Merino sock yarn versus others

i have been reading more and more about merino not wearing well, but you know, like 90% of sock yarns i’ve seen are merino… i did some reading that addition of mohair is great for durability, too.

in your experience, though, just how durable are merino socks? i’ve read some accounts of people getting 4+ years out of it with nary a darning… i’m really delving into socks now and don’t want to put work into them if they won’t last a bit… any ideas? I do know the addition of nylon helps for durability, but I have mixed feelings about reinforcing thread (but usually do look for the 75/25 blends.) I’m going to try that again on my next pair for heels and toes.

Thanks a bunch! I’m sure this has been addressed, but I got entirely too many results when I searched for sock yarn, but if anyone knows of specific links to other posts, that would be great too!

I don’t know. I have yet to wear any hand knit socks more than a few times. It’s Florida. Socks are against the dress code. :shrug:

I’m sure this will be no help but here we go…

I have knit socks out of various fibers. I am currently knitting 100% superwash merino socks. No added enforcement. I’ve never used reinforcing thread.

My oldest sock is at least 2 years old. None have holes or thin spots yet.

They outlast my store bought socks.

I do have to admit that I’ve never knit socks with a mohair blend, but I do want to try them. Silk I’d think is a great option too.

You can switch to a smaller needle to knit heels, soles, and toes. I do that often.

I’m knitting my first pair in 100% merino which I got from I don’t know how it’s going to wear, but it is the softest yarn I used yet. Maybe that’s why these socks are going so slowly; I stop every couple of rows to just feel the yarn and tell no one in particular that it is so-o-o soft.

I’ve also order Gloss from knitpicks which is merino and silk and was wondering if I should consider reinforcing the heels. Tho’ I don’t seem to be excessively hard on my socks.

There is a school of thought that reinforcing thread (wooly nylon) actually cuts the yarn and the heels wear faster. And from various threads I read, the brand of yarn seems to make a difference in wear, too.

I subscribe to the sock knitters group on Yahoo and there’s a lot of input on sock-related queries. You might check out that as well as the 2000 sox forum at the Knitty Coffeehouse.

One of the most durable (and lovely) sock yarns I have ever used is “Anne” by Schaefer (did I spell that right?)
It is just wonderful. It is a wool/mohair/nylon blend. Very durable!

Oh yeah, Lonnie and I have some for socks, it is so YUMMY (the Schaeffer Anne).
As for the merino, I think it depends on the yarn, and the wearer…for example, I knit a pair of socks for Lonnie using some of KnitPicks older (no longer made) hand painted sock yarn which was 100% merino and it was handwash…he wore big holes into the bottom of the back of the foot after several wearings and washings.
I usually would have carried along Wooly Nylon (a stretchy nylon that is used alot with serger sewing machines) but I forgot, I don’t know how much it would have helped, though because he really puts a lot of wear and tear on his socks.
And there are 2 schools when it comes to carrying along nylon of any kind…some say it’s great and really helps to reinforce the sock and then there are those that say the nylon cuts into the yarn…so :shrug: what do you do?! I don’t know. Even though I still have several hanks of 100% merino handwash sock yarn (I will probably knit it for me) I am switching to using sock yarn that is made to be washed.
And, I have also heard that, as you said, Sean, that spinning mohair into your yarn will strengthen it, too…I wasn’t of much help, huh?! :oops:

i just saw anne at little knits yesterday, i am excited to try it, bt even thoughi haven’t had that one yet, i am AGAIN insanely excited to start my Mountain Colors socks as it is a similar blend with the superwash/wool/nylon and I’m totally plotzing to start knitting some socks with it. becka, that actually is a HUGE help because I scored 4 hanks of KP’s Sock Memories in Flower Power (my favorite color they discontinued) at a swap and started Jaywalkers that I was going to put aside to work on the MOUntain colors… I am definitely casting them aside now, I might just use it to make their felted slippers instead as I know it felts beautifully and won’t have to worry as much about wear.

thanks to everyone! i really love the mountain colors with the mohair, so think i will keep with that and the anne until i start spinning my own anyway!

I have been trying several sock yarns to find my favorite.

This is only my opinion.

I was not fond of Cherry Tree Hill-After 2 wearings it is fuzzing really badly, everywhere, not just the heels and toes. It looks like I’ve had them forever.

I have the hand painted yarn from Kemps store Diva Knitting-it is really soft and seems to get softer with wear, I really like it for a nice soft look. It has a comfy halo, but has not pilled or worn at all.

I love Lornas Laces, it knitted wonderfully, I have machine washed the current pair a few times (and dryed on full heat-with a load of jeans by accident) and they look a feel exactly how they came of the needles.

I also currently am knitting with the Knit Picks Superwash Bare which I dyed, and so far they are very soft and cushy, I don’t know how they wash yet.

I have 3 skeins of Briggs and little dura sport sock yarn, although it is not as soft as others, it wears like steel wool, very tough and durable. After a little bath in wool wash, they are nice. Also the skeins are really generous, can get 2 ladies pairs from 1 skein (although the colours are pretty boring, I dyed some for a change).

I have also tried Austermann Stepp with the Aloe, it knits wonderfully and does not seem to show much wear after about 3 months.

In the same family in the Lana Grossa sock yarn, it knits nicely and seems to hold up well also. Although it is extremely thin and tends to feel like you are knitting forever and not getting anywhere.

If you want something that can with stand being blown up , I use Regia for my daughters socks as well as Patons Kroy. She out grows these before wearing them out, she has one pair that has gone from her and passed on to 2 more cousins and still are as bright and sturdy as the day I made them.

Hope this helps a little, it is what I have tried so far.