Socks felting on the soles normal?

Hi there. I just knit a test sock out of Knit Picks Palette (I’m not partial to nylon or other synthetics when I can avoid them). After a day of wear I can see some slight felting around the ball and heel of the foot. On one hand is seems obvious that this would happen, on the other it seems unfortunate. Either way, I’m not sure it matters… perhaps it will protect against holes! Still, I find myself a bit dismayed.

From what I understand, tightening up my gauge and making the sock fit tighter, all in an effort to reduce movement of fiber, can help. But, either way, is this mild felting after one wear to be expected?



When I knit with 100% wool my socks will definitely look used after just one day of use. It is pretty much expected. I would not call them felted, but some wool has been scrubbed loose.

I recently got some of the bare palette when it was on sale to try making some socks with, as I too don’t care for synthetics and wondered if it would make a decent natural sock yarn.

I don’t have much experience with woolen socks specifically, but I know it’s normal for wool to felt a little with wear, the more so if it’s damp and gets rubbed a lot so I’d expect that in a natural wool sock. It probably does actually make it more durable.

Do you otherwise like how it knit up as a sock yarn? I’m thinking it should probably be knit up as tightly as feasible, as it looks like a somewhat loosely spun yarn which makes me more skeptical…

I actually like it quite a bit, and after I washed the sock I think I was being a bit too paranoid about the “felting.” In any case, I’m knitting a new sock now at a tighter gauge, which I think will help. I actually really like the “quality” of the wool. I like that it’s got some body and isn’t just a merino fluff ball. It’s a sock after all. It also isn’t overly scratchy either.

In terms of the loose spinning, based on my experience spinning and knitting over the years, if knit tightly, it shouldn’t matter. This is controversial perhaps, so feel free to disagree :).

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I did finish a sock at a looser gauge and it pilled horribly, enough that I’m concerned that the yarn, in general, is a no go. I have heard though that a tight knit makes all the difference. I suspect this is true, but I don’t really want to risk it without having heard of someone else’s experience.