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December 22, 2009



Oh dear, I love a Merino with nylon, but am also fond of Merino with just a bit of those socks last forever! My feet are not the silk kind, I reserve sock yarn with silk in it for fingerless gloves, scarves and shawls.


I knit merino and nylon socks for myself--all wool is not durable enough for me. I save the 100% wool sock yarn for making shawls and scarves.


The yarn has to be durable for socks. I can't even think of putting that much time into something that will not wear well or last long. So for socks it's Merino with nylon. In knitting anything else - I will "experiment" with different or blends with silk.


I really like working with a 100% wool yarn with a nice springy twist. I do have a skein of Casbah that I've been saving - who knows, maybe that will become my favorite!


For socks... I like to be a little adventurous! I'm not sure I've found my favorite blend yet! I've tried yarns with pure wool, cushy merino, some with nylon blends, some with silk, some with bamboo...

I do find though, that the blends with nylon tend to wear better over time though!


Merino with nylon works for me!


I haven't been a serious sock knitter for long enough to have a favorite brand of sock yarn, but I do usually tend to stick with the tried-and-true wool/nylon. I just finished swatching with a 50% wool/30% Super Fine Alpaca/20% Nylon blend that is heavenly, so I may be a convert.


My favorite to knit is Merino/Nylon BUT I love wearing the cashmere blends!


I use 100% wool for myself, and some sock yarn with silk. I know I will hand wash my socks.

Husband is hard wearing on socks and I use the mix of wool and nylon for him or his socks would be in holes in weeks.

For the (grown up) children I tend to use a mix of wool and nylon, and while I tell them to hand wash them I know they might survive a trip in the washing machine.

I have made special socks for presents that have been hand wash only, but then I know the recipients will take care of their pressies.

For myself I have found I love Socks that Rock, and I'm trying out Wollmeise at the moment. Another favourite is Lornas Laces, love the colours, especially the Simply Socks colour. I also use many of the independent dyers here in the UK.


My favorite for socks is the Sea Wool from Fleece Artist with the combination of seacell and wool. My socks have held up nicely. It also knits up great for fingerless mittens using the Jacoby pattern on the Berroco website. I am going to try it with the Mitt Envy pattern on Ravelry next.


I haven't had much luck with non-wool sock yarnss. And almost any wool will do, merino or not. Ixnay on acrylic blends, though.


I like merino with just a bit of nylon to keep it honest. Washes, wears, and knits well


I enjoy most knitting with 100% wool and even enjoy handwashing and blocking. Blends with a bit of stretch fiber are ok. I like cotton but tend to knit loosely with it and need to adjust my guage.


My go-to sock yarn is merino with nylon - but truly, my favorite socks are merino/silk.


merino/nylon most of the time. Every once in a while I do like to splurge though.

Marti Keefe

I am gradually discovering that my favorite sock yarn actually knitted up in socks for comfort and wearing well is 100% merino wool, with maybe a little nylon like 10% being OK too. I like my socks to kind of felt down as I wear them. I don't like them to get all fuzzy or to stay loose and open. Of course, I have mainly looked at color in my previous yarn purchases, but I am now looking at the fiber content a whole lot more.


The sock bug has only recently bit me and I love natural fibers but since I make socks for my sons and they can be hard on their socks and don't want to hand wash I tend to gravitate towards a wool nylon blend--washable of course!


Unfortunately I like them all!


It really depends on who the socks are for. If I know they'll be treated with care and handwashed if necessary, I'll give something less ordinary. But if I'm unsure, or if they're going to a guy, definitely superwash wool with nylon.


I guess my favorite is still 100% merino but I'm open to try out anything.

Pat Kelley

For myself I've been accumulating a stash of what I think of as luxuries for my feet, different blends with silk, cashmere, bamboo, etc. For my husband and gifts for friends and families, I've found that the superwash blends with some nylon work the best.

Molly Johnson

I have a real love right now for Cashmere/Merino, although I did get a Tilli Tomas Milan Christmas Kit and I think that is going to move to number one (well, as soon as I can actually start working with it!!)


I tend to knit socks out of superwash merino, and save the sock yarns with luxury blends for future shawls or other items.


I like the merino/nylon sock yarn for the durability. Most of the socks I knit have to be able to wear well and stand up to washing and drying in the machine, so that limits what I choose to knit with. I've already shrunk some socks that I loved because they accidentally made it into the dryer.


I have been using the Merino yarn mostly, but am starting to get into the cashmere and silk. It is so yummy. As someone else said I like them all.


