Friday, 2 December 2011

A Long-Overdue Post on Wool Socks

On the Friday when I got my glasses (did I post about that?) and my job, I also bought several pairs of wool socks and tights. I know, I know - this is a violation of the "only own hand-knit socks" movement that I'm not a part of, but I spent a month working on the Purple Socks and, alternating between a pair for my husband and a pair for myself means a drawer full of (only?) hand-knit socks is not in my immediate future but my need for warm footwear is ever-present. I cheated and bought socks and I am not sorry.

My quest was actually for wool tights as the four pairs (two black, one purple, one brown) of wool tights I purchased for the winter of 2009 are starting to give up the ghost. One pair of black tights got thrown out for having holes, the other pair has some alarmingly transparent patches, the purple ones are too big, and the brown ones are, well, brown. My husband conceded that wool tights are a necessity and two winters was good value for money and I went to purchase more.

I only managed to find wool tights at H&M and M&S (it must be an initialization thing) so I bought a black pair from H&M and a navy pair from M&S, both significantly wool and not "wool-like" or "met a wool fibre once" or "wool content is measured in single digits" which is what most retailers seems to mean with the word. I'm beginning to understand that the UK doesn't have advertising laws stipulating that the word wool refer to, you know, actual wool*.

While at H&M I also found two pairs of wool socks, each around 75% wool/25% nylon which is my preferred fibre for knitting socks (the nylon adds structural integrity, important for socks). One pair is a crew-length fair isle sock in cranberry and cream, with lots of loose ends inside for added warmth. The other is a knee-high cabled creation in cream. They're both warm and slightly itchy, which is pretty much how I feel about my hand-knit socks. Best of all they came in lots of sizes rather than the usual "one size fits some" of retail socks. For those of you who want nice wool knit socks but lack the skills or desire to knit your own, these are perfect.

In other news, I did finish my Purple Brainless with pictures possibly to follow and am knitting a replacement pair of the Husband's Brainless that the eponymous sock-wearer accidentally felted in the wash.

~ * "

*Tangentally, I'm not one to get bent out of shape if you use wool as a compound noun to describe another type of fleece ("angora wool" or "cashmere wool") out with that, wool means something and it means the fleece of a sheep.

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