We’ve been on the hunt for the perfect DK sock yarn for a while. Traditionally sock yarns contain nylon for strength, and we wanted to look at other possibilities.
So we looked for sheep whose fleeces are known for their strength, and that suggested a mountain breed.
We’ve found a DK yarn which is 100% Whitefaced Woodland. The fleece comes from UK flocks and is processed and spun in Yorkshire.
We haven’t just dyed this yarn up and added it to the shop, as we wanted to be sure that the yarn would work for socks. So sample socks have been knitted and worn (and worn and worn). After three weeks of constant wear in the workshop the socks look like new. That’s socks worn inside boots for at least eight hours a day of being constantly on your feet and taking at lot of steps between dye pots and reskeining yarn. So that works.
The yarn isn’t superwash treated, and so over time we’d expect the soles of your socks to felt slightly (although there’s no evidence of this after three weeks).
So how does this yarn feel? It’s certainly not as soft as the finest merino, and thats necessary for this to work as a sock yarn. The best description we can come up with is firm and crisp. It wouldn’t be a yarn we’d recommend for something that’s going to be draped round your neck, but it makes wonderfully comfortable socks. The long suffering yarn guinea pig known as Bobbie doesn’t do well with a lot of wool and she’s been wearing socks knitted in this yarn for well over a month. So it’s a yarn with purpose that highlights the values of a particular breed.
To make sure this yarn wears well we recommend using a 2.75mm or 3mm needle.
There’s one other brilliant thing about this yarn – each 100 gram skein has 300 meters of yarn. So that menas that socks can be longer (or for bigger feet) and still only need one skein of yarn. The socks below fit sizeUK7(40) and there was almost 30grams of yarn left.
The pictures below show Joy’s workshop socks after 3 weeks of wear. To test the yarn further the socks were knitted with a short row heel that hasn’t been reinforced, and that’s showing no wear. The second picture lets you see how the colours behave on a 48 stitch sock knitted on 3mm needles.
We’re starting the range off with twelve colours.