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View Full Version : The best non-wool yarn for socks?


tarrentella
06-24-2008, 05:28 AM
I am making a pair of Jaywalker socks from Austermann Step, and my sort-of-step-mum just loved the pattern and the colour way. I said that i was happy to make them for her as i am not too keen on the colourway myself and we have the same size feet.
Unfortunately she then asked if the yarn contained wool, as she is alergic to it. the Austerman is a wool blend and would just leave her feet red and sore so that was a no go, and this particular pair of socks will have to be for some other feet.

However, she did start talking about how she always loved the handknit socks from her grandma and she always has trouble finding comfy socks. I am now determined to make her a pair of custom fit socks in some lovely colours but i don't know what the best wool-free sock yarn is.
Also i have heard that alpaca is sometimes suitable for people with problems with lambs wool. is that correct?

khaosx5
06-24-2008, 09:16 AM
There are some very nice bamboo yarns out there. Know that Mary Maxim is going to have a nice range soon. Kertzer has some too...
:knitting:

knitgal
06-24-2008, 09:17 AM
There's a site here (http://www.grumperina.com/knitblog/nonwoolysockyarn.htm)that has a list of non-wool sock yarns. I am using one right now called On Your Toes Bamboo. It has no wool in it and it's very lovely and soft. There aren't that many colours, which is the only downside. Finding decent sock yarns without wool is hard, but not impossible- don't give up!

suewoz
06-24-2008, 09:51 AM
I have used a bamboo yarn from Southwest Trading Company. I believe it is called Tootsie or something along that line.

fibrenut
06-24-2008, 10:29 AM
Hiya taran,
I've used 100% alpaca for sox before, it is DIVINE on the feet but has a couple drawbacks. ok maybe only one that I can think of right at the moment, it has very limited memory, so you would have to run elastic thread through the ribbing at the top to keep them up but other than that (there might be other probs, but I'm in denial n just LUV LUV LUV the stuff).
I've just made a pair of sox with Berrocco's Comfort sock yarn (acrylic, nylon blend) and it's nice n soft but I don't know how it'll wear. You could also try Knitpicks Shine sport or I think they even make it in fingering and lace weight now (cotton modal) is very soft, not squeeky like cotton and comes in juicy lovely colors.
ETA: don't worry if the word "sock" isn't in the name of the yarn. Basically what you are looking for is the right weight. Fingering weight is what you are looking for in any "sock" yarn. So you could conceivably use any fingering weight yarn for sock yarn. If you feel that it's too fragile for sox you could get some matching nylon reinforcing thread for the toes and heels.

bonstance
06-24-2008, 01:02 PM
Right now I'm working on some socks for my DH using a corn yarn - Maizy by Crystal Palace Yarns - it's 82% corn fiber and 18% elastic nylon. I'm not sure how it'll wear, since this is my first pair with it, but I got DH to try one on for foot length (working toe-up) and he didn't want to take it off again!

tokmom
06-24-2008, 09:09 PM
Right now I'm working on some socks for my DH using a corn yarn - Maizy by Crystal Palace Yarns - it's 82% corn fiber and 18% elastic nylon. I'm not sure how it'll wear, since this is my first pair with it, but I got DH to try one on for foot length (working toe-up) and he didn't want to take it off again!

I just finished up a pr of sox for me made of Maizy.:inlove: So far soo good on the wear. Not a problem with washing either. :yay:

marlajap
06-26-2008, 12:50 PM
I have used a bamboo yarn from Southwest Trading Company. I believe it is called Tootsie or something along that line.

I think it's Tofutsies, and sadly, it is 50% wool, so that would be a no-go for someone who is allergic, as I am. One does have to be careful when looking at "Cotton" sock yarns, as they are often up to 50% or more wool, with just some cotton in them; Jawoll, Meilenweit, and Opal all make "cotton" sock yarns that are heavily wool-based.

I've just recently begun venturing into sock knitting - so far, I've completed a pair from Maizy, which came out very squishy and comfy. Little Knits carries a goodly number of the colors, among other e-tailers, and she also carries Panda Cotton, which was my most-recent and 2nd pair of socks. That's another Classic Elite yarn, part cotton, part bamboo and part elastic, and is really quite beautiful, comes in nice prints and solids, and is super-silky (aka slides nicely on the needles, which Maizy did not!). I'm now just starting a pair from On Your Toes Bamboo, which is bamboo and elastic. Really nice stuff, but too soon to say much about it, other than it works up really soft and smooshy in 1x1 rib at the top of the sock - LOL! Once I finish those, I will be trying Kollage's Luscious, which is another cotton sock yarn, a bit on the pricey side, and has been said to be very splitty by some knitters on ravelry - but the colorways are really nice, and the yarn feels pretty soft.

Other non-wool choices for socks include: Sockina from Schoeller and Stahl; Cascade Fixation, which comes in effects, spray-dyes, solids, and self-striping (but seems a bit pricey if you are knitting for larger feet!). I have also read that Elann.com's Esprit yarn makes similar socks to the Fixation. Those are all cotton and elastic only.
Many people who are wool allergic or sensitive are also sensitive to mohair, angora, alpaca, etc. - basically, any animal fiber. Since I am *not* allergic to alpaca, I'm still searching for an appropriate alpaca sock yarn - one with some nylon/elastic in it to keep it from drooping. No such luck. Classic Elite makes Alpaca Sox, but that is 60/20/20 alpaca/wool/nylon. :(

dturner
06-26-2008, 08:09 PM
I don't think that Cascade Fixation has any wool whatsoever. I have used it for socks, and they are very soft. I have also used a similar yarn from Elann called Esprit, I believe.