Note: As of August 23, 2022, it appears that this yarn is presently discontinued. Limited stock may be found with 3rd party sellers on Etsy and Amazon, however!
In 2021, I came to the sad realization that I may be allergic to something in some wool materials. I say "something", because sometimes it seems I'm 100% A-OK and others I end up having the worst allergies of my life. Imagine my sadness when I looked at my sock yarn stash and found all of it was made of wool! Sure I may not be putting it near my face all that often, but nothing sucks more than getting halfway through a project before finding out you're allergic to it.
Naturally, while browsing my hometown's local Michaels store, I stopped by the sock yarn section. First of all - let me say this. Michaels is severely lacking in yarn selection in some stores while other stores get all the yarn in the world. The store near me presently sells 3 types of sock yarn - Patons Kroy in 3 colors. The store in my hometown? Patons Kroy, Patons Kroy FX, Perfect Pair (in all the colors)... like c'mon!
The point I was trying to make though - sometimes you just need an alternative to wool. Well, this may be the alternative you were looking for!
Loops & Threads has been on a roll with their products - I almost always find myself looking at it when I visit my local Michaels and always walk out with something from them. When visiting my dad's house this past summer, I beelined right to the sock yarn and lo and behold there it was. 13 beautiful colors and it wasn't wool.
You know a pack of socks is like $15 on Amazon, right?- My Dad
Composition & Feel
From the skein, this yarn feels soft and actually surprisingly silky - this is probably due to the bamboo content in the yarn. It comes in 100g skeins which is perfect for a pair of socks (or a few, depending on how big/long you make your socks). This yarn is also reasonably priced at around $6/skein of yarn. Of course, since it's Michaels, pair it with a coupon (or your rewards vouchers) and you're good to go! If you cannot get to a local Michaels store you can also purchase this on their website as well.
|70% acrylic, 23% viscose from bamboo, 7% polyester
|1 - Super Fine
|454 yd (415m)
|3.5 oz (100g)
This yarn is available exclusively at Michaels and is generally sold for $5.99. You can find it either in store or purchase it on the Michael's website.
The only complaint that I have on availability is that I wish it was available at more Michael's stores. I've noticed that this yarn is not currently available at my local store or at the store about 40 minutes away, the two Michael's stores closest to my area. Thankfully, I've been able to stock up when I visit my hometown, but it would be a pain to have to drive an hour and 40 minutes every time I wanted to knit a new pair of socks up.
The other part that kind of sucks as well - if you're not lucky enough to have this yarn at your local store, you may have to purchase multiple of this at once. As of 1/8/2022, on the Michaels website, you'll have to purchase a minimum of 3 skeins of this to have it shipped to your home. I'm unsure if this is a recent change or even a permanent one, but it does make it more difficult to get your hands on this yarn.
This yarn comes in 13 gorgeous, vibrant colors - but there's a catch. There are no solids of this brand of yarn. You read it right - there's no solids what-so-ever. Instead, this yarn comes in 13 different variations of striped and variegated colors.
I will say - while i'm not generally a huge fan of striped socks, these do look absolutely beautiful with these colors. My absolute favorite of this yarn so far is the one labelled "JungleLand". It combines a beautiful gradient from a deep dark blue to a rich green, but also incorporates the stripes and variegation that i've come to love.
The test project (Vanilla Socks) was made using Chiagoo US 1 (2.25 mm) 9" circulars with 64 stitches on cast on.
Knitting this yarn into a quick pair of socks was a good experience - the yarn wasn't splitty, it was slippery but did hold onto my needles well, and it didn't put a ton of strain on my fingers as I knitted my way through the sock. The yarn has good stitch definition and does best with simple patterns due to the stripes and how loud a few of the stripes can be.
Color & Striping
One of my main concerns with this (and any) self-striping yarn was coordinating the colors to match the two socks together. I'm glad to say that coordinating this yarn to make matching socks is extremely easy - the rows of colors are consistent and the colors themselves also seem to be just about as consistent as expected. After you finish your first sock, simply pull the yarn to the beginning of the same color you used for your first sock and knit the second sock up. My first sock ended up about the same, give or take a few stitches off.
Fit & Sizing
For my vanilla socks, I ended up not giving as much negative ease to these as I would for a pair of wool socks - I generally knit socks top-down, but ended up doing an afterthought heel this time around. Because of this, the one I added some negative ease to has a different fit than the one that I made just a bit bigger to make a normal size. The socks still fit to my foot, but one of them is just a bit smaller on my foot while the other one fits perfect. I'm unsure if it's just the afterthought heel, but that was my experience with knitting up just a vanilla pair of socks and how it fits.
How many socks can you get out of a skein?
Each skein of yarn is sold stating that you can make one pair of socks out of the skein - however, you may be able to get more than just 1 pair of socks out of a single skein.
With each skein weighing 100 grams, my personal vanilla socks came out to be just under 25 grams a piece. This means that, theoretically, I should be able to get 2 full pairs of socks out of one ball. Do note that this differs greatly depending on your foot size and how tall you prefer your socks to be.
For the vanilla socks made for this review, I made socks for myself - with a size 7.5 foot and made the leg portion of the sock about 3" tall. Each sock came out to 23 g of yarn used.
Socks and projects made with this yarn is a dream (for me). I wouldn't say they are as soft as wool socks would be, but they are incredibly soft given the content of the yarn. I do also notice that they have a bit of a shine to them - most likely due to the bamboo fibers in this yarn as well.
I have noticed that socks made with this yarn do feel a bit heavier, but not to an excessive point. Because it's acrylic rather than wool, you will likely notice that this yarn doesn't seem to be as light and soft as wool socks, but with the bamboo and acrylic mix, it does allow your feet to breathe still while keeping them nice and comfy. They also have a lovely drape and I really love the feel of the finished fabric.
One thing that I absolutely love about this yarn is its washability. Generally with hand knit items, I'm afraid to wash them - whether by hand or in the washer/dryer. Why's that? I'm always afraid something's going to go wrong and it will completely ruin the project. I'm glad to say that these socks wash well even in the normal washer/dryer! Most of the people I would knit socks for aren't super keen on handwashing things, so I'm glad that these appear to hold up well in the wash/dry cycle (according to instructions on the skein, of course).
I've washed socks made with this yarn numerous times and have never had problems with them shrinking an excessive amount or getting bigger due to washing. I have, however, noticed a small amount of fuzzing happening on the socks, mostly in spots where the fabric rubs up against the ground or against the side of your shoe. The top cuff and the leg portion seems to be cleaner, but the areas with more "use" so to speak do tend to fuzz up a bit. Will it get worse? If I notice anything getting worse I'll post back here in the future!
So, is this the perfect wool-alternative sock yarn?
My take on this is yes and no. For what is available, I love it! I do, however, wish that it came in more colors (solids - i'm looking at you). It's one of those, if they had it, I'd use it type things.
As someone who's allergic to lots of natural fibers (wool included), I love this yarn and will continue using it for projects and for my own socks and those who may also be allergic to wool and other natural fibers.