I love to treat myself with a skein or two of the luxury cashmere blend yarns occasionally, and I have stashed tons of premium merino yarns, but honestly, since I started working full-time, the best investment of my sock knitting time is with tried and true yarns with a bit of nylon content that I can machine wash and dry. Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock is my hands-down favorite because it wears like iron, but feels like a buttery-soft luxury blend. My second favorite is Smooshy for the same reasons. And I also love Noro Kureyon Sock. It feels scratchy fresh off the ball, but washes up very soft. And I mistakenly left a pair in the dryer this weekend, and it didn't hurt them a bit. But I knit everything. The size of my stash is embarrassing.


I'm with the majority and knit socks mostly from wool/nylon blends or 100% wool. I like to feel like the socks will last. I do have some "fancy" sock yarn that I'll use for scarves or shawls. Although I do love the mitt pattern, so I might have to add that to my ever-growing list of projects.


I'm having a hard time deciding between a merino/bamboo blend or a merino/silk blend. They are both my favorite! I do like the merino/tencel and sheen it gives the socks and it looks wonderful in a scarf.


I love merino/nylon socks, they last really longer.


I must confess, I'm not terribly picky about my sock fibers. I try to stay away from 100% synthetic (acrylic socks? ick), but shop more for color than content.


Definitely Merino, though I've been hearing enough about BFL that I'm on the lookout for the perfect colorway!


My favorite sock yarns are Fleece Artist Sea Wool and Pagewood Farms Denali. I hand wash and lay flat to dry. I've also used Opal yarns, not as soft but they wear like iron.


I like them all! My favorites are Casbah, Dream in Color Smooshy, Pagewood Farms Alyeska and Tilli Tomas Milan.


If it's sock yarn, I'll knit it!!! I don't think I've knit with cashmere sock yarn yet though...

Mary A

Casbah is by far my favorite yarn, just wish all sock yarns were at least 400 yards.

rasa chambers

I've been knitting socks for 5 years now. I had become a merino w/nylon knitter because all that I've read about sock strength...and somewhat from my own experience. Luckily, I have found a wonderful thread that Jo-Ann Fabrics carries - "Wooly Nylon", a serger thread. I knit this in for the heel and toes - you could actually knit it through the whole foot, as it is fine enough. This thread really opens the door for more fibers!

Cindy W.

Merino/nylon/bamboo blends, I have to say color is what sells me.
Cindy W.

Nancy N

I tend to prefer all merino because I am attracted first to color and there seem to be so many hand paints available in merino. Also, I love the feel and the way it handles when I am knitting.


Abby smash socks, socks must be strong! I like a wool/nylon blend. But I will slip into some merino bamboo just for that 'I love my feet' pampering myself day.


I've only made a few pairs of socks, all in a merino/nylon blend, but I'm open to knitting them out of anything and caring for them appropriately :)


wool with nylon. I've darned too many holes in 100% wool socks. I love the feel of some 100% wool socks, but I hate trying to repair thin heels later.


I pretty much like merino and favorites are still the old standbys of Opal, Regia and Trekking XXL


I used to be all about merino with some nylon for durability but I recently got some superwash that is merino with 10% mohair from a local dyer and I am in love! I have very rough feet and have found that the mohair seems to add that little bit of extra toughness I need to keep my heels from wearing through a pair of socks too fast. For my wife, who has nice smooth feet (darn her!! *grin*), it's mostly about color, not fiber. She loves bright colors in just about any combination, so she has socks in wool and cotton, mixed with mohair or nylon or chitin or... you get the idea. :)

Andrea (@shutterbitch)

I mostly knit Merino/Nylon blends, but I have knit out of merino/cashmere/nylon before and it was heavenly. It was only a baby hat, but I would love to have a pair of socks out of that blend.

Marianne C

I love merino only and that the yarn is tighly spun so it is quite thin. I am very picky about MY socks. For gifts, I go with a blend with nylon for hard wearers or blend with cashmere for something cushy!


I like a little bit of silk in my sock yarn, if I can swing it. A blend, ala Regia Silk, is my favorite to work with. But I love anything soft, really, provided its natural fibers.


I like merino and nylon for all around wear but I have been knitting some cashmere blends lately and loving that too.

Linda B

Do I have to pick just one favorite?? Gosh, guess it would have to be anything from Simply Sock Yarn Co... Seriously, I enjoy working with all blends, especially with Merino.


Anything that doesn't shrink after a (cold) machine wash. Because I'm not so much into the hand washing. (Laying out to dry? Fine with that. Hand washing......ugh.)


