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Old 01-14-2012, 12:28 AM   #1
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wool type recommendations...
I have been knitting socks the past year, toe up mostly. Started with acrylic yarn because it was cheap, and have moved to superwash wool and some pure wool. NOW the issue...
I need socks that wear hard, socks for the working farmer that is in and out of boots/shoes all day every day. We have our own wool now that we are starting to work with, from Charollais X *very nice crimp*, pure Romney, as well as our Llamas. Our goal is to blend wool with fiber, hoping for a tough blend. And in the spring will be adding some Blue Faced Leiscter sheep as well. Any particular blend that will be more durable for farmhouse socks? We are not worried about guard hair in our Llama fiber, as we hand shear and have very little of it, and usually can pull it all at shearing so our fiber is soft and fine...
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:13 PM   #2
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Ok, I think I figured out a good though way to make the socks, you just need some cheap acrylic or your fave strong acrylic and some SOFT wool.. ANY TYPE!
(this sock will be VERY warm :D)
1. Knit your sock in the size you like in wool.
2. Knit a larger sock in the stronger acrylic!
3. Sow the larger sock onto the wool - take the sock (wool) and put the acrylic over the wool sock - Then make sure its REALLY knitted together well, but still comfy!

4. If the acrylic wears out, you could take the arylic outer sock out and re-knit a new outer sock and attach it! This works great :D As long as the inside wool sock is good, this lasts a LONG time :3

Keep On Knitting!!!!
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Old 01-16-2012, 09:58 PM   #3
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I spent a good portion of Friday evening/Saturday reading the first 50 or 60 pages of Clara Parkes's The Knitter's Book of Socks: The Yarn Lover's Ultimate Guide to Creating Socks That Fit Well, Feel Great, and Last a Lifetime. Parkes (founder/owner of delved deep, deep, deep into the structure of yarn, investigating why some yarns are suitable for making long-wearing socks, and others--poof!--one wearing and they're history. *sigh*

The concepts of regain, elasticity (how to measure it, that is), Young's Modulus (!), abrasion resistance vs. tensile strength, and various aspects of spin and twist, etc., are at the heart of her research into yarn.

THIS IS THE BOOK I had been yearning to read, to study, in the past couple of years but had not found. (My newly enlarged yarn-work collection bears me out.) I'm ecstatic that it has now been written and that I stumbled upon it!

It had seemed that the longevity of my (heretofore crocheted) projects was fairly random, but now I have a Method for selecting yarns--assuming I can afford them!--as well as a way to understand the fate of less long-lived projects.

Parkes also posed various challenges to 20 sock designers. To tell the truth, the challenges seemed more like The Labors of Hercules: no two were alike. The last challenge was posed to Ann Budd: "I asked her to design a rugged sock that would survive day after day of mountain trekking." Not your exact situation, but as close to it as the book gets.

Budd responded with both structural innovation *and* a yarn recommendation. The favored yarn is fingering-weight (Weight Class #1): String Theory Blue Stocking, 80% Bluefaced Leicester superwash, 20% nylon. 2 skeins @ 420 yards/384 meters each. Worked on U.S. #1.5 (2.5 mm) and U.S. #2 (2.75 mm) needles.

The pattern is provided in women's S and M only; no L (which would be my size) or men's sizes. The sock is shown in the photo on p. 178 as slightly longer than crew length, certainly not boot length. If you were to make this sock, you might want to lengthen the cuff to suit your needs.

Parkes also gave this information on the selected yarn:

"The socks use a soft but durable three-ply yarn made from BFL wool, which tends to have a longer staple than Merino and, thus, greater resistance to abrasion. The leg and instep are worked in the two-row slip-stitch pattern commonly used to add strength to heel flaps. [Easily abraded parts of the sock] are all worked with two strands of yarn held together....Be sure to use a yarn with plenty of elasticity to compensate for the lack of true ribbing" (p. 179).

The Knitter's Book of Socks has been in circulation long enough to have made its way into some public libraries. Maybe yours has a copy or will be willing to order one, if the book isn't in your own budget.

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Old 01-29-2012, 02:46 AM   #4
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