Monday, September 29, 2008

Tell 'Em, Grumperina

In the past 30 minutes I've been tortured by the yummy images of multicolored self-striping sock yarn.  The brands parading in front of me seemed incredibly beautiful and unattainable:  Noro Kureyon and Lorna's Laces, among others.  Unattainable because at their price the socks should last a lifetime.  Of course no single pair of socks lasts a lifetime.

I began my sock knitting career with crochet cotton.  It feels great for this climate, save for the fact that I have to sew elastic into the rib.  I'm willing to live with that, since we get pretty colors in the local brands anyway.  Last Monday I began with baby merino, and the feel against my skin is incredible.  While I have to keep a firm grip on cotton to make sure the gauge is consistent, I hardly have that resistance with merino.  The natural elasticity of the wool made cabling fun.  And what looks strangely narrow before blocking is actually a good snug but stretchy fit.  In cooler locations, of course.  I can't imagine wearing it here on a regular basis despite its seductive softness.  Well, I haven't tried, but you know what I mean.

I'm not allergic to wool, and I feel really sorry for people who are, because it makes a really warm fabric when you need it, and it's all natural.  There are natural alternatives of course, such as cotton and bamboo and soy. But for socks? Just when I'm so in love with sock knitting and can't sleep for fiber lust! Guess who expresses most of what afflicted me:  Grumperina.  She surveys the LYS landscape for yarns fitting the requirement of her inflammable feet -- NO WOOL PLEASE -- and does a fantastic job reviewing and testing them.  Read on.  I love reading blogs that give both information and an idea of the spirit behind them. 

This doesn't mean we'll never get good sock yarn in the Philippines.  I just have to ask Ma'am Lilli to get me some.  Good thing, as Grumperina pointed out, there are other alternatives to wool.

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Running Knitter said...

I haven't tried Noro, but Lorna's Laces is a dream to knit with.

The Gravelcat said...

I saw Noro being knit by Franklin Habit over at his Panopticon blog. I loved the colorway. So many people like Lorna's Laces, but they're a bit too pricey if I get them from eBay and have them delivered all the way here. Imagination yarn from Knitpicks looks like a good affordable option.