Friday, February 26, 2016

Some thoughts on socks

What's on my needles (week 102)

I am about to knit up another pair of socks for my husband.  He appreciates them very much and wears them year round.  
I am pondering which yarn to use and as I am looking at the socks I have knitted for him so far, I have a few thoughts I want to share with you.

  • Durability  If your hand-knitted socks end up in the wash every week as these do, you have to consider how well they wear.  There is a big difference if you use your sock yarn to knit up lacy shawls or sweaters etc or if you use it to knit up socks.  Some yarns don't hold up well being washed over and over even if they say "super-wash" and even if you wash them by hand.  Looking at these socks I found that the yarns which held up the best were 
  • Strauss Innovation Sock Wool (used in 2012)
  • Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet (used in 2013)
  • Adriafil Knitcol (used in 2015)
 The yarn which pills the most is the Cascade (used in 2013 for the grey pair and in 2014 for the red pair)

The Anzula Sebastian (blue pair knitted in 2014) is also a good choice, but the yarn is discontinued.
Lastly the Anzula Squishy (fawn colored) wears nicely, but he has been wearing them for only three months so far; they are incredibly soft and warm (10% cashmere).
And here is what Tony says about the feel of the socks:
"Compared to store bought socks all of these are better in feel.  Favorite ones are the blue, red and grey and gold colored."

  • Fit
The other important thing to consider when knitting socks is the fit, which pattern to use.
Here is a list of the patterns I used with links to my notes on ravelry:
2012- Basic Sock by Churchmouse :
2013- The Manly Aran by Antje Gillingham :
2013- Toe-Up Socks by Anne Berk : 
2014:- Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist:  
2014- Fish Lips Kiss Heel by Sox Therapist :
2015- Basic Socks A La Jeanne by Jeanne Schrader : 
2015- Elementary Watson Socks by Sherry Menton:

And here is what Tony says about the fit of his socks: 
" Again compared to store bought  socks all these fit better.  The best fitting ones are the blue, red, grey and gold.  Second best the two multi colored pairs and last the grey-white mottled pair (the first pair)."

Conclusion:  I was a little surprised by the answers.  Definitely the patterns which incorporate the FLK heel fit him best. And two of the pairs he likes for their feel are the ones knitted up in Cascade which I don't like as much because of the pilling, but they are easy on the budget.
I will most likely use another Cascade yarn (perhaps the one I just used for the shawl I finished last week "Wave") and will use the FLK construction.

My final decision on the next pair of socks:

I will use the Cascade Heritage Print and the Wildfoote for the toes and heels :)
I will use the FLK pattern for the heel construction and as this yarn is self-patterning I will do a simple stockinette stitch plus ribbing for the cuff.


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