How to Choose Yarn for Warm, Hard-Wearing Socks

4 January 2023
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I am a sock knitter. I haven’t left my house without a sock in my bag for thirty-five years, and I even did my Master Spinner in-depth study on spinning sock yarn. That in-depth study taught me a lot and I have some strong opinions on what constitutes a good sock yarn.

image description: 12 handknit socks; each is white, but with a different colour stripe at the toe so you can tell them apart; each shows slightly different wear patterns.

In 2006, I did a Master Spinner in-depth study on designing sock yarns. These twelve sample socks represent several choices we can make when we choose sock yarns. Some yarn samples fared better than others, leading me to some conclusions about what to look for in a yarn that will make great socks.

All images by Michelle Boyd.

Copyright © Michelle Boyd except as indicated.

About Michelle Boyd

Michelle Boyd is a Master Spinner, weaver, and writer who lives in Olds, Alberta, located in Treaty 7 Territory, the ancestral lands of the peoples of the Blackfoot Confederacy. Michelle learned to spin in 1995 when her local yarn shop closed, and she became obsessed with the art and science of making yarn. She has taught workshops across North America and instructed for the Olds College Master Spinner Program for fifteen years. She is also a frequent contributor to both PLY Magazine and Digits & Threads and is currently completing her first book about spinning.

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