Thursday, May 10, 2007

destash: unicorn hair sock yarn

Hey there. I'm almost done with my first pair of
socks ever. See pics here:
http://www.knitoncastoff.blogspot.com.
I must say I'm a bit put off by sock yarn prices. As
in, "oh my sweet [insert appropriate noun here],
$20-$40 a pair??? Ack!"
I can say that I really like socks, but heaven forbid
I should ever use anything but sport weight yarn.
What is it about sock yarn that makes it so expensive?
Is it the color? Or that it is tiny? Is it spun by
unionized faeries out of sustainably harvested unicorn
down?
Where do I go to get affordable sock yarn? Is it
worth it to even look on the internet, given shipping
costs? Can someone with very little disposable income
even consider a sock yarn addiction? Eeek!

11 comments:

Liz said...

As far as knitting and stashes go, sock yarn is the most affordable for me... I mean, $20-30 for a FO (socks) versus $150-300 for a FO (sweater) ... Socks are a lot more affordable. Most of the stuff out there that's labeled as sock yarn is hand-dyed stuff - Lorna's Laces, Koigu, a lot of the indy dyers' wares... And you're paying for that special attention that each skein gets. If you want something more affordable, you could go with non-hand-painted yarn, like Louet Gems or Baby Ull. Or if you want a LOT less expensive, you could opt for KnitPicks yarns, but their quality is less, and you wouldn't be supporting smaller business (LYSs and indy dyers), which I, at least, like to try to do if I can afford it.

Wendy said...

I got super excited about the unicorn hair sock yarn!


Patons makes a sock yarn, Patons Kroy, and it is very affordable.

But I think Liz nailed it.

Lavendersheep said...

You can always buy undyed yarn and dye it yourself with kool-aid or other dyes. My favorite places are www.wool2dye4.com and www.knotanotherhat.com. I am sure there are more places out there if you search for them too.

Holly said...

Well, perhaps you can just move over to Germany and live in the land of 40 yarn producers and cheap sock yarn. (grin).

It is really the pleasure of the knitting and wearing of handknit socks that addicts us. No one does it to save money. It is to have something unique (ok, Jaywalkers and Monkeys) and beautiful on our feet that stuns other people.

slowknitter said...

try knitpicks.com- they're very cheap. Also http://www.astridsdutchobsessions.com
Astrid is in Holland, but ships internationally ( cheap and very quick) She has TONS of socks yarns for amazing prices ( she has trekking XXL for $8.95US- The last Trekking I bought was $14.95. One ball of trekking makes a pair of socks)

Most people prefer socks with fingering weight yarn. I know I do. I live someplace where it never gets really cold and a thick pair of socks would go unworn.

Missmalice said...

Knit picks is very cheap. Or - -- learn to spin! Now that is CHEAP! 10 bucks for a spindle, and 5 bucks for 100 grams of wool. Not bad eh?

Alice

Beth said...

If you then add in the time it takes to make a pair, the cost goes astronomical ;) Hand knit socks are an absolute luxury item, but in the realm of luxury items, I would consider them one of the most enjoyable and least expensive to get hooked on.

linda said...

Also remember that you don't need hand painted sock yarn. Just look for a solid sock yarn and then let the knitting pattern that you choose be the star. I often think that handpaints can steal the attention from the actual knitting. Don't rule out the internet/ebay - you can get great deals

Elizabeth said...

I think that's the greatest thing about sock yarn -- yeah, the hanks might be $15, but you only have to buy two -- you don't have to buy eight like you do for a sweater. A lot of non-knitters assume I knit for economy and are shocked to find out that handknit socks not only take weeks to knit but are also waaay more expensive than store bought. I think that's what makes them special.

YoYo SockSister said...

I know sock yarns sometimes seem expensive - but when you put so much time and effort (and sometimes love) into each pair it is a treat to use good yarn! Socks allow me to get my yarn fix without buying yarn for a sweater. Check out this site. You can get some good prices, she has gobs to chose from and free shipping over $50.00. Go together with friends and you will hit that in no time! http://www.simplysockyarn.com

Watch out - socks are addictive! :)

F_CKnuT said...

I know what you mean. I only started knitting recently and my bf is bugging me to knit him something. It's the middle of summer so I figure a pair of ankle socks would be perfect. (He recently became obsessed with low cut socks.) I came across your page because I was googling for cheap sock yarn! It's ridiculous how much these hand-dyed yarn manufacturers expects us to pay. Sure it's important to have and support independent yarn makers but they are essentially killing their own business by charging so much. If what one of the other commentors said is true, that spinning your own yarn and dying it cost $10 a spindle. Let's say they use higher quality dyes or whatever, it still makes no sense for 1 skein to cost $15+. I guess they just need to jack up the price to make up for the lack of large volume orders? In the end, for the right materials that I know he'll love to wear, I might have to shell out at least 30 bucks just for yarn. I don' thave short DPNs yet so I have to get those still. Imagine when I tell him how much they cost to make, this is a guy who thinks buying socks anywhere other than Walmart and more than $2 a pair is a rip-off!