It may seem that knitting socks is difficult and when you first start, they probably are. Heck, there’s no “probably” to it . . I thought I would never get it but that’s just because the concept is so different from knitting a scarf or a sweater. Once you’ve done a few pairs, it’s pretty comical that they seemed so hard in the beginning. I’ll never forget how much trouble I had with my first few pairs but now, I can make plain vanilla socks, start to finish, without ever looking at a pattern. I can also take a leg, ankle, foot circumference and foot length measurement and make a perfect fitting pair of socks without much thought or math. If I can do it . . you can too.
Almost every time I share a picture of a finished pair of socks, someone will ask me about my favorite sock yarn. It’s a lot like fabric – there are some lines/companies that you like more than others, a few that you probably refuse to use and about 90% of the others . . well, they just make you happy . . no matter whose name is on them.
Most sock yarn is “fingering” weight and a lot of us use the term fingering weight and sock weight interchangeably. For the purposes of socks I’m going to make, sock yarn has nylon in it. Fingering weight with no nylon, in my opinion, is for scarves, shawls, a light sweater, etc. There are people who will use 100% wool – either superwash, BFL, merino – whatever, for socks but I will not.
Some of my favorite sock yarns, in no particular order, are:
- Western Sky Knits, Aspen Sock
- Miss Babs Tarte
- Miss Babs Hot Shot
- Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock
- Lorna’s Laces Solemate
- Wollmeise Twin
- Sweet Georgia, Tough Love Sock
- Into the Whirled, Pakokku
- Madelinetosh Twist Light
There are many others that I like but am not remembering but off the top of my head, these are the yarns that come in pretty colors, but more importantly – these yarns hold up well for me to laundry and wearing.
If you have a favorite sock yarn that isn’t listed here, or if you wish to add a comment about a sock yarn, please leave that info in a comment.
As a new sock knitter, the most frustrating thing can be to spend time and money on a handmade pair of socks and have them fall apart after being worn just a few times. It happens! I made my mom a pair of socks using 100% merino when I first started knitting socks. I know she was gentle with them and hand washed them and they developed a hole in the heel after just a couple of times of being worn. By the time I saw her and was going to fix them, there were multiple holes and they looked just horrible. It was an expensive, hand dyed yarn but it just wasn’t meant for socks.
Often, it’s the color of the yarn that gets my vote as to what yarns to use. I love the pretty colors. I love pooling and yet I love solids for designs where the design needs to be seen. Pretty cables and lace can get lost in a multi colored yarn.
Fingering weight yarns are often used for shawls and scarves and a 100% wool yarn is great for those projects.
I’m always happy to answer questions about knitting. Please feel free to email me or post comments here. If you post a comment here, you may get responses from several of us which will give you a wider range of knowledge/answers and may help someone else but ask however you would like.