SO as I am working on sock #5 for my 2011 personal sock challenge , and I started to think of all the socks I made these past 6+ years of knitting socks, which ones have worn the best and or which do i like the best. First let me say I have always knit top down until this past Christmas when I ventured int o the toe up. It was ok but I am just not comfortable yet. I knit socks because it is somewhat mindless( I usually use a k3, p1 rib pattern mostly on sz2 DPN bamboo needles), they are portable, . and they always fit when I am done, and I wear nothing else on my feet at this point. I knit socks for my mom and my niece. I have a stash of sock yarn about 12 skeins most of which ar e high end handpaint such as cherry tree hill , lorna laces . I ALSO HAVE SEVERAL SKEINS OF SELF STRIPING YARNS.
i JUDGED THE SOCK ON HOW WELL THE SOCK YARN HAS WORN, DID IT BECOME PILLY, THIN, LOSE ITS COLOR. RETAIN ITS SHAPE dID IT REQUIRE SPECIAL WASHING. diD THE ORIGNAL SKEINS HAVE knots. Value ?
So to begin, some of my first socks were done with a variety of the OPAL brand. The far left was zebra, and the far right was lady bug the middle 2 were self stipers. I use a siz2 needle, cast on of 60 stitches and follow the Yankee Knitter generic sock pattern. The skein yardage was plentiful. Most of these are 4 years old and even older. They have held up well, retained their color and shape , and no special washing. They feel nice. Initially the yarn was rough but after intial wash they were great. The purple skein had a not and since this was one of my first socks I did not handle it proeprly; I know better now. . I may have paid in the 10-20 range per skein at the time. I like this yarn and would defintley use it again...Even better if I can find it on sale. I may try the 6ply dk weight sock yarn.....
The middle and right sock were my first 2 socks made form Regia yarn. They are still goin strong and show no sign of heal thinning or color loss. I used the same k3p1rib sz 2 bamboo DPPN. I believe I used 2 skeins and each was around $7-8. While there are certainly more spectacular handpaint colors etc. These socks really cant be beat. It is a good yarn .
The left sock was a cotton wool sockyarn I believe by Sockotta that I used a k2p2 rib on a siz 1( I read somewhere that cotton socks should go down a size. I like these but have not warn them as much; I prefer the wool . The yarn seems to be non pill and the color o still vibrant. I dont know if I would buy much cotton sock yarn s once the weather gets warm ... And I still prefer wool for cold weather wear. But if you were looking for a cotton wool blend, I would recommend this.
The third batch of socks features yarns from Cherry tree hiLl. This usually retailed for 24-26 and the yardage was ample.; I found no knots The colors were nice. BUT. Usually within one washing the yarn began to fuzz or halo. There has been some loss of color. A pair made for mom wore through within the first season. This yarn always has a good feel as you are knitting but just doestn seem to hold up well. No one is looking at my fuzzy socks but since I paid more money I naturally expected them to wear better. I suspect its because they have no nylon in them and and the quality of the wool itself may be a factor. I will not buy any more of this brand.
The final 2 socks: The left is made from 2 skeins lorna laces in a free pattern . These are several years old and have washed and worn well. I loved the color and the feel. However, I have made a 2nd pairin the past year from this lorna laces in same pattern and hasve had halo and a hole develop where the yarn was thick and thin. I dont think these socks will last as long. I wonder if hte change in ownership has affected their quality....This yarn is pricey and i think a pair runs 25-30. I would have to think twice before using this yarn agian. I still have one coloraway in mystash so we will see.... The right sock was just finished this january using the toe up, my first. I used MAdelinetosh fingering which cost about $28, getting pretty pricey. I loved the color and the feel. But after the first washing I saw they began to get the halo or fuzz. I like the feel and love their colors but that is too much money..
SO in summary what have I discovered. While I love the colorways and the intial feel of the more expensive yarns I am not convinced that the quality is there to warrant the extra cost. I f I add to my stash I will look at Regia and Opal and perhaps stay with choices that have some nylon in them Pleaase forgive my photography sklils. I will work on this....