I’ve decided to do a project exploring fiber content and construction techniques for socks. At the rate I knit it could be a lifetime project!
For my first project ….
Used FLK (Fish Lip Kiss) pattern for sizing and heel. Since it’s my first time using this pattern I used plain knitting for the body of the sock. This is only the second pair of socks I’ve ever knitted. I want to work up to Magic Loop for both socks at one time but this pair was done on two circulars, and I did an inch on one sock then an inch on the other sock in order to avoid the dreaded SSS (single sock syndrome). It worked!
This variation used Wooly Yarn (nylon wool blend, see Halycon yarn for example) held doubled with my yarn in the heel, and the next one will use 100% mohair for the heel. The yarn used was Rambler’s Way Handpaint Rambouillet DK (100% American wool and spinning) which is spun with a high twist. Loved the yarn! It is super springy and knits soooo easily. I had to watch out for splitting the yarn (my knitting Achilles heel) and accidentally creating yarn overs when increasing.
I used Turkish Cast On (my 1st time – love it!) and kept each sock separate (on it’s own set of circulars). The Woolly Yarn used for the heels was hard to use as it kept sticking to my fingers and I split the yarn frequently – luckily I didn’t have to do any frogging!. It took about 40 hours of knitting for the pair.
They fit fairly well initially but stretched lengthwise while wearing. Due to the size of the yarn they don’t fit in regular shoes but are fine in boots or slippers. I was surprised to find I did not like the feel of the purl bumps on my feet so am wearing them inside out with the knit side facing in. So far they are holding up well.
High twist is needed for 100% wool yarn to wear well, particularly low micron wools such as merino, rambouillet, cormo, etc. I use 25-50% mohair in all my own yarn blends to ensure good wear performance. Size (weight) of yarn impacts which shoes the socks will fit into. Soft springy 100% yarn will stretch significantly so this needs to be taken into account for sizing.
Next….Same pattern, same wool, two at a time (TAAT), 100% mohair heels – thinking about a stitch pattern for foot and leg. See Sock Knitting Exploration Version 2.