I typically use merino yarns to knit socks, but also like bamboo and cashmere. There's nothing quite like cashmere socks.


I used to be more concerned with what sock yarn was made of, but these days it matters more about how the yarn feels while knitting with it and the colorway. My husband is hard on socks, but most yarns still seem to hold up pretty well for him.

Denise Sheaves

For socks, I use merino/nylon blend and save the luxury fibres for shawlettes.


As has been mentioned, it depends on who's getting (and washing) the socks. Easy care blends for most, and save the special needs yarns for those who will look after it.

Michele in Maine

Any yarn combining merino, cashmere and nylon is my favorite, both to knit and to wear!

Debbie B

I have not knit socks yet, they are on my list of to learn.


I love 100% wool, but have found they are not as durable. So I often look for that 10% of nylon.


I really never thought about a favorite sock yarn. But in my stash I have trekking xl especially for my husband and lorna laces.


Still a pretty new sock knitter, so I haven't experimented much. I do like merino/nylon blend---haven't tried cashmere---wow, sounds really soft and luxurious!

After Christmas,when there's more time, I really want to come back and read ALL the comments from these 12 days. You can learn alot! (Read as many as I can for now.)


For the most part I use wool, but it is really more about the yarn itself. I pick a yarn for its beautiful colors then find a pattern that works best for the yarn.


Many of my socks end up in my work boots. I love wool and wool blends both summer and winter. I tend to stay away from the more fragile fibers because they just don't hold up to the abuse I put them through. That said - anything that keeps my feet warm and comfy wins in my book.


Almost exclusively I use merino/nylon that's washable. The sock yarns I have in my stash that are 100% merino or non-washable I've made into other things that don't require as much washing and don't have to hold up to the friction that socks do.

Pat Martin

Enlightening to read these posts.
My fav is seacell/wool because it wicks away the moisture and still has the wool feel.
Merino is best overall.
Reading what others have written I can see I need to branch out into the luxury fibers. A goal for 2010!


I like wool/nylon or wool/silk combinations for socks, although I'll knit with plain wool and just be a bit more careful with them. If I'm knitting socks for other people, I prefer to use superwash.


Merino/Nylon all the way!

I would be curious sometime to try "milk fiber" sock yarn, though.


Merino straight up is my favorite -- no nylon on my feet!

That said, I've made socks from cotton (with and without elastic), rayon, soysilk (too saggy), wool/silk (yes!) and other blends too. I have yet to try a tencel blend, but intend to.

Carla in MT

i have to have a favorite?? :) wool/silk fibers are a favorite, as is 100% wool (superwash, please). A recent yarn that was sooooo nice to knit was Cascade's Handpaints. Soft, springy, no splits. I need to find a good alpaca sock yarn for a DIL that is allergic to lanolin.


Definitely the merino/nylon blends because if it's a sock it's going in the washing machine. For anything else I knit in fingering weight however, I love having the softness of the added silk or cashmere. I've tried bamboo but haven't warmed up to that yet.


If I am knitting for me- I will use just about anything. I tend to wear open back shoes and am gentle on the heel portion. I use good and durable merino with a little nylon or tencel for the guys I knit for. My DD lives in warmer climes and I reach for more cotton blends for her. I do love to knit with alpaca but stick to blends with a smidge of merino and nylon added to avoid the dreaded felting. I still love knitting with SNitches and good ol Lorna's Laces. I can wash my husbands socks a gazillion times and they stay great.


I'm like you - the yarn totally depends on who I am gifting it to. If I was making bed socks for my mom - cashmere! Socks for my kids - throw in the washer type of yarn. But, in general, I tend to grab yarn from my stash because of the COLOR. I LOVE ALL SOCK YARNS (as you well know}!!!


Hmm, I've really only knit socks with 100% merino or with a bit of nylon in it. I have some merino/alpaca/nylon that I can't wait to try though after the holidays and I think I even have some with a bit of cashmere in it too.


I love to try new yarn mixes- lately it is bamboo that has caught my imagination-


Mostly I'm a merino girl, but I've noticed that several of my pairs without nylon in them have shrunk over time (yes, I wash in the machine on the cold cycle and never dry in the dryer), so I'm thinking that I might just move to the wool/nylon blend in the hopes of not having to find friends with smaller feet who don't mind used handknit socks.


Most of my sock yarn is merino with nylon, but I really like the feel of a cotton/wool blend. I have some bamboo, but I haven't worked with it yet. I want to like it :)


It depends on the recipient. Mom and Dad get nylon blends (Mom's worn holes in most of the straight merino socks I've made her), I love the straight merinos and my sister-in-law needs the non-wool ones. I haven't tried cashmere blends for socks (I had one skein, and knit a scarf because it was just too nice for my unpedicured feet), but maybe one of these days.


