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Sock Yarn: Not Any Yarn Will Do
Socks are knit using four double-pointed needles and are knit in one piece. Therefore sock yarn needs to be fine to accommodate the smaller area. The only sewing required on a sock is the toe and that is usually grafted rather than having the stitches cast off and sewn together.
The sock yarn that is best known is Kroy sock yarn, probably because it has been around the longest. Any fine yarn can be used for knitting socks, but sock yarn contains nylon in the yarn that provides elasticity. Many knitters also sew a thin band of elastic in the top of the sock opening to ensure that the socks won't constantly slip down.
Each individual knitter has his/her own preference of sock yarn. Many knitters prefer to use Jawal sock yarn because of the bright colors available and its fantastic ability to withstand repeated washings. These sock yarns contain an extra 5g. of color coordinated threads for reinforcing the heel.
Figuring out which sock yarn to use is generally a trial and error process. Not many knitters really like knitting socks, but those that do enjoy the small projects. Hand knit socks are a hot commodity in the knitting market, so there is money to be made in this field. Depending on the sock yarn used though, hand knit socks can be expensive. The sock yarn mentioned in the preceding paragraph costs about $6.50 per ball and at least two balls are needed for a pair of socks.
The feel of the yarn on the ball is often different from how the yarn feels against the skin. Socks are not like sweaters that can be worn over other articles of clothing. They are right next to the skin and therefore the sock yarn used has to suit the person for whom the socks are intended. You wouldn't want to proudly wear you new hand knit socks to work only to have to take them off and go barefoot in your shoes partway through the day.
Many people have an allergy to wool, so sock yarn intended for these people cannot contain any wool blends. When you are purchasing sock yarns, be sure to carefully read the label to see what fabrics are contained in the yarn. The essential ingredient in sock yarn should always be nylon, acrylic or synthetic material. Cotton is the best choice in warm climates as your feet won't perspire as much as they will if knit from other fabrics.
However, if you always have cold feet, angora is the best choice of sock yarn for warm, soft socks. Angora wears out quickly though and angora socks have to be washed by hand.
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