Knits round out my list. I guess though with size 11 that Koigu would be nothing short of frustrating for you. I have size 8 and have to hunt around for bits to finish off toes if there’s any cabling involved. Doesn’t change my love for that nice twist though.

  8. I’m so honoured to be on a list with BMFA and Lorna’s Laces. What a thrill. Thanks Glenna, you really made my day!

  9. Marian

    How do you find the Malabrigo sock wears? I’ve quite a bit in my stash but have reserved it for lace work. I felt the 2ply plus softness may not wear so well for socks.

  10. I love Lorna’s Laces, personally. It’s so soft, has wonderful colorways, and is pure joy to knit with.

  11. Sharon

    Love, love, love STR. Your sock is beautiful. I am weird, I love pooling. I am very spoiled, I have knit socks with little else than STR.

  12. Christine

    Madelinetosh is wonderful sock yarn. Incredible yardage and super soft and squishy feeling.

  13. I’m by no means a sock knitting fiend, but I love Mirasol Hacho. it was an amazing sock yarn to work with.

  14. Thanks for this post. It really got me thinking. Hmm…critical thinking about sock yarn? Is that going too far? Never!
    Anyway, I’ve alway enjoyed Scheepjes Invicta. It spools beautifully out of the centre pull and has yardage for days. I agree with you about Kroy. It never dies. One of my first pairs was Kroy Socks and they’re still like new. On the opposite end of that spectrum, I knit one pair of FleeceArtist. They were soooo beautiful and fell apart in about a year. Sad:(

  15. Cascade Heritage is both affordable and lovely to work with and wear.

  16. I haven’t had a chance to try out as many sock yarns as I would like (limited purchasing opportunities here), but Regia is still my go-to for sturdy socks that last. Regia Silk is on the pricier end, but feels lovely to knit with. More on the “luxury” end, I still love my Lorna’s Laces, and I just started a pair with Trekking Hand Art. They’re knitting up beautifully.

  17. Shirley

    I’ve only used Finnish yarn from Novita because that’s what is usually sold everywhere here! Most stores don’t have anything else. It’s just a very basic wool/polyamide blend but it lasts well.

  18. I adore Wollmeise, because of how increadibly smooth the yarn feels on my hands. But my favourite is Kureyon – it’s the only yarn that I don’t need to match my stripes with and still love!

  19. meshaliu

    Lorna’s Laces is definitely my go-to sock yarn. I love it. I’m also a fan of the Yarn Pirate sock yarn. I haven’t knit up any of the socks that rock yet. It looks so pretty in the hank, I’m kind of loathe to change it.

    I did get a ball of Noro silk garden sock yarn that is very pretty. I’m hoping it knits up well.

  20. Jean

    I love Lorna’s Laces too, but my very favorite is Sophie’s Toes. She’s an independent dyer and her color choices are exceptional. (I don’t have any ties to her other than I love her yarns.) I’ve been buying her yarns for several years and I’m never disappointed with the yarn or her service.

  21. I haven’t tried loads of sock yarns but my favourite so far was a cashmere blend from Hipknits. It was slightly thicker than sock weight and so nice to knit with. Not that practical though!

  22. Have not yet knit socks (working on first sweater! Yay!) but am avidly taking notes. Have also purchased a few skeins of run of the mill sock yarn to “practice” with when I get there, and have drooled over Blue Moon (I think) Raven colorways for socks. Brilliant colored handpaints that are then overdyed with black for a subtle color experience. Yummmmmm…. (Love to wear black socks with my “work” clothes, but can’t see myself knitting JUST black socks, like, ever.)

  23. I’m not knitting as many socks as I used to (with the spinning and weaving and everything) but I do have some favs:

    Oak grove–get it every year at Rhinebeck–such beautiful colours
    Socks that rock
    Koigu, koigu, koigu
    Vesper
    Regia (good, solid, indestructable sock yarn)
    Fleece artist sock

    I have stash that is untried but hopefully will pass the test:
    Malabrigo sock (used it for a sweater and I love it)
    Indigo Moon
    Tanis (which I see you recommend).

    I think tonight I’ll start with the indigo moon.

  24. kateohkatie

    That’s good to hear about the Patons Kroy – I picked some up several months back and haven’t used it yet – knowing it can take a beating, I may make socks for Jeff! :-)

    Trekking XXL is really the only sock yarn I’ve worked with a bunch of times, and I always enjoy it. I usually don’t buy the big-name handdyed stuff; if I go the handdyed route it’s usually from an Etsy-er and I don’t always know their base yarn (though there’s some I worked with from Thank Ewe (which is now defunct, sadly) that was AMAZING – I’d LOVE to know what her base yarn was!

    I will say, I wasn’t all that impressed with the LL Shepherd sock. I mean, it was OK but it didn’t make my heart go pitter pat. Now the LL Shepherd SPORT, on the other hand – I would eat, sleep, and breathe it if I could.