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A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Posted by angieknits (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 5, 09 at 14:09

I am thinking about knitting my first pair of "real socks". I've knitted socks using worsted weight yarns using 2 needles, but they're only suitable for house wear as they aren't comfortable in a shoe. My question is this. Sock weight yarn is designated as a "size 1" on the label, but when I went and bought some Red Hart TLC baby, it has a weight of 3 but the yarn it's self is the same diameter as the sock yarn, and is 64% acrylic and 42% nylon. Is there any reason I can't use this yarn to knit up some nice socks?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

I'm making a baby blanket right now using Red Heart TLC, and it not at all the same thickness as what I usually use for socks. You can certainly use it for socks, though. But you should make sure that the pattern either calls for a weight of 3, or use smaller needles to get gauge.


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

I would wonder about how well they "breathe" and if they'd wick away the sweat. Just a thought.

Vickey-Mn


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Vickey is right. Natural fibers are better for socks. But I have a few pair of acrylic and they're fine for me. Lots of people wear store-bought socks that are nylon or other man-made fibers and are okay with them. It's a matter of preference.


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

I have been on a sock "binge"since Christmas. I've given some to family, I'm not keeping them all for myself. Are you saying baby yarn can be used for socks? I have a hard time finding solic colors. I love the self-striping, but would like white and pastels.


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Below is a link I was just reading yesterday which addresses the issues of sock yarn.

I have poor access to "sock yarn," so I've been experiementing with what I have. I love love love my (first ever) pair of socks make with Modea superwash merino. It is worsted weight, and I used number 5 needles. I wear big comfy shoes (like Keens), and they fit very nicely under them. I could wear them every day. I need to make more!

My son wanted socks (this is only my second pair I've ever made), and I didn't want to pay for the merino (10 bucks a pair--cheap relatively speaking. But he's 5.) So I got some 50/50 cotton acrylic. It is worsted weight, and I am using number 2 needles this time to make them tighter than my wool ones. I don't yet know how the yarn will fare, in terms of wearability (I'm just on the gusset). For sure, they aren't as stretchy as the merino ones.

I'll post my results when I am done.

:-)

francy

Here is a link that might be useful: sock yarn


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Thank you all for your replies and the great link. As far as the natural or man made fibers, I've never worn anything other than store bought socks. I just can't get past the thought that I'd be paying an average of 10 dollars per pair of socks when I can go out and buy 7 socks for that price at the store. I'm a penny pincher, and living on a single income for a family I have to be. But the sock yarn I was talking about was Bernat Sox... and to me ( the novice eye) when I held the strands of both yarns together they looked and felt as though they were the same thickness. Anyway I bought the TLC for a pattern for socks I got out of a Red Heart book, that calls for sz 5 dpns and 3 weight yarn. I had remembered reading somewhere, that most durable sock yarns have a bit of nylon in them. I just was curious about using that yarn. I guess if I knit up the pattern and like it I'll have the ability to use a heavier yarn. I really wish I had a knitting mentor in my area, but honestly I've not found one knitter. My aunts all crochet and some cousins do, but not one knitter.


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Francy, it is very likely that the socks you are now knitting for your son are not very stretchy, at least in part, because you are using the size 2 needles. That is a very tight knit for worsted weight and will contribute to a "hard" piece.

Angie, like you, nobody I know knits. That's why I have to come here to talk about it, LOL.


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Try the link below for inexpensive yarn. I use size 2 needles with sock yarn for my socks. I've seen sock patterns call for size 3 needles. I am pretty fluffy in size, but cast on 72 sts for the leg of the sock, then decrease to 68 for the foot. I do all 72 sts for DH. If you get a superwash wool for socks, you can machine wash & dry them. Most sock yarn has some nylon included. For someone in your area who knits, check with your local librayr, or senior center, or maybe even a nursing home for someone who knits and would like to pass on the craft, or for classes. We have a couple of libraries in the area that someone has a notice up for knitting/crochet groups or lessons.

I typically pay $8-18 per skein of sock yarn, which usually will make one pair, as I buy the 100 gm ball. If you buy the 50 gm ball, you will need two balls for an adult size pair of socks. Now, if you figure the time I spend knitting that pair of socks, which is about 20 hours for a simple sock with only about 2" of ribbing for the cuff, no cables or anything, to sell said pair of socks, I would easily ask $100! I finished a pair for DH last night. He said "Thanks for my $100 pair of socks!" He loves his hand knit socks, but I won't let him wear them to work.

