Of all the knitting projects in the world, one of most the timeless and practical ones is the humble pair of socks. Great as gifts for all the men in your household, or as a cosy treat for yourself throughout the winter months, there are many reasons why you should be knitting your own instead of buying cheap pairs of these items at your local department store.
It can be hard, however, to choose the right type of sock yarn for your project, and there is little wonder why. With so many different weights and materials on the market today, it can be difficult to know which ones will suit your specific needs.
The first thing to do is decide who will be wearing the socks that you are making, and why. You may decided to craft a pair for a family member who enjoys hiking in a thick pair of socks, or alternatively a child who wants a frilly and decorative pair to wear at school. Deciding on what function the socks will fulfil is very important.
You can then go on to choose the thickness of the sock yarn you will be using for your creation. The lighter weight yarns such as fingering weight yarns are ideal for creating thinner, more decorative socks. These are perfect for wearing inside shoes, and will be cosy and comfortable without being too bulky.
On the other hand, yarns that are thicker than sport and DK weight are more suited to boot socks, and will provide a more ‘knitted’ feel when worn. These are best for wearing in hiking boots as mentioned above, which provide more space in the shoe for this kind of thick knit.
After you have decided on the weight of the material that you are using to create your footwear, the next thing to do is decide whether to opt for angora, cotton, synthetic or another material. All of these will make for a pleasurable or uncomfortable experience for the wearer, so consider this carefully.
For those that live in a colder environment and are looking for the perfect cosy socks, choose a sock yarn made from angora wool, as this can significantly warm the feet where other materials fail. For warmer climates, cotton and cotton blends are great at providing breathability which can cool the feet.
It is worth noting that if you opt for cotton or angora sock yarn there will be considerably less elasticity than other materials such as nylon or wool. If this is a concern, aim to invest your money in a yarn that is a blend of a more elastic material and less elastic one. Be warned that synthetic materials can make the feet clammy with moisture.
That said, synthetics are some of the most durable materials out there when it comes to sock yarn, so do not write them off completely. By combining one of these materials, such as nylon or a cyclic, with wool or cotton, you will be getting a blend of comfort and breathability with durability and elasticity, to varying degrees depending on the yarn you settle for.
Once you have ironed out all these details, you can finally get round to choosing the perfect colour for your creation and then going shopping! Your choice in this area all depends on the patterns that you are following and the tastes of you or the wearer of the socks.
You may prefer to opt for sober, autumnal colors for boot socks, or choose brights or whites for children’s school socks. For more inventive creations, why not experiment with multi-colored yarns for an unusual look? Whatever your choice, following the few tips listed above will help you make the right selection for you and your specific needs.