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Old 01-18-2008, 03:43 PM   #1
tokmom
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Cotton vs wool for socks
Can I use a wool sock pattern and use cotton yarn instead? I'm allergic to wool and can't wear it.
I do want to make a pair of wool socks for my husband though and would appreciate a beginner pattern if anybody has one to share.
I just figured out small circular knitting , so I think I'm ready to try a sock pattern.
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:26 PM   #2
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Silver's Sock class is great for those wanting to start socks...and in the any sock KAL, Lieke is allergic to wool and she has found some great yarns to use instead... you may try PMing her or posting in the any sock KAL to see what she uses...
I know there are sock yarns that have bamboo and wool...or wool and Soy silk...I'm just not sure how 100% cotton would do...
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Old 01-18-2008, 09:02 PM   #3
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Thank you, I will do that. I just drool over the beautiful wool yarns. I just wish I could wear them.
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Old 01-19-2008, 10:51 AM   #4
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I just read an article by Ann Budd in the Summer Interweave Knits that said that one of her favourite sock yarns is Cascade Fixation- which is not a sock yarn, but that is made up of cotton and elastic. The elastic is especially helpful for socks as it helps to keep their shape and hug the foot, as cotton generally doesn't hold shape. I'm going to get some to make socks for those wool allergy people in my life!
Oh- and another vote here for Silver's sock class!
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:46 PM   #5
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Hi tokmon,

I know how you feel about the jummy wool we can't use, but there are some alternatives. The best one is cascade fixations, or elann.com esprit. You can knit them with 3mm needles, which is a bit larger than usual. I've tried 2.5 mm (ususal size), but that didn't work. I can hardly get the socks on my feet, the fabric is to sturdy.

If you like the nice selfpatterning yarns you can get with wool: it excists in cotton now. Unfortunately, it has only been made in the summer of 2007, so you have to buy it quickly, it has already been discontinued. I've found an online shop in the us which has it: click herebut it's rather expensive in the US. I think if you want more than one ball, you'd better order it in Germany: Mariannes opalwolle. They've also got another woolfree sockyarn: Flotte socke Baumwolle

Last thing I can recommend you is Grumperina's list of woolfree sockyarn

If you want more information, or need some help with your German, you can always pm me.

ETA: I've found less expensive sockina cotton summer dream on ebay: Autum colors (I'm knitting with them); stone colors; wine and Schilf (can't find a proper english translation for that one)
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Old 01-19-2008, 01:56 PM   #6
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Oh, and I forgot to give a proper answer on your first question: you can use the patterns that are written for wool, that's no problem. You just have to keep in mind that cotton has no memory, so you might want to use a bit more ribbing than usual. On the other hand, if you use cascade fixations, you don't need ribbing at all, because due to the stretchyness of the yarn, it'll stay on your feet, not matter what.

A sidenote to cascade fixations: it's a bit hard to work with in the beginning, because you have to knit really loose. But if you get the hang of it, it's the best woolfree sockyarn you can find.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:01 PM   #7
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I found a few cotton blends w/no wool sock yarns.

http://www.straw.com/cpy/yarns/pandacotton-card.html
http://theknitter.com/cottoncolori.html

Grumperina has a list of yarns she's tried, too.
http://www.grumperina.com/knitblog/nonwoolysockyarn.htm
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Old 01-20-2008, 03:29 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Jan in CA View Post
I found a few cotton blends w/no wool sock yarns.

http://www.straw.com/cpy/yarns/pandacotton-card.html
http://theknitter.com/cottoncolori.html

Grumperina has a list of yarns she's tried, too.
http://www.grumperina.com/knitblog/nonwoolysockyarn.htm
Panda cotton is something I've never used yet. I can't tell you how it works. Grumperina has it on her list.

I've got some cotton colori (it's from fortissima), but never used it. It has been discontinued, so you won't find very much of it, only left-overs.
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