Hot of the Needles: A Finished Pair Socks !

I’m starting the week off great with a second pair of finished socks!    I casted on my first sock January 20th and finished the mate over the weekend.  These socks are ribbed toe-up with a cable down the back of the leg.  They fit wonderfully and I absolutely love the colors … reminds me of faded blue jeans.

Needle Size:  US 1.50 , two 16” circular needles
Heel:  I used the heel from Socks on a Plane
Leg: 4”
Bind-off:   Double bind-off from a post by Karen Frisa in 2017 for Socktoberfest.

There has been a discussion about Patons Kroy in a sock knitting group I belong too on Facebook, which I have found very interesting.  Let’s face it, there are “yarn snobs” out that there that often scoff at the use of Patons, Lion Brand, Drops, Red Heart,  Premier and even Opal.  In their eyes these yarns are below their standards and should never be used for socks because they didn’t come from a yarn shop, they don’t wear well, have too many knots and heaven forbid, they are “cheap yarns” because they come from Joanns, Michaels or even Wal-Mart.

So what do I think ?  Like your knitting needles, what your use for your hand knit socks is a personal preference.  What you might consider the best yarn, others might disagree. For me, it’s about what works the best, wears the best and will last the longest.  It’s also about care.  I machine wash most of my socks on the gentle cycle and lay them flat to dry.  For those socks knitted in expensive yarns, I tend to hand wash and lay flat to dry.  I honestly can say I have had only two pairs of socks in my sock knitting life ( 12 years now ) that didn’t hold up well and were chucked, both were from Indy dyers.  

As far as the yarns being cheap … well what is cheap to others isn’t necessary cheap to me.  It takes two skeins of Patons kroy to make a pair of socks.  Unless you get this yarn on sale, you are looking at $15 for a pair of socks.  Opal yarns runs $15 to $25 a skein, and the other yarns can run $5 to $10 a skein.  As far as the quality, these yarns can have knots, but guess what, so can expensive yarns.  I have been very fortunate not to have too many skeins with knots, and those that have, I have returned them, including those expensive skeins from the yarn shop.  

Right: Opal, Premier Serenity, Regia and Lang
Middle:  Patons and Indy Dyed
Left: Patons Dk, Lion Brand,  Cascade Heritage, Universal Yarn, Lang

In my sock drawer I have socks made from Lang, Opal, Patons, Premier and from  expensive hand dyed yarn from Indy dyers.   My oldest pair of socks ( 11 years old) is a pair I made using Lang in a blend of cotton and wool, and they still look brand new ( below ).  I have machine washed them many times and love wearing them in the summer.  My socks made from Patons Kroy are around eight years old and they get a lot of wear.  They are a little felted on the heel (only on the inside) but still wear very well and are in great shape.  My socks made from Opal yarn are anywhere from 8 to 10 years old, have been worn numerous times, have been machined washed and still look fairly new. My socks from a few expensive Indy dyers haven’t worn as well.  They tend to pill, felt, the dye is still bleeding in a couple of pairs I’ve made, and their life span has been no longer than a few years. These socks have been worn just as much as my others with the only difference in washing, I hand wash these socks.

My oldest pair of socks 

At the end of the day you should use what is best for you (wear and cost) and don’t worry what others might think.  If you like what you use, that’s all that matters and again, it’s personal preference. 

Until next time, be creative!

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