View Full Version : Newbie Question: What IS Sock Yarn?

04-13-2007, 02:27 PM
I'm making my first pair or socks for my mom who has circulation problems. I'm using Patons Merino. I hear alot about "sock yarn" and "fingering weight" and I've seen some LOVELY socks in stripes that really make me curious, gotta learn how to do that!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, any info for a newbie on this? I figure natural fibers are best because your feet sweat, otherwise I'm pretty clueless. :??

04-13-2007, 02:35 PM
Sock yarn is typically sport weight and fingering weight yarn. You can also use worsted weight. It's basically thinner than other yarn.

You can find it in self-striping patterns, making it much easier to knit up pretty socks.

04-13-2007, 02:45 PM
Sock yarn is yummy stuff... and many yarns are self patterning so there is no learning to do!!! Just knit away.

Sock yarns that are blended with nylon tend to be more durable. Some people simply reinforce the heels and toes with nylon and some people just don't bother.

Also knitting a sock densely helps it last longer as well as minimizing the feel of the purl bumps on the bottom of the foot. Some people are sensitive to this.. others are not. Its kinda up to the person you are knitting them for.

Hope this helps!

04-13-2007, 03:41 PM
Those self-stripping must be the patterned socks I've seen. How does it work? I mean, do they sell the pattern by foot size so it all evens out? What if you're making for someone with big feet, will the pattern not work out? :doh:

Jan in CA
04-13-2007, 06:06 PM
If the foot is bigger the stripes would be narrower. You can even make hats with some of them, but probably only small ones.

I've two sets of socks on the needles.. one with Paton's Classic Wool and size 8 needles to felt and the other is sock yarn and size 1 needles.

04-13-2007, 07:46 PM
I don't buy sock patterns. I use the Sensational Knitted Socks books and decide which pattern to use according to the sock yarn I have.

I have discovered that self-striping yarn tends to mask cabling patterns in socks, so you have to be careful about that. I mean, all that work...

Chevron patterns and good ole SS are really nice. Ribbed patterns look good with striped yarns too.

As far as how much to buy, you just buy enough to accommodate the pair you need. I buy a 100g skein of yarn for a pair of socks to fit my feet, calf-high. But, I do have a couple of 50g skeins (different colors) that I plan on making into footies, which require less yarn.

The striping patterns come out how they come out. Some of the colors have longer stretches, so the strips will be wider, while other colors have shorter runs, making for more narrow strips of color.

04-13-2007, 07:48 PM
Thanks Nathalie, that really explains it all!

04-13-2007, 09:51 PM
In addition to self-striping yarn, there is also handpainted. Handpainted often results in a striping pattern depending on how it's painted and the pattern that it's knit in. It can also pool, which often looks quite lovely. With handpainted sock yarns, it's more difficult to get identical socks, but in my opinion that's the charm of it. The bulk of my sock yarn collection is handpainted and hand-dyed semi-solids.

It's also good to look for a superwash sock yarn, especially if your feet (or the recipient's feet) tend to sweat. That way the sock won't felt (or will be much less likely to felt).

04-13-2007, 09:54 PM
Another thing you may want to know, has to do with the types of 'striping' of yarns. There are many types of sock yarn that is actually self striping, in that they are dyed to create a specific 'pattern' with the colours.

The other style or coloured sock yarn is not dyed with the intention of creating a patterned look, but will instead have the colour be almost randomly placed.

Usually it will say somewhere if the yarn is made to self stripe, because it's rather important factor for the end product!