Tami

Here is a link that might be useful: yarn


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Someone mentioned the Smiley's yarn sale earlier - they have sock yarn but you need to order $50 for shipping merchadise - sure you could find other yarn you would like. They post Cervinia Calzetteria in a 50gm ball for 2.99

Here is a link that might be useful: Smiley's Sock Yarn


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Okay, this is what I don't get...sorry if I'm getting off topic here but I'm pretty confused about this. The basic sock pattern I've been using (from Red Heart's Heart and Sole with aloe yarn) calls for casting on 48 stitches for the smallest size on up to 68 stitches for the largest. I have big feet and they say to cast on 68 stitches for a size 10 foot. Okay so I have big feet...but they're long, not wide. Why do they assume that the bigger your feet are the wider you need to make your socks? The first pair I made is so slouchy that they fall off my feet. Now I use the pattern for the smallest size and just make them longer in the foot and even those are kind of loose. I'm using size 2 needles and sock yarn and I'm not a loose knitter by any means. If I see a pattern that calls for anything more than 48 stitches on size 2's I pass it by because I'm not experienced enough to adjust a pattern myself.

Okay, sorry...had to vent! ;o)
Robin (with the long skinny feet)


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Robin, I know, one-size does NOT fit all. And I do understand about not feeling that you are experienced enough to adjust a pattern yourself. For so many years I resisted even attempting a sock because I thought there was something difficult and mysterious about it. A few years ago I finally gave it a try with worsted weight yarn. I could have kicked myself when I realized that it just wasn't as hard as I had built it up to be. Now I love making socks. And there are lots of fancy patterns out there, but usually I make just plain old stockinette stitch socks - I mean, who actually sees the legs of your socks? And I don't even bother with a pattern anymore. If you've already made a few pair of socks, why don't you give toe-up a try? Use whatever yarn you want and whatever needles, as long as the needles aren't so big that your piece is full of open space. You can make socks that fit YOUR foot without any trouble at all. There are lots of websites and videos to walk you through this. And I love to use the afterthought heel (that was a bit scary at first, too, but after my first try, I was hooked) because it's just like knitting a toe (top-down)!

And I'm sure there are lots of us here who would be happy to help you through it.


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Oops!

Oops, I meant that knitting an afterthought heel is just like knitting a toe - TOE-UP.


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

thank you donna! You are so helpful and nice! The 48 st. on size 2's are working pretty well for me (just finished a pair last night!) but yes, I might start trying out some different techniques in the hopes of finding my perfect fitting sock. I've been wanting to try some fancy stuff but honestly, you're right...nobody would ever see the leg of my sock but me. If I succeeded though I might just have to start hitching up my dungarees and walking around like Steve Urkel just to show off my fancy, shmancy, hand knit, aren't I fabulous socks! As if I don't embarrass my 13 year old enough already! :o)

Robin


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

The wonderful part about wool is that the size you end up knitting does NOT have to stay that way....you can block wool to fit your foot. I often knit the top of my sock in some sort of easy pattern, just so it's not boring. I sometimes make a sock with decorative holes by doing row 1 k2tog, yo all the way to the end...then 2,3 or 4 rows of plain stockinette.When I get to the place where I start the heel flap I switch to plain stockinette, and do that all the way down to the toes. You can get a book on different stitches and use one you like for the top (I generally start out with an inch of K1P1 ribbing, then switch to my pattern.) There's a ribbing pattern I like, that I'll post...and you can use it from the beginning to the foot...sometimes I continue a strip of the decorative stitch/ribbing down the front of the sock, to the toe decreasing.....just little things to make them more interesting to do.
I knit mine with sock yarn and on size 1 dpn...I cast on 56 stitches...this seems to fit my foot well....but a good blocking job will ensure they fit!


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

thanks sandra! I'm going to try that k2tog, yo pattern on my next pair of socks! I'll let you know how they turn out.

robin


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

rmlanza, I wonder too if you could find a fancy sock pattern which includes cables on the number of stitches close to your requirements.

Here's my reasoning. My brother is very tall and thin. If I buy him a sweater that is long enough in the sleeves, two or three of him could fit into the body of the sweater. I learned that if I bought him a sweater with lots of cables or ribbing, that it would fit better as the manufacturers don't seem to allow extra stitches in their pattern to make up for the fancy stitching pulling the torso tighter and smaller.

So the same ought to work for selecting a sock pattern. I like your idea of making the smaller size, just making it longer.


