How Adventurous CAN One Get With Sock Yarn?!?

I’m always afraid to try new yarns for socks, I noticed there were some make from Lion Brand Jiffy which I would be afraid to try. I know acrylic is no good (I’ve been told) because it would make your feet sweat…though in winter, isn’t that a good thing? I guess since socks are a little more involved I’m afraid to be adventurous and use anything that isn’t called “sock yarn”.

How adventurous have YOU gotten with sock yarn? Were you happy with the results? Or were you just glad to prove to yourself it was a bad idea?


I’m making a friend a pair of house socks out of Knit Picks Andean Silk yarn. It’s alpaca, wool and silk. She knows they’ll be hand wash only (and I’ve seen her treat other items with great care). She was born with a club foot, had MAJOR surgery as a child, and now has arthritis and I really want her to feel spoiled and WARM. Hopefully these will do the trick.

Not sure how adventurous this is, but it feels that way to me!

I’ve used Lion Brand thick and quick to make slipper socks, and my favorite pair of socks to wear around the house that are super warm are made from Vanna White’s line of worsted weight acrylic yarn. In fact, I love them so much as soon as my Christmas knitting is done (later this week, Yeah me!), I’m making another pair using this yarn. I’ve also used Caron Simply Soft and Lion brand microspun (for anklets) and cotton yarn. You can make anything you want. If it doesn’t work - frog it! It’s art meeting function. Have fun with it.

in norther parts of NA (starting in US and continuing north!) its not uncommon to make wool socks out of worsted weight yarns
(LL Bean Boots, for one, presume you are going to be wearing think socks (boot liner socks) and leaves room!)

Socks can be made from almost any weight or fiber.
some are better, some are worse.

you feet sweat more than any other part of your body, and if the fiber used doesn’t breath–(ie doesn’t have the ability to absorb AND wick away moisture) your feet (and socks) can quicly feel clammy.

Silk has been used for thousand of years for socks… but silk is an interesting fiber… make a rope from silk fibers, and its stronger than a cable made from steel (one the same sized)

but rub silk? (as you might on back of heel, or ball of foot) and silk will wear away in no time (it has tensile strenth (its hard to brake the fiber) but it can easily be eroded or abraided (it is not resistant to rubbing!

alpaca is warm, and it wicks (like wool) but it doesn’t have wools memory. it can (silk too) stretch out… and stay stretched out…

Cotton, rayon and all the new rayons ([I]rayon being a process for turning vegetable matter (wood pulp in “real rayon”)in to a fiber --new rayons use other vegetable matter, (bamboo, soy beans, etc)[/I] --is similar to cotton… it is absorbant (and so so at wicking–not a bad choice, but not very warm.

What works depends a lot on what you need.

cotton socks are not the best choice for norther latitudes (especially in winter months!)

but acrylic is fine for open shoes in souther climates (where sweat could evaporate–)

alpaca is great for bed socks… (the lack of memory isn’t an issue if you are sleeping in them!)

silk is a luxury fiber… and fine for lightly uses socks…but not a good choice for socks for hiking!

I used Patons Shetland Chunky Tweeds for my latest pair of house socks and I like them a lot. I should have used a smaller needle, but live and learn. :wink:

LOL I read the question backwards – I thought you were talking about interesting things to MAKE with SOCK WEIGHT yarn, not creative YARNS to use FOR socks. :rofl:

However, even though I don’t make socks, I’m finding this discussion very interesting! I had no idea there was so much thought put into what material makes a good sock! :thumbsup:

I actually thought she meant that as well till I read the replies before me. :teehee:

I did too, fwiw…

How about Caron Spa Yarn? It’s 75% microdenier acrylic/25% bambo. I found only ONE skein in clearance at Hobby Lobby yesterday and it’s lavender, so it won’t do for DH but does anyone know how Bamboo wears for and on feet??? I have some other bamboo I purchased online (more expensive: MeiMei Bamboo Silk 4ply fingering weight) which I’ve been afraid to use for him because I didn’t know if he’d like it. Plus, DH’s feet are size 13…major knitting lobotomy when I make his socks! So I better find the right yarn before I go crazy trying yarns which don’t work!

I don’t think I’d want to use acrylic for socks, but if you have allergy issues it’s an option. I’ve heard it makes feet sweat so… :zombie:

I’ve used 100% pure wool in worsted weight for socks before and they turned out lovely, until the recipient washed them that is. She only just put them in cold water and they shrunk up automatically. It’s too bad too, because they were very soft and warm.
I want to make a pair of worsted weight wool socks for the DBF to wear hunting too. Generally I wouldn’t make a pair of socks out of anything too heavy because they wouldn’t fit into your shoes, but if you’re just planning on wearing them inside then it wouldn’t be an issue.
I’ve also used bamboo sock yarn before and it was lovely and very soft. I made them for a friend who is allergic to wool and I think they’ve stood up pretty well. My only complaint is that they seemed quite heavy when I was finished knitting them.

I tried a 100% bamboo yarn for socks, but it has no elasticity and was too heavy. The socks would have pooled around my ankles. I have made over a half dozen pair of socks using Elann Esprit which is cotton with almost 2% elastic. They are great and machine washable. I made a pair with camel hair/lambswool and they don’t have much memory and don’t stay up well (very soft though).

I just completed my very first pair of socks. I used Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky and a size 6 dpn. The socks came out looking very well and thick. DH will wear them with his boots as they are too thick for his sneakers. I feel confident I can make socks out of ANY kind of yarn.

I’m currently knitting some socks using some leftover Caron One Pound yarn. I’ve used this yarn before and while it’s sort of stiff, once the socks were put in the machine and dryer, they came out nice and soft. I use them for bedtime socks. cloud9