I did not fully realize it at the time, but I’ve been spoiled by yarn from some excellent indie dyers: 8-ply, squishy, resilient, brilliant, indie yarn.
Compared to some, I have only been knitting socks for a brief while. But, I’m learning much about what I like . . . and what I really, really, (gah!) dislike. Yes, dear readers, I have come to the point in my sock knitting career when I am ready to admit: there is such a thing as bad sock yarn. Yep, I said it, bad yarn. It splits, it wears funny, it knits into starchy fabric that feels plastic. You know what I’m talking about! I’m not usually very polemic on this here blog, but tarnation, I’ve had it
The two culprits that will drive me back to my indie sock stash faster than a roadrunner getting away from the coyote: Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn and Plymouth Zino Sock Yarn.
Here’s my beef with Cascade Heritage (75% Superwash Merino, 25% Nylon): it feels like an acrylic. The final fabric is slick, does not produce a tight fabric (and I’m a tight knitter!) and pills, pulls, and generally doesn’t look great. I am using it for some socks for my dad–and I’m on my 3rd sock (yes, you heard me right)–and I’m not sure if I can actually bring myself to gift them . . .
My beef with Plymouth Zino is much, much greater and goes beyond the yarn itself. When I was a novice knitter, I wanted to learn about sock making. So, I went to my LYS and inquired about sock yarn. I was pointed towards Zino and told that it would be a great yarn for socks. But, I was also told that a novice shouldn’t try sock making. Hrumph. I hate to admit it, but that comment got to me, so that sock yarn sat in my stash for over four years (!!!!) When I finally pulled it out, excited to make my 11th pair of socks, I found it to be a foul beast of a yarn: single ply (?!?!!), very loosely spun, splitty as all heck, and inconsistent (i.e. it had actual breaks in the yarn itself). Maybe it’s best for a shawl or some other lacy project? Maybe some of you have had better luck than I have?
What I do know, now, is that I’m heading back to my stash of indie sock yarns and never looking back. All knitters are different; the nice thing about Zino and Cascade Heritage is the price point; and there are more than likely perfect projects for these yarns . . .
But those projects do not involve my needles–or my feet.
How’s the yarn in your end of the pool?