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

I've thought about making ribbed socks so they'd fit better. But I'm lazy and hate even doing the k2p2 ribbing of a cuff! I do the minimum amount I can get away with which in my case is about 8 rows. I also like the mindlessness of doing stockinette on dpn's. I sat there one night and knit away while watching tv for so long that when I stopped to check it I realized that I'd knit about 2 inches more than I had in the first sock! I had to rip it out. But I think doing a pattern that involved some yo's and k2tog's and whatever might hold my interest and be a bit more fun. Haven't attempted cables yet, they look scary. But then so did socks and I'm mastering those so I guess I should go get myself some cable twister holder needle thingies (whatever they're called)! :o)

Thanks for the tip though sheila! And unfortunately I'm not particularly tall OR thin, I just have long somewhat narrow feet.

Gosh have I totally hijacked this post or what. I'm so sorry angieknits! I'm not usually this rude. Next time I'll be sure to start my own thread to vent on. I hope you'll forgive me!

Robin


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Robin there is no need to appologize! :D With every post that I read I'm learning something and have references I can return to when I finally finish the arms of my baby sweater, and can start on my socks! So vent away!


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

First of all - I'm surprised nobody mentioned knitting a swatch to check the gauge. Then match that to your sock pattern. A great book for beginners (I'm only on my 3rd pair) is "Getting Started Knitting Socks" by Ann Budd. There are basic instructions for 4 stitches/inch to 8, each in 5 sizes, so you can use different yarns. I got it at my library and liked it so much I bought a copy.

Also - the legs of my socks certainly do show. When we're sitting around talking, I cross my legs and everyone can see (and admire LOL) my socks. Low cut loafers and mary janes show off the pattern on the top of the foot, too.


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Robin, you have been given some great advice, especially checking your gauge, which none of us like to do! If a pattern calls for casting on more stitches, but has a pattern to it, especially a cable, try it anyway. Cables take up stitches, or pulls the stitches tighter, similar to ribbing, so it takes more stitches to fit the same. Also, measure your foot from the back of your heel to the tip of your toe. Subtract 2 inches. That is how long you need to knit the foot before you start your decreases for the toes. The decreases will take up about 2 inches. That is how you get the socks to fit your feet in length, no matter what the pattern says. As long as you get it to fit around with the right number cast on, you can make the foot as long or as short as you need to. I use Ann Norling's Basic Adult Sock pattern. It has multiple cast ons for different weights of yarn. I cast on 72 for my fluffy legs and decrease to 68 at the ankle so the foot fits right. For my DH, I cast on 72 and do that to the end with only decreases at the toe. All on size 2 needles. Cables are not hard as long as you mark your rows and pay attention. And the needle thingy you need is called cable needle! I have used a double point needle and a size 1 crochet hook in a pinch! Hmmmm, a tooth pick, too, once!

Tami


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Thanks for the tip Donna! I started out knitting my sons worsted weight socks on #5 dpns, but when I had to start over (b/c they were way too small) I thought I'd try #2's for a less bulky sock for him (thinking it would all be tighter and flatter). I'm not sure I like the result. Then again, they will never feel as nice as my merino ones. The cuff stretches out a lot after pulling them on, and taking them off, but I'm thinking it should tighten up after each wash?

K2P2 ribbing is stretchier than k1p1, right? I just started a pair for myself with fingering weight, and the pattern that came with it calls for k1p1.

Thanks!

francy


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

Okay, I love all you people!

But I have to sheepishly admit that I don't even know HOW to check my gauge. I never check gauge! I've only knit things like scarves and bags and baby blankets and washcloths and socks and stuff and just never felt the need to. I have one of those gauge checker thingies but have never used it. I know I could figure out how but honestly, the idea of checking my gauge and then having to go back and redo something just annoys the you know what out of me...so I just don't do it and hope for the best. I've discovered that my tension is pretty consistent after several years of knitting. I would love to make my daughter a sweater though so I guess it's time to dig out that old gauge checker and figure the darn thing out!

Thanks again for all the help! And angieknits, you are a really sweety! ;o)

Robin


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RE: A Question about socks and sock yarn.

That's exactly why I like to make socks toe-up. You don't have to check gauge! You just make your increases every other row until the piece fits (snugly) over your toes, then just knit in stockinette (sometimes I'll knit ribbing or cables or whatever on the top portion) until about 2" before my heel, knit in a piece of waste yarn on half the stitches, knit about 2.5" more, then rib for however much longer I want it, then bind off. Most of the time, when I've knit a couple of inches past the waste yarn, I put the stitches on holders or more waste yarn, then go ahead any knit my afterthought heels, then go back and get the stitches off the holders and finish the sock. That way I can try on the socks at any time to see how much longer I want to make them. No need for a pattern or checking gauge. Of course, this works with a regular heel as well.

And for a sweater, if you knit it from the top down, in one piece, you can try it on as you go, too.


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