100% Wool for socks?

So I’m going to be making my uncle a pair of hunting socks. He described exactly what he wants, he said “back in the day” every hunter wore them. Basically thick, high grey wool socks with a red cuff that folds over the top of the hunting boot. He asked me to make him some because he can no longer find them for sale anywhere. My uncle is someone who LOVES old fashioned, he groans and mumbles about new fangled things (like hunting gear). He tells me the old hunting socks were 100% wool.

Now, reading about socks it seems that it’s not generally recommended to use 100% wool, you’ll wear holes in them. However if the socks don’t feel like whatever his good ol’ hunting socks felt like I think he’ll be disappointed. Trying to find worsted weight wool with nylon yarn is also difficult as most sock yarns are lighter. So is he doomed to have holes in his socks of I use 100% wool? I’ve read something about knitting with nylon thread alongside the yarn, has anyone done this with success? I would worry the thread wouldn’t have the same stretch as the yarn, making the sock too tight.

There’s a lot of argument about knitting socks with or without nylon. After all, before nylon was invented people wore wool socks and they didn’t evaporate. Superwash is easier tocare for, but some people claim it feels different to them. You can easily knit with a reinforcing nylon thread. I might knit a swatch with and without and ask him which feels right to him.

The first pair of socks I ever knit were 100% wool boot socks and there was almost no memory and they pilled but I don’t think there are holes as of yet. Then I learned about the nylon carrying thread - it still pills so I haven’t seen it make a huge difference but it’s not an expensive or difficult addition. Could you find a blend you like and knit with two strands held together?

I would get the wool with nylon so they are slightly stronger fiber. If you use non superwash wool they will felt with wear. Up to you whether that’s okay. He’d also have to hand wash them.

I know what he wants (pretty sure they’re still made try Cabela’s or Bass Pro). I don’t think you can make those. It’s a smooth knit on the outside with a looped thread on the inside. They’re made with thin thread but thick almost fuzzy inside.

A worsted 100% wool works. I can’t say my Lion’s Wool socks lasted any less than synthetic (or any less than the bought socks). But they’re not super warm like the ones he wants are because of the open knit. They do work good as a layer.
Perhaps if you felted them they’d be less drafty.

Remember, in the good old days EVERY thing was 100% wool. I bought a pair of 100% wool “winter socks” for my hubby and he loves them!! I have washed them once by accident but they did not shrink for some reason. They are very well made, apparently by a company that made them for the military (I lost the tag, sorry) go ahead, make them 100% wool! Your uncle asked for them, he’s had them before, he knows what they are like so why not? I am making a pair of pure wool socks right now, the “Spiral Sock without Heel” pattern in free vintage knitting dot com site.

The wool is probably a superwash wool which won’t shrink or felt with washing or with wearing.

This is kind of unimportant but I just realized I washed them in cold, and air dried because I was afraid of them shrinking.I didn’t think of that when I posted I don’t know why! Anyway, to the OP, go head and knit those 100% wool socks like I said. That is all we had in olden days was wool. You need not use superwash or treated wool. There are tons of free patterns on the free vintage knitting site but I like to change the pattern to a larger needle so they will knit up faster. I prefer wool everything myself. There are many benefits to using wool over man made, one is heat retention, and that wool does not lose heat when wet! A wet pair of wool socks will still keep your foot warm, maybe that’s why he wants them for hunting socks. By the way, I just picked up the pair of military wool socks and there is NO tag on them, and I misplaced the paper tag they had. I hope I can find it, because I want to buy from them again. All I remember from the paper tag is that they were made in USA, and made for military. The socks are really big and roomy. They do “pill” but that is from my putting them in the washer instead of gently swishing them in a sink. Please let us know when you finish these wonderful wool socks :slight_smile:

Just make sure whoever you are gifting them to knows how to wash them. If they toss 100% wool in the washer they may end up with socks that fit a 10 yr old.

Exactly. The uncle is older she says, and always had wool, but you never know! Say- Question, apropo I think to the topic, anyone know of a place that does tags?? Not paper hang tags, but fabric or woven ones, the kind that go on garments- like “hand wash using Woolite” or “100% Wool Hand Wash Cool Only”?? If you know of a good one, plz I have internet and can look up various companies, I want to know if anyone personally knows of a good company or maker they have used or heard of before. I just figured out I am going to have to mail out my gifts this year, and everything I am doing is wool- Cashmere, Mohair, all of the hand wash stuff. The OP might make use of it too, not trying to take over her posting- but it would be useful for sure to have a link to a good maker for everyone who read this? Thank you

Here’s some and I’m sure there are a ton more. Look for custom knitting tags.

This one you create yourself.