For socks, I usually stick with washable merino. Some are softer than others. But for other sock weight projects like shawls, a nice wool/silk or wool/cashmere blend is nice.


I mostly use merino/nylon, but I love MCN

Dawn K-M

I really don't have a favorite. I do agree that the socks need to hold up and that's going to depend a lot on who the socks are for. I do like try lots of different yarns though and sometimes have to match the socks up with the yarn after knitting instead of selecting a yarn based on the person.


When knitting socks for a non-knitter (that I know won't remember to hand-wash), I like to use a good superwash yarn like Dream in Color Smooshy. But, for myself, I am in love with Cashmere blends!


For myself I mostly use Merino/nylon as I wear hand knit socks all winter and I like them to last. However that being said my actual preference is to go for the luxury fibers-certainly when I'm gifting socks to a friend but also for projects like scarves, shawls etc. I'm a total fabriholic so the more luxurious the better.

Tammy Edwards

As I am still fairly new to sock knitting (only one pair done for me), I am still in the experimental phase with yarns and am trying different yarns.

Lisa P.

I don't have a particular, I use lots of different combinations. I'm more likely to be drawn by a color than a fiber.

I've been cautious about luxury fibers due to hand-washing requirements.

Beverly Shearon

I like merino and nylon, but I also like to experiment with different yarns. Socks are just so fun to knit and I like using the sock yarn in a scarf pattern too, especially if it has a little cashmere in it.


I agree--anything with cashmere becomes special. I knit a pair for a friend this year using the Dublin Bay pattern in Pearl Casbah yarn. She loved them!


For socks, I have tried several combinations. Sometimes it depends on the pattern though. Standard socks are definitely merino/nylon. I also love merino/mohair for warmth. I also knit merino by itself for the colors. But some patterns cry out for the sheen of a blend with tencel or bamboo. I've bought a couple skeins with cashmere and have yet to knit socks with them. I'm currently enamored with the neck scarves/shawlettes from that blend since they are SO yummy and warm.


I haven't knit socks yet, but these are some great ideas of yarns to try!


For myself, 100% merino. For my mom (the only other person I knit socks for) I will only use a wool/nylon blend because she destroys the 100% merino socks. With a blend they at least stand a chance of repair.


I think my most favorite yarn to make socks with is merino/nylon blend for durability. But, I've become enamored recently with the merino/cashmere/nylon blends for an extra touch of luxury!


I don't want to knit with 100% merino for socks. I really think that nylon should be in a sock yarn, for durability. I will use a socks yarn with at least 10% nylon, and even up to 25%. For gifts, I love the dependability and easy care of Opal.


My favorite combo is merino with a small amount of nylon. I have never had a hole in socks with a little nylon.


I like Merino/nylon, but if it has a little bamboo in it they feel more luxurious!


I've never tried a cashmere/silk blend. It sounds heavenly! I usually use wool or wool/nylon.


I use both merino/nylon and 100% wool.


I dont really have a favorite fiber combination. I am still new to the sock knitting bit so I am still exploring the different yarns. Mostly I have knitted with merino/nylon blend. Those socks are perfect and get better every time I wash them. I am hoping that in the new year that I can explore more. Winning some yarn would be a good start. :)


So far, I have no specific preference, I just let the yarn speak and tell me what it wants to be!

The Casbah is delicious but I don't know that I'd make actual socks with it as I want to show off the color!


I totally agree about thinking of the care the recipient will give the socks when choosing the fiber! That said, I always feel uneasy about making socks with something I'm not sure will wear well, regardless of who they're for. So generally superwash and some nylon content is a must if the yarn will be worn on feet!

Not that those other lovely "sock" yarns out there don't find plenty of uses -- mine just end up being mitts, hats, shawls, scarves....


100% merino wool is my favorite. maybe they don't wear as well, but I haven't noticed; I have plenty of socks in rotation and lots more sock yarn I want to buy. ;)


I have tried several different combination, but I think I enjoy knitting sock with merino and silk the best. It makes my feet feel smooth and soft.


I really love merino/nylon combo but I have an angora blend that a friend just gave me to try out. I think I'll probably use it for mitts though rather than socks.


I love merino/nylon blends for socks and am particularly fond of those with 3 or more plies, like Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock.


I have never finished a pair of socks (not yet a sock knitter) so I can't really say. I own some sock/fingering weight yarn in a variety of blends, but mostly superwash merino.

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