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What Is Sock Weight Yarn? – All Your Questions Answered

While sock weight yarn isn’t an official yarn weight classified by the Craft Yarn Council, I get lots of questions about it.

So here goes.

Sock Weight Feat Img

Looking for info about which sock yarn to choose for your next project? Read my sock yarn guide here.

This post is part of my series of articles explaining everything about the topic of yarn weights and yarn sizes.

Table Of Contents

What Is Sock Weight?

Sock weight yarn is a thin yarn popular for making socks.

  • AKA – Fingering weight yarn
  • Weight Category – Super Fine
  • Wraps Per Inch (WPI) – 14 – 30(2)
  • Knitting Gauge Range Equaling 27 – 32 sts over 4 inches
  • It’s thicker than lace
  • It’s thinner than baby yarn, light, DK weight, medium weight yarn, bulky, super bulky and jumbo weight yarn

I love knitting socks as I love working with smaller diameter needles.

The stitch definition is wonderful with sock yarn.

The textured socks I’ve knitted have been such fun because the repeats keep my brain active and the results look fabulous.

The patterns for socks are so varied and have levels of difficulty that suit beginners to advanced knitters.

Sock Weight Key Facts

Sock Weight Facts

What Weight Number Are Sock Yarn Weights?

It’s weight number 1.(1)

What’s It Made From?

It’s made from different fibers. Most sock yarns are made with wool or merino wool and nylon.

The wool/merino wool is often Superwash Merino. The percentages are usually 75% superwash merino and 25% nylon.

The nylon helps to reinforce the wool and create strength for long wearing socks.

You also find a synthetic fiber like acrylic, or mohair, alpaca, cotton, silk, and even bamboo.

Why Use It?

The main reason is to make socks! It’s also popular for shawls and baby items.

It is also a favorite with indie yarn dyers so the color range is extraordinary!

Pin For Later

Sock Weight Pin

Uses For This Yarn

  • Socks for everyday wear – the most popular use
  • Shawls – the lighter weight creates delicate shawls
  • Baby items – perfect for baby clothes/blankets as they’re not too bulky
  • Hats – often used for lightweight beanies
  • Headbands – these are great choices as they’re quick and easy projects
  • Home Décor – like garlands or bunting
  • Amigurumi – delicate dolls or toys
  • Shoes – make lightweight bed slippers

If you’re a beginner, and want to make socks, try tube socks as your first project, then ones with more complex shaping.(3)

I wouldn’t recommend making knit or crochet garments like sweaters as it’ll take lots of time! The fiber is thin.

However in saying this, if you find a sweater pattern requiring superfine yarn that you adore, the effort is worth it.

Sock Yarns Patterns To Try

Here are great free sock patterns for knitters using sock yarn.

The free patterns are divided by skill level to make it easier for you. Hope you find a wonderful project to do next!

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

What Knitting Needles To Use

  • US Needle Size – 1 – 3
  • For those of you in Canada, the UK, Australia and New Zealand – 2.25 – 3.25 mm

You need durable, small needles.

Note: The above are guidelines only. Always do a gauge swatch before starting a project.

Substitutions

If you’ve run out of this yarn or can’t find a particular yarn the pattern calls for, here’s what to use instead.

  • Two strands of lace weight yarn or light fingering weight yarn

Do you want to know how to substitute yarn? Watch this video by Maryna from 10rowsaday on YouTube.

YouTube video

My previous article is fingering weight yarn and next up in the series is what is fine weight yarn.

Q&A

How Do You Spot Sock Yarns At Craft Stores?

The easiest way is to look for the words “sock yarn” on the ball band.

Here is a video tutorial by Nancy from Black Sheep Knitting on -the difference between sock, lace, and fingering yarn. 

YouTube video

This excellent breakdown of this subject will help you!

Lion Brand has skeins that make warm fabric with excellent durability. See their site for shipping options.

Try yarn brands like

  • West Yorkshire Spinners

How Popular Is Sock Yarn?

Very! Find it at all craft stores and everywhere online.

How Much Sock Yarn For A Blanket?

I don’t recommend using sock yarn for a blanket as it’s thin. Two or three strands held together would work better, or a thicker yarn!

How Much Sock Yarn For A Sweater?

You’ll need approximately 1,000 yards (914 meters) of this fine yarn.

How Much Sock Yarn For A Scarf?

A scarf takes approximately 200 – 400 yards (183 – 366 meters).

Fingering Weight Yarn Vs Sock Weight Yarn

Here is a video tutorial by Barbara from WatchBarabaraKnit on how to determine what yarn to use for a sock pattern. 

YouTube video

This excellent breakdown of this subject will help you!

What Size Yarn Do I Need For Socks?

You need fingering weight yarns. (Avoid single ply yarn.)

Is Worsted Weight Yarn Good For Socks?

Yes, however, it makes a thicker sock.

Here is a video tutorial by Lori from Lunar Knits By Lori on how to knit a sock with worsted weight yarn. 

YouTube video

This excellent breakdown of this subject will help you!

Is Sock Yarn Sport Weight?

No, because sport weight is a little heavier. You can still use it to make them though!

How Much Yarn Does One Pair Of Socks Use?

It uses approximately 200 – 400 yards (183 – 366 meters).

Why Is Knitting Socks So Popular?

Because they’re a great portable project, perfect for taking with you on the go.

Also when you need a break from those large projects!

Sock weight yarn is a popular choice for many knitters because of its thinness and delicacy.

Hope you found a project to try!

Have questions? Tell me in the comments.

References

  1. “Standard Yarn Weight System | Welcome to the Craft Yarn Council.” n.d. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/yarn-weight-system.
  2. “How to Measure Wraps Per Inch (WPI) – the Craft Yarn Council.” n.d. Accessed October 7, 2022. https://www.craftyarncouncil.com/standards/how-measure-wraps-inch-wpi.
  3. “Robin Stroot: Tube Socks Good Way to Start Knitting Socks | Opinion ..” n.d. Accessed October 9, 2022. https://www.hastingstribune.com/opinion/robin-stroot-tube-socks-good-way-to-start-knitting-socks/article_93d92016-4695-11ed-90aa-a7605b1d00a5.html.

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Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, creator of Knit Like Granny. I started this site to show 1,000,000 people the joys of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion. Please say hello!

Jodie Morgan Profile Pic

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, creator of Knit Like Granny. I started this site to show 1,000,000 people the joys of knitting & highlight alternatives to fast fashion. Please say hello!

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