Spotlight on Sock Yarn

Spotlight on Sock Yarn

Posted by Emily on Aug 5th 2021

We've recently expanded our selection of sock yarn! Sock yarn is typically fingering weight yarn that has some nylon content in it. The nylon content makes the sock stand up longer to the intense wear and tear of life as a sock. Just because it's called sock yarn doesn't mean you have to knit socks with it! You could weave with it, crochet with it, or do any yarn craft with it. 

All of the sock yarns we've added are self patterning. Which means if you knit a small circumference item with them (such as a sock) they have been dyed to automatically form a colorful pattern with just plain stockinette stitch and no extra work from you! It can be really fun to see new colors of stripes form as you knit away on a sock. 

These beauties are balls of Zauberball Crazy Sock Yarn. This is one of my absolute all time favorite sock yarns. Some of the oldest socks in my hand knit sock collection are knit from this yarn and look better than several pairs of much newer socks. If you're really into perfectly matching socks this might not be the yarn for you because the color sequence does not repeat itself perfectly. The colors are created by two strands of different colored yarn that are plied together in a barber pole like effect. This makes the yarn look very similar to 2 ply handspun that was created from hand dyed fiber that is multiple colors. Let me show you what I mean with some of my socks!

I knit these back in 2016 and I still wear them all the time! That's a pretty good long life for a sock. You can see how they are more like fraternal twins than identical twins in terms of their color patterning. This is Crazy Zauberball Color 1699 if you want to be sock twins with me! 

Remember how I said it can be fun to weave with self patterning yarns? Sarah wove up this scarf on a rigid heddle loom using 1 ball of Zauberball Crazy in Color 1537 as the warp and Bluegrass Mills 6/2 Cotton in Onyx. She used a 12.5 dent heddle (12 dent would be fine!). It's so cool how the Zauberball Crazy makes vertical stripes when used as the warp! I also love how it looks like Sarah just transmuted the ball of Zauberball Crazy into a scarf because the bits of black weft give it an overall barber pole look like the yarn itself! 

Another brand new yarn line to us is West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply Country Birds Sock Yarn. This is another really great workhorse yarn that will stand up very well to wear and tear. 30% of the wool used in it is BFL, which makes fantastic socks. This self patterning yarn is extra neat because it actually makes a mock fair isle pattern as you knit it up. 

The above socks were knit in the Kingfisher color way. You can see this little sections of speckled dots in-between the stripes which make the socks look like they were knit with stranded color work even though they're just plain ribbed socks! We haven't tried weaving this line of yarn yet but we really want to test these as a weft to see if we can get the patterns to show up. 

This is another yarn from West Yorkshire Spinners, the Signature 4-Ply Winwick Mum Collection. These form bold stripes inspired by floral colors. 

This is the Hidden Gem colorway. This yarn is really fun to knit up in plain stockinette. It also isn't too busy so you can add in some cables or other patterning without the details getting lost in the colors.

These are some scarves I wove up with self striping yarn. We don't carry this yarn (it's an indie yarn by Valkyrie Fibers). You can achieve the same effect with the West Yorkshire Spinners Winwick Mum Collection. With the scarf on the left I made my warp a length that was the same length as the self striping sequence so that each warp strand is a different colored stripe. The weft of this scarf was the same color as the light pinks stripe in the stripe sequence. For the scarf on the right I used the solid/speckle light pink yarn as the warp and used the self striping yarn as the weft so I got bands of horizontal stripes. The wider you make your scarf, the skinnier these horizontal stripes will become. These were really easy to weave up on my Schacht Cricket Loom with a 12 dent heddle

We don't just have sock yarn, we also have sock needles! The Chiaogoo TWIST Red Shorties Set is really popular amongst sock knitters. It comes with 5", 6", and 7" cables so you can knit in a small circumference. This means you don't have to juggle DPNS or Magic Loop, you can just knit around in a circle like you would when using a 16" circular needle for a hat. The set comes with lots of mini tips in small sizes in both 2" and 3" lengths. The needles on the right are Addi FlexiFlips and they are my personal favorite needle for sock knitting. I describe them as being like if DPNs and Magic Loop had a baby, they have a lot of the positives of both methods without a lot of the negatives. 

If all of these lovely sock yarns have inspired you to knit some socks, we have some books for you! Getting Started Knitting Socks is a great book for newbie sock knitters. We can't wait to see all the sock you knit up and self patterned weaving projects you weave up! 

When your socks get so loved that they start to get holes come check out our past blog How To Darn Socks! I cover three different methods of darning socks.