What's your favorite sock yarn?

Yes, I know this is opening up one holy heck of a can of worms. Yes, I've searched other forums seeing the opinions of other knitters. However, I want to ask you all this question with the following additions:

When it comes to easily wearable, comfortable, DURABLE socks, what yarn would you pick?

I know there are thousands of sock yarns out there but I am looking for durability. I have made plenty of socks for just lounging around the house in but now I'm wanting to make socks that can actually stand up to a pair of work boots or hiking boots. I want socks that won't go to pieces or pill up. I want socks that can stand up to my gardening boots then turn around and do just as well for walking the Shibas. Get my drift?

Let the flood gates open!! Let me hear it... and thanks in advance for your help.

talk to you soon...
The Shibaguyz

ronhuber's picture

I wear only handmade socks and really like Paton's sock yarn. I still use socks that I have made over three years ago. For thicker socks I make what I call, Farmer socks, from "Tuffy" a thick wool with some nylon from Briggs and Little in New Brunswick Canada. I knit them on 4mm needles and when in Canada and there is snow I just pull them over my regular socks and jeans and stick my feet in a pair of Wellingtons and I can plough through snow with no problem. I knit them also for my nephew who does a lot of hiking. These last for years.

Wonartist66's picture



from Mountain Colors Company!

Since I tried wash many of hand knit socks, one of my fav is "Bearfoot" socks yarn. The "bearfoot" yarn is sport weight yarn good for boots or hiking boots. I been knitted with bearfoot before, it's stay up really will... Since been washed 8 times right now, stay up the shape and really warm. If wanna socks that won't go to pieces or pill up, don't choose 100% wool yarn to knit the socks from. The wool don't stay up really will, because wool is raw fiber that pills together with two stand(I mean for socks yarn).. That's why wool broke down, when you wear it. For socks, you always need use superwash yarn with nylon in it, because superwash is special fiber that combind men-made fiber to stay up sock much better.

The most important thing is that alway hand knit socks are must washed by hand, not by machine!
It is not only the reason using right socks yarn, Careing is the MOST important thing to stay up longist time!

- Must hand wash the socks with cold water.
- Wash with wool wash or mild soap (Special detergent for hand knit item)
- Turn inside out when you wash the socks (IF the yarn is machine washed)
- Dry the hand knit socks, use socks blockers to stay up shaping.
- Do not dry wet socks with dryer. Dry with open air! If you use dryer, socks will be felted (if merino wool socks) also shink.

Tallguy's picture

I have to disagree with you. !00% wool will work for socks very well. They do NOT pill -- if it's spun correctly. Superwash is plastic coated fibre, and is not wool anymore -- it is akrilic!!

Usually, I like a wool firmly spun, with about 10-25% nylon in it. But you can also blend in mohair, or silk for hard wearing socks. Nylon has been known to cut through wool, and that is not a good thing. Paton's now has some really great sock yarns. I like Kroy for most of my socks. There are other brands too.

Hand-knit socks do NOT have to be hand washed! I will put them in to machine wash, but I never use the dryer for clothes. That is where you get a lot of wear in your clothes. I live in a dry climate, so everything dries very fast anyway.

Wearing holes in socks comes from rubbing. It can be on the back of the foot, or under the ball of the heel or the toe. That can be from ill-fitting shoes or socks not in the correct shape and size. I also find that wearing socks on carpeting indoors wears them out very fast too. But this is all only my own opinion, of course -- ymmv.

scottly's picture

Mission Falls 136 Merino Super Wash. It's a DK weight wool that knits up fast and beautifully. The color selection is incredible include four tri-colors that are way cool and each have several complimenting solids for contrasting cuffs, heels and toes. This makes great guy socks. The DK weight is newish to Mission Falls so not many LYS' carry it but will probably order it for you or you can find it on line. I only recently discovered it myself and have eight skeins on order that hopefully will be here soon. As far as durability - I have no idea - I'll just have to wait and see. I have been told that the tighter your stitches the longer lasting your socks will be. I really think the secret is having lots of socks so that no single pair gets over worn or over washed.

I'm sorry I just can't get in to the hand wash thing - if I can't make user friendly socks there is almost no point in making them at all. There is nothing I hate worse then giving a great pair of socks to a freind saying "Here is this lovely pair of socks but you have to hand wash them and by all means don't put them in the dryer." Geez, I just gave them an extra 30 minutes worth of work not a nice pair of socks.

QueerJoe's picture

I'm really hard on socks and the only yarn I've found that didn't pill or fall apart on regular wearings and washings was Trekking XXL Sock Yarn.

I still use others, but that's been my most durable and they look fantastic too.

Aaronknits's picture

I gotta agree with Joe on the Trekking XXL. IT's great stuff!

mrossnyc's picture

I have also knit with Trekking XXL and it knits up great, but the socks aren't that old so I can't advise on how it wears over time.

Shibaguyz's picture

Thanks for the input gentlemen! Turns out our local shops carry both the Trekking and the Patons sock yarn. Guess what I'll be working on this weekend!! WOOHOO!!

Thanks again for the benefit of your experience.

talk to you soon...
The Shibaguyz

teejtc's picture

I like Opal sock yarn. http://www.opalsockyarn.com/ - it's tough, doesn't pile, washes well, is reasonably well priced.

As for special treatment. I don't do anything special at all. I throw my socks in the washer (usually warm, since I use warm for almost everything) and then throw it in the dryer (usually high, since I throw just about everything in high). I've found that even with poor treatment, they last for years.

The one caveat is that I don't tend to be particularly hard on my socks. I seldom get holes in them. However, I've used them in hiking boots, dress shoes, sandals (yes, I'm a geek), clogs, wooden shoes, etc....

Grace and Peace,