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For the Love of Wool, Take 2 - Random babblings of a fiber-obsessed nutcase

About For the Love of Wool, Take 2

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spin a yarn
From:(Anonymous)
Date:January 8th, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
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just to let you know, you inspired me to go to the Fanciwerks yarn shop 30 miles away and buy some wool yarn. Is it quality? how do I know? They have bunches of yarn - I saw the Cherry hill brand there..but it was over $10 a skein - I think more like $18...out of my price range really. If it is over $10 a skein...I just can't justify that when I still dont know what I am doing.
And since I am crocheting, I don't know what I am doing there either, I have no pattern...but I am wondering if you could answer a simple (?) question...if I crochet the socks BIG can I felt them and make them smaller? Is there some kind of guideline for how much something will shrink when felted? Do felted socks still carry the same good properties of regular wool socks?
Okay I have distracted you from your work long enough! Thanks ~ alidansma
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From:fiberaddict
Date:January 8th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
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Hmm....I don't know if crochet will felt. My gut says yes....but sacrifice a bit of yarn, do a swatch, and try it.

Here's a bunch of crochet socks patterns (FREE!)

http://www.crochetpatterncentral.com/directory/socks.php

Now, again - I don't crochet, so I don't know how easy/hard it'll be. (For me, crochet is confusing - in knitting, all the stitches are neatly held on the needles - the left one is holding the ones that need to be worked, the right one has the ones already worked. Crochet...they just hang out. I can't tell which ones I need to work! :grin:

Yarn: Quality. That's a tough one, it really is! Some of it is personal - some people LOVE Noro sock yarns; I, personally, HATE it. It was full of short bits that poked out of the yarn proper, it felt like plastic...:ugh:

Basically, check to see how it's spun - are there lots of ends poking out of the yarn? Is it smooth, or lumpy-bumpy (and sometimes lumpy-bumpy costs more than smooth...go figure!)? Does it feel nice to you, or scratchy?

For socks (since you asked about them :grin:) I look for smooth, evenly-spun yarn, no lumps, no bits hanging out. I feel it - I like squishy socks, so I want the yarn to be soft. Then I look at color - does it appeal to me? THEN I look at price.....$18 isn't bad for Cherry Tree Hill - you can get "dealer's choice" from Simplysockyarn.com for $16.95 (they choose the colorway - you get what they feel like sending you). I haven't yet knit any up..but it feels nice, the colors are saturated and lovely....I'll try to knit a pair up in the next week or so and see how it does. For knitted socks you need about 300 yards for a pair of medium ladies (I know it works for my size 9s, so...:grin:) - crochet, I'm not sure. Lorna's Laces runs about $10.75/skein - and you need *2* for a pair of socks.

If you're not picky about colors or the patterns it makes on the finished socks, eBay is a good place to shop. JL Yarn's "Salvia" is a decent sock yarn - the colors are WEIRD, though (I feel like I have to warn people....I like bright socks; these guys are hit-and-miss), but $65/20 skeins is a GOOD price for sock yarn! (That's 10 pairs, with a bit left over out of each skein. Enough for a lacy cuff, I think) You can also score some "good" yarn for cheap, if you're not picky. (Noro for $13/ball, which made a pair. That's the Fugly socks I posted a week or so ago....again, *I* don't like Noro - but the price was good, and I was curious.)

KnitPicks.com has Palette yarns for $1.99/ball (or less). You'll need 2 for a pair...but still - $4/pair of socks. I don't know how it'd wear as socks (I'd use a size 1...I knit my hat on size 4s, for comparison)...and it's a wee bit itchy (but I haven't washed my hat, which could make a BIG difference). They have "actual" sock yarns for....$4.99/ball, I think - and I *think* it'd take 2 for a pair (brain-dead this AM). Their yarns are nice, though - terrific for the price!

JoAnn's carries Paton's Kroy Sock yarn (colors are.....different :lol:) and....don't remember the designer, but it's Serenity sock yarn. Prices are about $4.99 - $5.99/ball, but they're on sale right now (10% off) - they each take 2 balls/pair. Not bad yarns, prices aren't bad...the socks are a bit thin (knit them on the machine), but seem to be holding up to the kids' abuses really well.

Now, if want to talk "other" yarn (sweater/hat/blanket) let me know - I'm happy to blather on all day long. :grin:
(spin a yarn)
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