Sock yarn ranks high as one of the most addictive ways to build your stash. First – you typically only need 100 gms to make a pair of socks. Second – a 100 gms of sock yarn is usually pretty affordable, even the top end pricing is justifiable as “special”. In New Zealand a 100gms of hand dyed sock yarn is in the $25 to $30 range with imports averaging about 30-50% more. Third – the range of colours and styles is huge, once you are a confident sock knitter its becomes very hard to not succumb to “just one more” beautiful skien.
When choosing yarn for socks it is important to be aware of the characteristics to look for. Yarn for socks needs to be stretchy, have good recovery and be durable. They are also going to washed a lot and are likely to end up in a washing machine – even accidentally.
I would always look for a superwash wool, with either some nylon (e.g Vintage Purls Sock) or a super tight twist (Knitsch Sock). Silk adds strength but reduces stretch/ recovery, bamboo as part of a blend makes for a cooler sock but again it can be inclined to be sloppy. Cashmere you get softness but less durability. Alpaca and mohair in the blend sit in the middle somewhere (I can’t wear either fibre comfortably so haven’t tried them). You can knit cotton socks – they are dense but wearable. Please avoid acrylic – apart from feeling like you have wrapped your feet in gladwrap (there is a difference between hot/sweaty and warm) there are environmental issues with acrylic.
Here is my list – (which I will add to) of great sources of sock yarn that meet the criteria and I know will ship relatively safely to Malaysia.
This link takes you to Knitsch Sock at Holland Road Yarn Company. Knitsch is usually sold in 50gm lots so you will need two. Holland Road also has stock of Sweet Georgia (USA) Socks Yeah from Coop Knits (UK) Wollmeise Twin (Germany) Wollmeise comes in 150 gm skeins so price is comparable to other yarns. Depending on availability they also have Cascade Heritage Sock and Malabrigo sock.
As well as her own gorgeous hand dyes Morag also has a couple of other great European commercial sock yarns. Her Max is excellent for heavier weight double knitting socks.
Nikki has the most gorgeous colours in her other bases so just ask if you would like one on her sock base.
Rachael used to work with us at Holland Road Yarn Co and has branched out to dye her own yarn. As a prolific sock knitter she is fussy about what she likes in a yarn plus a total perfectionist in terms of her colour palette and aesthetic.
Mothy and the Squid
The most amazing colour ways – check the base before you order as not all are suitable for socks. I have only bought from Gillian at a market but am hoping a skien or two will get to Malaysia safely!
A unique aesthetic with incredible colour combinations and fabulous yarn names. I haven’t knitted with her yarn yet but have friends who love it. Another worth a risk once my sock stash is more under control.
Hedgehog Fibres at Stephen and Penelope
Stephen and Penelope use DHL for overseas orders so while possibly slightly more expensive it feels like a safer option. As well as Hedgehog Fibres they have a number of other independent and commercial sock yarns including Malabrigo and Onion Nettle Sock. Malabrigo Sock is probably on the soft side for true durability.
Webs Cascade Heritage Sock
Cascade Heritage Sock is a great basic American sock yarn at a good price point. Webs also have Lorna’s Laces, Kiogu (another high twist merino) and a wide range of other commercial sock yarns including self patterning and self striping such as Regia. Postage to KL can make you gasp slightly but they are typically tracked and arrive reasonably quickly.