Knitting Socks is a very popular knitting project choice. Sock knitting can become very addictive! At time of writing, I’m knitting socks 🙂
In this post, I share my guide to sock yarn. There are many yarn types but some suit socks more than others.
What Is The Best Yarn For Knitting Socks?
So many gorgeous sock patterns, stitches for socks and beautifully dyed yarn to knit up into socks.
Knitting socks gives you an opportunity to explore color, different stitch techniques and great satisfaction!
In this post I explore what is the:
- Best Yarn For Knitting Socks
- What is Sock Yarn?
- What to Consider in The Best Sock Yarn
- Some of the Most Popular Sock Yarns that Knitters Swear By
Table of Contents
- What is Sock Yarn?
- What To Consider In The Best Sock Yarn
- What Is the Best Sock Yarn?
- What Are Popular Yarn Blends For Knitting Socks?
- What Is The Best Self Striping Yarn?
- What Is The Best Worsted Weight Sock Yarn?
- Best Sock Yarn Review
What is Sock Yarn?
Sock yarn refers to a yarn, usually super fine and labeled Sock Yarn.
The American Yarn Council places it in the Super Fine category with the symbol number 1.
Sock Yarn refers to both a particular type of yarn and a category. It’s usually knitted on small needles such as 2.25mm or US needle size 1-3.
This type of yarn varies in thickness or yarn weight such as super bulky or worsted weight. These thicknesses are best suited to bed socks or outdoor socks to go hiking in.
It’s often a blend of fibers, making the finished fabric more durable. Sock yarn isn’t only for socks. It’s often used in knitted blankets and shawls.
Arne and Carlos using Self Striping Yarn To Knit The World’s Easiest Socks!
Watching this video you will learn how Arne’s techniques for knitting a toe up sock. The yarn they use is Regia Pairfect Design Line 4-Ply by Arne & Carlos Sock Yarn. A self striping yarn, you can see the how the colors create different effects.
What To Consider In The Best Sock Yarn:
Socks Should Hug The Leg
Most people prefer a tight, non-floppy sock. They should hug the leg. No joy in constantly having to pull up your socks! You need tightly plied and less yielding yarn.
Socks Need Washing
Socks are worn every day during cooler weather. They need to stand a high degree of wear and washing. Avoid yarns that pill, felt, or get visibly discolored with regular washing.
A machine-washable yarn saves time. If you don’t mind hand-washing, you can choose many other types of yarn.
Thin or Thick?
If you like thin socks choose fingering weight only (400m/100g). Think about what type of socks you like to knit or might like to knit. Will the socks be thick, thin, for the office, or wild and fun?
Thicker wool such as DK weight will make bulkier socks. Keep in mind the amount of space in your shoes!
Who Is Your Sock Audience?
Will the socks be for friends, partners, teenagers, little ones? It’s easier to start out with someone in mind. Think about their favorite colors.
Would they like one color or self-striping yarn? Would they prefer plain or fancy stitch patterns? What sort of thickness? Long or short? Think about this to make sure your lovingly handmade socks are worn 🙂 They are sure to love your knitted gift!
What Knitting Equipment You Have
Your knitting equipment – DPN (Double Pointed Needles), circular knitting needles.
Knitters recommend 6 inch double pointed needles, using 2 circular needles, or the magic loop using one long circular knitting needle to knit 2 socks at a time or 9-inch circular knitting needles to knit socks.
Tension Of Knitting
Consider what type of tension you have, tight or loose. It’s crucial when working with any sock pattern to check your gauge.
How The Yarn Feels
How a yarn feels on the hand often feels utterly different against the calf and foot. Some people have heightened sensitivity to scratchy wool.
Others have a greater tolerance for rough yarns in socks they’d never bear as scarves or sweaters.
Softness will be a consideration for some. Remember softer yarns don’t stand up to abrasion well. They’re more likely to pill and get holes quicker.
Do You Want Your Stitch To Shine?
Are you a fan of intricate stitch patterns? If so, think about the color of your yarn. Plain or ‘kettle dyed’ yarn, the best solid color sock yarn, allows intricate stitch patterns in socks to shine.
Dark colors mask textures and cables. Choose lighter colors if you want the pattern to stand out.
Self Striping Yarn For Color
Self-striping yarn is fabulous for colorful, wild sock patterns. Remember the heel you choose in your sock will have an impact on the stripes.
