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Old 01-27-2009, 03:30 PM   #1
ladyjessica
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Knit Picks Essential Sock Yarn
I've decided that I need to try making socks, so I'm getting ready to place an order for some fixed circular needles from Knit Picks. I thought I'd get some inexpensive yarn to practice with, so I'm going to get some of their Essential Sock Yarn. I'm sure somebody here has used this yarn, and I was just wondering if it was good yarn to work with, and can I get a pair of socks out of one ball or will I have to buy more?

Also, I was going to order needles in sizes 1, 2, and 3. Size 1 has two sizes, 2.25 mm and 2.50 mm, and size 2 also has two sizes, 2.75 mm and 3.0 mm. So, what's the difference, other than .25 mm? Which ones should I buy? Does it really make any difference? Any guidance would be helpful here. I tend to be a tight knitter, if that makes any difference.

Thanks in advance for any help.
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:53 PM   #2
Sunshine's Mom
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Essential Sock Yarn is really nice yarn for socks. You'll need at least 2 balls for a pair unless you're making big socks for a man, then you may need 3 (4 to be "extra sure").

I don't knit socks on circular needles, just dpns. So far, all socks I've made I have used size 2 (2.75mm) and size 3 needles when I'm using sock yarn. I've also used US 7 for worsted weight yarn socks and US 13 for slipper socks with bulky yarn. If you really want to splurge, I'd get KPs sock set which has all the small sizes.

In any event, find a pattern that you want to knit and see what that says for needle size and buy accordingly. If you're a tight knitter I'd maybe get the larger gauge in all sizes.

Happy sock knitting! You're gonna absolutely love it...or absolutely hate it! I hope you love it and become addicted like the rest of us sock addicts. Support group, anyone?
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:57 PM   #3
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I'm afraid I don't know about the wool but with the needles, if the pattern doesn't specify alternative measurements in millimetres that would tell you which to get, then I would say to go for the larger of the pairs because you mentioned that you tend to knit tightly and the larger ones are therefore more likely to help you get the right tension.

As always when making things to wear, it's important to do a swatch to check your tension first. The needle sizes are only a guide as to what is most likely to enable you to get that tension. If the swatch knits up too big, try again with a needle size smaller and if it is too small, go for a bigger needle size.
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Old 01-27-2009, 04:06 PM   #4
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The yarn is great for socks. When I bought the KP circs for socks, I bought the larger size 1, the 2 and the 3. So far I've been very happy with what I bought.
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Old 01-27-2009, 06:31 PM   #5
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I like knitting with KP Essential. I'm currently working on a pair of socks using the Navy. I like my stitches as tight as possible on socks and tend to use smaller sizes than the pattern calls for and if necessary increase the number of stitches cast on. I have the Options dpn sock set and find a noticeable difference in .25 mm. I tend to use the 2mm to 2.5 mm sizes the most.
Since you tend to knit tight I would go with the larger mm size in the circulars, the 2mm, 2.5mm and 3mm. You can always fill in if you find yourself becoming a sock addict.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:50 PM   #6
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Another vote for this yarn -- I love it. Being merino and nylon it is very soft, shows stitches nicely and wears well -- it is superwash, but I recommend gentle cycle and not machine drying as it will still start to full over time.

I sometimes find that merino is not a springy as I like so I am also a big fan of Elann Sock-it-to-me, which is even less expensive. Knits up beautifully and wears even better than the knitpicks with the benefit of being a little more springy and elastic. It is not as cottony as the merino, though still next to skin soft for socks (though maybe not for a scarf for sensitive skin). Same washing suggestions apply.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:30 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the advice. I did end up getting the larger of the sizes, along with quite a bit of yarn that I don't really need. Now, if only I could get it today......
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:27 PM   #8
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I like KP Essential a lot. It really is pretty good quality yarn for the price. As for the size to use--if you are a tight knitter I'd start with a needle size up from what the pattern calls for, but what you are really looking for is getting gauge.

When you knit other patterns how many needle sizes do you have to go up? It will probably be about the same for your socks.
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Old 02-01-2009, 12:34 PM   #9
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I love all the Knit Picks stuff-yarn & needles. All good, if you can ever get them to send you anything! It seems like things are constantly out of stock and then once you can finally order it, it takes forever to get it. I think they need to hire some help or something! I can't find anywhere else with as much great, affordable stuff as they have.
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Old 02-06-2009, 02:30 PM   #10
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Hey Jessica, did you get your order yet? I can't wait to hear how the socks are going! I have used KP Essentials a number of times, and always liked it. I'm so glad you're tackling socks.
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