What Kind of Yarn to Choose?

A question I get asked frequently is what kind of yarn works best with our CSM and to say just 'sock yarn' would be misleading because to be honest, not all sock yarns are created equal. 

So in an effort to help you make the best choice for your socks, I am working (cranking) through some of the more popular brands of yarn available online and to me. I am always looking for suggestions to try so please feel free to reach out via the contact us page with your yarn suggestions. 

This post will continually be updated as I try yarns so check back for more yarny-sock goodness.

February 22, 2024.

The reviews on the Knit Picks website as I write this are not great, I will admit I almost didn't even get this yarn to try because of it. But because I loved their Felici sock yarn so much I wanted to give this one a try. 
I loved that it flowed smoothy, didn't snag or split. With a tight tension its quite stiff, however with the right tension its got spring, softness and the right amount of 'hug'. 1 ball of this made a pair of size 9 ladies socks on a 72 needle cylinder with some left over, so I can totally see this yarn making a decent sized sock.
Comfort Wolle Sock 4-Ply
Although I cannot find this yarn specifically when I posted this, I really enjoyed knitting with it. It created a really sturdy, comfortable sock. 
Things I didn't like about it was that it did snag and split a bit, but I suspect it is because it is a thicker sock yarn.
I would recommend if you use this yarn to swatch aggressively to find the right tension and cylinder size. This pair of socks were made on a size 54 needle cylinder and are a size 6 ladies. 
It does shrink a bit as well so take that in to consideration if you are a hard core machine washer for your socks, you will want to account for that. 
Knit Picks Stroll
Probably one of my most favorite yarns to work with. It is so soft to the touch, sturdy to wear as socks and it has a nice stretch. 
I will admit it can be a bit staticky when you're cranking fast or a lot in one go, but overall, no snags, splits or dropped stitches. 
It was easy to get the right gauge and it it handled really well. 
April 1st, 2024
This last month I have been testing quite a few yarns, and I am super excited to see my sock stash growing!

Wacki Saki - Wisdom Yarns
First up is the Wacki Saki by Wisdom Yarns. This is a wool/bamboo blend and honestly I could not tell. My sister promptly took these from my stash to claim as her own. I was able to obtain gauge quickly and it cranked beautifully. It was pretty much the perfect yarn to work with. Considering my personal dislike for bamboo yarns for socks, this yarn was an delightful surprise. 
Kroy Sock - Patons
The affordable and notorious Kroy Sock. Oof. This was by far the most frustrating and time consuming yarn to get gauge with, BUT, once I did, it was an absolute wonder to work with. I highly recommend you go down a cylinder size for this particular yarn because it is thicker than your average sock yarn, don't let the label fool you, this is closer to a sport or DK weight than a sock. If you can tough it out to get gauge, it is worth it. Keep in mind, you will need to drop your cams quite low to use this yarn which can make your machine a touch noisier than normal, at least in the 8 pairs I cranked that was my experience. 
Zauberball - Schoppel Wolle
This one hurts to write because I was SO excited to work with this yarn. For years I have heard amazing things about the Zauberball and this just did not live up to the hype. It was very splitty, which made cranking with it incredibly difficult. I was constantly stopping to undo and reknit partially knit stitches that were split and even with gauge it just did not crank up nicely. I will update after I finish the cuff on this sock (I am hand knitting a ribbed cuff) and see if it improves after washing/blocking, but I am not hopeful. 
April 17, 2024
Knit Picks Capretta
This yarn is deliciously soft and silky because of its Cashmere content. It cranked wonderfully and although its a little on the thicker side, it still made an amazing pair of socks. 
Hedgehog Fibres
I have always wanted to try this yarn and I am so happy that I was able to give it a go. A bit on the thinner side, you might need to size up your cylinders to get the right gauge, it is totally worth it. These were immediately snatched up to be worn my by teenager because the colors were just 'too perfect'. 
West Yorkshire Spinners
This line of yarns is one of my favorites to make any socks with. I am really really happy with how it turned out but you again might need to size up as its a bit on the thinner side. However, once you get gauge its absolutely lovely to crank with. It at times can get a bit splitty but its not super often. 
Richard Deveries Yarns
I picked up this yarn from my local yarn shop because it was not only locally made but the color was really beautiful. Reminds me of sandy beaches on the bay. It was very thick, almost like the Patons Kroy and buttery soft. I was not a huge fan of how it cranked because of the thickness, but otherwise, if you can achieve gauge (you might want to size down in cylinders) its lovely to work with. 
Novita Venla
I picked up this yarn on a whim, I am always game to try something different and new. This yarn comes all the way from Finland and its a 75/25 blend. It is very characteristic of yarn from Finland and is a bit stiffer than most of the soft squishy merinos I normally use. It definitely was a thinner yarn and I had to size up to a 72 cylinder. It was not splitty, but stiff, so when cranking, be sure to use your heaviest weight to make sure things knit right. 
Opal Pretty Sparkle
It is not often I find a yarn that I truly do not like. I have knitted with Opal yarns in the past without any issue and I am not sure if this is a me problem or the yarn. I am willing to give it a try again though. This particular yarn was incredibly stiff, splitty and difficult to get gauge with. Even once I did obtain gauge it was unforgiving with its stretch. I am hopeful trying another yarn from their other line ups will have better results. 
Knit Picks Hawthorne
I have hand knitted socks with this yarn in the past and loved it which is why I am a bit sad these did not turn out as soft and squishy as previously experienced. It is definitely a thicker weight sock yarn, so like the other heavier ones, you'll need to go down a cylinder size and use a looser cam tension setting. 
Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock
Okay. So. This yarn was absolutely stunning to start and I was really really impressed with how well it cranked. I did need to use a looser tension than I normally to do get gauge with, but regardless, these turned out so so well. No splitting, skipping or anything. These were a perfect crank!

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