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August 16, 2010



I have some of the Alchemy Juniper in my stash for socks, but when I realized that it contains no nylon I've been hesitant to knit socks. This really isn't a problem? I hate making socks that get holes way too soon.


I agree with you, Allison. Once I down-sized my needles to a US 0, pilling has ceased to be a big issue. I have had particularly good non-pilling luck with Shibui Sock, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock, and Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock. Will you be getting more of the Supersock?


I'll chime in with Allison and Vickie. A key to avoiding many sock problems is to knit with a small needle. I knit socks for years with a 2 or a 1, but when I went to 0, everything got better. The socks feel better (denser fabric, less shifting and hole-i-ness) and they wear MUCH better.

The other thing to keep in mind is the kind of wool used in sock yarn. Merino (used in many sock yarns) is a relatively short-stapled fiber. The ends are more likely to pop out of the twist structure and form pills. Picking a yarn whose content is marked plain "wool" is probably not merino (or the manufacturer would have said "merino" since it's premium) and therefore may be a harder working sock yarn. Today, you can get sock yarns made from longwool breeds like bluefaced leicester, too. Try one and see if you like it!


Allison - I wore my Feather & Fan socks to work again today and still no signs of wear - only the most microscopic slight fuzzing in 2 or 3 spots on the sole - the patterned part is still like brand new - even after many wearings and washings (I let them dry flat) and no color bleeding either. I usually like to read reviews on yarns from those who have knit with that particular one before purchasing. I usually knit all of my socks on a size 1 needle (easier on my hands)and I like to stay away from sock yarns that are on the thin side of sock wt. (Just my preference) I knit with a not so well known sock yarn once and the colors bled and it pilled like crazy and it was a wool and nylon blen too.

Janet Miller

Shepherd Sock wears for years and years, even through both washer and dryer. It's my go-to sock yarn, especially for gift socks. I, too, was very pleasantly surprised by the durability of Alchemy Juniper. Those, too, went in the washer and dryer. I like to leave in the dryer just about 5 minutes, then remove and lay flat to finish drying. Seems to prevent fuzzing. I think I will try knitting my feet on size 0. Sounds like a smart idea.

Deb in PA

I like Opal yarns and Regia. I use them to make my son socks and they wear well. The very first socks I made him out of Regia lasted 3 years. I then had to reknit the toe, but he got another year or two out of them.

I love a bargain, but when I'm making socks for someone that wears a size 18 EEEE shoe, I want something that lasts!

Elizabeth D

I found out that my sister washes the socks I've made her inside out! And they all look great.

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