Think Of Your Budget
Think of the amount of money you want to spend. If you can afford expensive yarn, you’ll want something that lasts. Only you can determine the best affordable yarn, depending on how much you’re willing to spend.
Avid sock knitters don’t recommend yarns that contain any silk, bamboo, angora, cashmere or alpaca; even in blends. The best silk sock yarn is more for shawls or delicate knitted items.
Cotton-blend yarns are also more fragile than pure wool ones. These fibers don’t stand abrasion well.
If you live in a warm climate, you’ll want to stick with cotton or cotton-blend yarns. These are the best summer sock yarn.
Pure synthetics won’t provide much long-lasting warmth. This type of yarn holds moisture directly against your feet, making them feel cold and clammy with wear. There is no best acrylic sock yarn because it makes your feet sweat.
If you’re new to knitting socks, start with yarns labeled sock yarns. These are more durable and easier to wash than similar weight yarns not made for socks.
For the best non-wool sock yarn consider blends of cotton/nylon and bamboo/cotton/nylon. The best value yarn if you are allergic to wool.
What Is The Best Sock Yarn For Knitting Socks?
Experts on yarn like the author Clara Parkes, says the best yarns for socks are elastic. Socks need to stretch around a foot but then cling to the foot while wearing and hug the calf. Yarns that are a wool and nylon blend is a great choice.
She discusses sock yarn in her excellent and informative book:The Knitter's Book of Socks: The Yarn Lover's Ultimate Guide to Creating Socks That Fit Well, Feel Great, and Last a Lifetime.
Why Wool and Nylon?
Wool has the best bounce and fiber memory. Cotton, angora, and alpaca have less elasticity. If you’re fond of less elastic fibers, your best bet is a blend of wool and nylon. This has the best stretch yet warm sock yarn.
Wool is the best fiber for spinning sock yarn. ’
In general, knitters have found the best, long-lasting sock yarns are wool and contain at least 20% nylon. This is said to be the best sock yarn ever and is the most popular sock yarn.
The essential ingredient for durability is nylon, acrylic, or some form of synthetic material. The best sock yarn for stretchy and longevity.
Yarn For Socks Needs To Be Able To Handle Rubbing
Yarn used for socks needs to be abrasion resistant. A lot of pressure on fibers in knitted socks because they rub your foot, your shoe or the ground as they are worn. Choosing a super soft yarn is not a good idea.
Socks Need To Absorb Or Wick Away Moisture
Feet sweat, socks need to absorb or wick away moisture to feel (and smell) good. Nothing beats wool. It absorbs up to one-third of its weight in moisture before it feels moist.
Unless Your Feet Always Smell Like Roses, Socks Need To Be Washed
Consider superwash yarns. When knitted these can be tossed in the washing machine. The best washable wool sock yarn is labeled ‘superwash.’ However, for non-superwash sock yarns, washing by hand isn’t difficult.
Sock Yarn Weight
The most common best sock yarns are fingering, sport, and DK weight ranging in gauge from 6 to 8 stitches per inch. Normally the finer the gauge, the more fluid and form-fitting the sock.
You can knit socks in worsted-weight yarn at gauges up to 4 stitches per inch.
Sock Yarn That Knitters Recommend
What Are Popular Yarn Blends for Knitting Socks?
Mohair is a wonderful durable fiber when blended with merino and nylon.
Wool/Angora – If you suffer from consistently cold feet, nothing beats the heating power of angora. Even a small amount of angora in a wool sock boosts its heating capacity significantly.
What Is The Best Self Striping Sock Yarn?
Self-striping sock yarn creates fabulous wild stripes when knitting socks. Sock knitting experts suggest the best self-striping sock yarn are those that have long color changes. Felici Yarn is a great option.
What Is The Best Worsted Weight Sock Yarn?
Worsted weight refers to yarn thickness. Worsted weight sock yarn is thicker than ordinary sock yarn. Great for making thicker, bulkier socks.
Knit Picks Chroma a wonderful worsted weight yarn – 70% wool / 30% nylon.
Best Sock Yarn Review
Reena at Knit Better Socks is a expert sock yarn reviewer expert. Reena has been sharing her sock knitting experiences on the blogosphere for many years.
Her writing is a wealth of knowledge and her expertise is second to none!
Key Takeaways and Top Recommendations
All you need to know about best sock yarn for knitting socks. We know you will find a gorgeous yarn to suit your needs.
Enjoy your sock knitting 🙂
Something we forgot? Leave a question or comment at the end.
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