I heartily admit that I may have become a little obsessed with sock knitting since my first pair - I still dream of an all-handknit sock drawer and I'm getting there slowly *laughs*
Having said that, it might seem a little too obsessed to have been pondering my sock drawer earlier (sometimes it takes a while to decide which pair to wear) and have then come up with this post...
I was interested to see how some of the different sock yarns I'd used had been holding up, so I thought it might be interesting/useful/none of the above to do a quick review of the most worn socks and their condition.
I've focused on the socks I wear the most, which have all had roughly the same amount of wear (ok, so this isn't a scientific study but I think it'll be sufficient!). Also worth noting - I handwash all my socks, even the ones that can go in the machine.
Princess Unicorn Socks
Yarn: KnitPicks Imagination: 50% Merino, 25% Alpaca, 25% Nylon
The heel on these has completely felted, which is perhaps unsurprising as the yarn is particularly soft and fluffy. They are the only princess soles on the list, which makes me wonder if that has any additional properties that might affect wear. Now I'm going to have to make more to test this theory *laughs*
Super Awesome Happy Rainbow Socks
Yarn: Knit Picks Felici: 75% merino, 25% nylon
I love these socks. They're my softest pair and they feel like old friends when I put them on. Being so soft, I am pretty impressed with how the yarn is holding up, often the softer yarns are not the most hard wearing. You can see some pilling on the foot, but it is relatively minor. The heels are a bit felted, but the stitches are still in good condition. Overall, I'm pleased with these ;)
Yarn: Zauberball: 75% wool, 25% nylon
I think these socks are in the worst condition of all of them. To be fair, they have been around the longest (side note, my first socks aren't on this list because I don't wear them very often!) but I also don't wear them as much as some of the others any more.
The foot is completely pilled, it's hard to show because of how dark the yarn is but even this picture demonstrates a lot of pilling. Where it's not pilled the yarn is completely fuzzy. This is probably due to the fact that Zauberball is a single plied yarn, so it gets fuzzed really easily. Regardless, they still feel good on my feet - I just wouldn't knit anything with a pattern, it would be completely obscured.
Socks the Third
Yarn: Silky 4 ply Sock: 80% wool, 20% tencel
When I first finished these socks, the yarn felt all weird and squeaky and I wasn't sure I'd like them. After a wash it was all good, they became soft and lovely. They have also held up probably better than any of the other socks. Minor pilling and fuzzing around the heel but nothing really of note.
The only thing I will say is that the yarn hasn't got much spring to it, the ribbing on the cuffs is a lot looser now, and they feel like they have stretched a little. So maybe they're not holding up as well as I think. The colour is still awesome though (I dyed the yarn myself you see *laughs*)
Yarn: Skinny Bugga: 80% merino, 10% nylon, 10% cashmere
These are my most expensive socks. They are also the worst for pilling. Because of the colour and the pattern, it was really hard to get a good picture, so I picked the bobbly bits off one of the socks and took a photo of that instead *laughs*:
I was a little surprised at how badly these have pilled, and a little disappointed if I'm honest. I have another skein of skinny bugga in my stash, and I'm pretty sure I won't be knitting socks with it. It is beautiful yarn, but not cut out for socks. A shame really, I like the luxury of having some cashmere on my feet ;)
Multicoloured Swap Socks
Yarn: Drachenwolle: 75% wool, 25% nylon
I debated whether or not to include these, as they're made with German yarn that might not be easily accessible to other people (I got it in a swap). But then I looked at how great the condition was and decided to include them anyway.
They aren't the softest socks in my drawer, but aside from a small amount of fuzziness on the heels, they look the same as the day I finished them.
Drunken Socks of Deformity
Yarn: Moonlight and Laughter Merino Superwash Sock: 100% merino
Sock yarn with no nylon - I expected these to fall apart if I'm honest! They've pilled a little on the feet, and the heels are quite felted, but they're actually much better than I expected. One heel is worse than the other, but if you know the backstory of these socks then that won't come as a surprise ;)
So there you have it - the softest yarns aren't necessarily going to fall to bits after a few wears, the hardiest yarn is still pretty hardy, and the expensive yarn may be best used for something that gets a little less wear than your average pair of socks.
I hope this post has been interesting, or informative, or at least just not horribly dull!