WIP week: baby socks

I have a confession to make: I think I’ve become a sock addict. Ever since I finished up and sent off my Mom’s socks (which she adooores, by the way, yay!), I’ve been itching to start a new pair. I’ve been looking at patterns, scheming, dreaming… Unfortunately, those socks also convinced me that the only way to go is to knit socks with Proper Sock Yarn, preferably one of those wonderfully soft yet sturdy wool-nylon blends. Why unfortunately? Well, because I have no such yarn in my stash, nor easily available in my surroundings. At least to my knowledge.

So I am appealing to the European sock knitters out there: please tell me, which sock yarns do you use? When I think of sock yarn, most things that come to mind are US-based, and quite difficult to access from Belgium. Can you recommend some UK or European-based brands? And secondly, where do you get them? I am notoriously bad with online shopping (I confine it to Amazon and Etsy – yes I am still living in the dark ages), and I know absolutely nothing about buying yarn online. Please enlighten me with your links!

In the meantime, I’ll get whatever quantum of solace I can find. For example, these baby socks in the leftovers of Malabrigo Sock from my Whippoorwill. Just holding the 2mm needles in my hands again made me all giddy! The only problem with newborn socks is – they’ll be done in no time at all… So hurry up with your advice, please! :)

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About fridica

I started knitting completely by accident, when I was visiting my parents for a holiday in 2008. On a boring Sunday afternoon, I decided to dig through their stash of books to see if there was anything interesting to take back to my apartment. A knitting manual happened to be one of the books I found. I got curious, my mom immediately dug out her old needles and yarn stash (which she hadn’t used in a decade at least), and in a few minutes we were both casting on - she by memory, I by following the instructions from the book… :) Since I normally prefer learning from books, this was ideal.. I took the book home with me, and very very soon - I was an addict.

13 thoughts on “WIP week: baby socks

  1. Hello Fridica! I am a French knitter and I usually knit regia yarns, they are not alwas 100% wool but I find it handy to have some acrylic fibers (well, no more than 10 to 20%) in sock yarn because it adds elasticity. I think you can find them easily in any online store, but I only know French ones (but I can give you names if you want!). Another place I have bought great sock yarn is the loopy ewe (UK shop
    : http://www.theloopyewe.com/). They have great choice and their yarns are wonderful.

  2. I wish I could help you out, but I live state-side. You could always look at sock yarn on ravelry and see if anyone in Europe is selling bits of their stash.

  3. Hello, in Germany i buy for Socks Yarn (most time 75% Wool, 25% Nylon/Poly…)from Regia, Opal, Lang Yarn Jawoll Magic.
    The most time i buy it in the Shop around the corner but you can get it in the Internet too. It´s not so difficult to buy there.
    Here it goes to a Drops Wool http://www.garnstudio.com, they have several Shops in a lot of States. You can choose your Language on the First Site. They have the Wool: Fabel and Delight (both are Sockyarn). Also the have very nice Alpacayarn.

    Greetings, and i hop you will find the right stuff.
    Madame Flamusse

  4. Regia and Opal yarns are brilliantly hard wearing and I just chuck then in a normal wash load. Lang Jawoll yarns are lovely but I’ve only ever used them for shawls, despite the nylon content, because they are so pretty. All three yarns are available in loads of UK online stores. I would suggest looking on eBay if you don’t know of any local online stores.

  5. I am happy to hear that you are looking for nylon-containing yarn. My experiences are that however nice 100% wool handpainted sock yarns may be, they just don’t last.
    My favourite among similarly luxurious – and handpainted, if that is something you’re looking for – is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock, which is a wonderful sock yarn to work with. I buy it online here: http://getknitted.com/acatalog/Shepherd_Sock.html
    Otherwise, I’ve also had good experiences with Schoppel Admiral, e.g. the Ombre series: http://www.wollbox.de/epages/61169902.sf/de_DE/?ObjectPath=/Shops/61169902/Categories/Sockenwolle/%22Schoppel%20Socke%22/Ombre – and Zitron Trekking: http://www.wollbox.de/epages/61169902.sf/de_DE/?ObjectPath=/Shops/61169902/Categories/Sockenwolle/%22Zitron%20Socke%22
    I’d recommend both of these online shops I link to. Do however take a look at the colourways on Ravelry first – also in the project pages – I always find that very helpful when trying to decide on a colourway I want to buy online.

