What are Sock Yarns?
Sock yarn is a blend of durable fibers that make up the fabric of knitted socks. It can be lace-embroidered, a combination of several fibers, or simply a collection of super-washed wool. Most people prefer the latter as socks made solely of wool can be machine-washed without risking quality and fiber softness.
Developed specifically for the purpose that bears its name, sock yarns are usually light weight, though they can be heavier, and are knitted together by very small needles. Other good choices include wool blended with nylon for added durability.
What Are the Different Types of Sock Yarn?
Available in different types and thickness, sock yarns can also come in different colors and types. Since a pair of socks are a fairly small thing to knit, using various sock yarns could be advantageous depending on the quality and type used. Thicker yarns produce consequently thicker finished socks. Some knitters take advantage of these special qualities to look for possible discounts by buying different sock yarns in bulk and combine them all together later on. Though this is very much probable, balance between the left and right is important when knitting socks. It is very important to use yarn of the same weight or thickness to complete each pair. Otherwise, a bumpy and uncomfortable feel may be created when socks of different materials and weight are worn inside shoes. Multi-color yearns can create a happy and energetic look on textured knitted socks while at the same time provide a smooth finish.
Sock yarns categorized under the "fingering weight" division are lightweight and are similar to the "baby weight" yarn type. Intricate stitching is oftentimes seen among fingering weight sock yarns and are popular among socks made for infants. Wool socks, on the other hand, are a little bit heavier but are very much in demand during the winter season as they keep feet warm. They are also given high regard for being machine washable. Tweed sock yarns are made from fingering wool and are suitable for both winter and autumn. The two-toned color and texture of tweed sock yarns are consistent and very similar to that of tweed coats. Also, it is the traditional and classic type used for knitting men's socks. As for other types, cotton and bamboo sock yarns are said to be cooling on the skin and are very popular during the summer and spring seasons. Likewise, they are famous for being lightweight and "breathable" â qualities that are perfect for a warm weather.
Hand-dyed sock yarns, being vivid and colorful, are oftentimes found in pattern kits. The energetic and exuberant look of multi-colored socks is very popular among the younger ages, particularly during the holiday seasons. The streaks of colors when hand-dying yarn is unique and most of the time sporting a clean finished look with no dye lots. Whereas dye lots refer to balls of yarns colored to create consistency, the whole concept of hand-dying sock yarns is focused on creating a one-of-a-kind and exceptional colorful sock.
Sock Yarns: Buying and Searching for the Right Combination
As there are so many varieties of sock yarns available today, finding the perfect yarn to suit one's knitting needs can be a little difficult. If you are among the thousands of knitters worldwide who wish to start a hobby in creating masterpieces through sock-knitting, it is very much advisable to pick your sock pattern of choice first before shopping for various yarns.
Researching for the gauge to use as well as finding the right size of needle to complete your chosen pattern should be the very first step. Estimating the time frame for a specific design should also be taken under consideration. Larger needles require thicker yarns while smaller ones generally require thinner ones. Needles of sizes 1 and 2 are suitable for "fingering weight" yarns while faster knits can be done by using sizes 3 and 4 needles together with "sport weight" yarns. For thicker and warmer socks, sizes 5 and 6 needles are used. Needles larger than these mentioned sizes are rarely used when knitting socks.
As for the type of fiber, it is best to consider the medical conditions of the target user for the knitted socks. Some people develop certain skin allergies through contact with wool. Likewise, wool sock yarns tend to be itchy or too warm for some. If you want to use wool, you can opt to buy one which is partly mixed with nylon. Famous for extending the life of socks, nylon also provides some real reinforcement to hells. Sock yarns coming in cotton or synthetic fibers are usually easier to maintain, with no risk for allergies and itchiness. Other special fibers like silk and bamboo may require extra care.
And lastly, consider the color you want to use for your masterpiece. Choosing the right color can give hours of fun while knitting, as well as a good reception and a happy feedback from the recipient once finished.