  6. Hi Fridica,
    I was going to recommend Lang yarns and Jawoll as well. I recently bought Trekking XXL sock yarn (25% “sturdy” component, can’t remember if nylon or something else) to make my dad socks because this is the nicest, most traditionally masculine colour combo I could find (mainly dark blue with a bit of navy as well as some subtle purple. I asked some male colleagues, they approved). I am not sure what company Trekking is but I got it off ebay. You might be able to do some research at other online sites to take advantage of their better images because ebay images can be a bit misleading.
    There are also other European yarns like Austermann, Gründl, Schöller und Stahl but I don’t know if the German sites deliver Europe-wide.
    You can see Austermann yarns here: http://www.bastelundhobbykiste.de/Stricken/Sockenwolle/ – they also do Regia and Opal. I don’t know if they ship to you though. Ebay is good because lots of sellers will ship internationally.

    The only caveat I have about Trekking sock yarn: it glistens a bit too much. It doesn’t look as nice as 100% merino and looks and feels much more acrylic than I would like. I hope they’ll be nice and sturdy and that my dad will like them for that reason. Fingers crossed.

  7. Regia is excellent value for money and hardwearing, in solids and stripes etc. If you are looking for something fancier and handpainted there’s The Yarn Yard (http://shop.theyarnyard.co.uk/). There’s not much up on the website at the moment, since I think the dyer just came back from a holiday, but she has lovely stuff. I have some sock yarn from there that is 80% wool 20% nylon, though I haven’t actually tried it yet. Also The Sock Yarn Shop http://www.sockyarnshop.com/ (UK based) stocks lots of the yarns people above have mentioned, and more.

    Happy sock knitting!

  8. I’m afraid I don’t know of any Belgian online yarn shops but I have come across wollbox which was mentioned above, they have loads and loads of sock yarns, Germany is the country to look to for sock yarns, they have so many great brands like Regia, Opal, Trekking, Admiral, OnLine, Rico etc. I’m quite a fan of Trekking myself, it seems to last well, I’ve made socks for my dad in it that are still looking like new after nearly two years’ wear. There’s also a shop called http://www.laine-et-tricot.com/ in France who sell loads of lovely yarns, http://www.naturesluxury.com/en/ have loads of amazing yarns, http://www.astridsdutchobsessions.com/scripts/default.asp is a Dutch shop (obviously!)

    Can you tell I spend quite a lot of time looking at yarn online?

    Lastly there’s the list of Drops retailers in Belgium, a couple of which have online shops, I’m using their sock yarn Fabel atm and am impressed so far http://www.garnstudio.com/lang/nl/butikker.php?but=2

    Sock knitting is utterly addictive, my life doesn’t feel complete these days without some on the needles, even if they aren’t my main project! Happy Knitting!

  9. Ripples Hand Dyed Yarns every time – sorry, can’t do the link but google that in and you will get Helen, who is so kind and helpful and has the most amazing range. She ships world wide and is extremely efficient and always happy to help.
    Her range is really fabulous and she takes her inspiration from the Highlands of Scotland where she lives. You will find her on Ravelry. Honestly, she makes the whole procedure painless and easy – you won’t be dissappointed.
    L

  10. I just recently started to knit socks (I have made only 2 pairs to be exact) and the yarn I used was 75%wool 25%nylon named SALO, from Peka (the manufacturer is actually Teteks yarn from Macedonia). I have bought it in my LYS, apparently it’s sold over Europe (in supermarkets, or at least that’s what I read about it). Positive: it’s not expensive. Negative: it’s only made in 4 colors, it’s a bit scratchy, 2 skeins of the same color are not necessarily the same color and equally tick. Unfortunately it’s the only sock yarn sold in the entire region and I can’t shop online because I live in one of those rare countries that don’t have paypal.

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