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    The Woolly Thistle

    Sock Yarns: Non-superwash & Low/No Nylon

    Sock Yarns: Non-superwash & Low/No Nylon

    As a lover of woolly wool, I am always on the lookout for more woolly options to knit! One fun area to explore is the types and varieties of yarns available for knitting socks. Many sock yarns are made with superwash merino and nylon (while I’ll discuss in my next post!) but there are many other options too. In this post, I’ll discuss the pros and cons of both non-superwash and no-nylon sock yarns, which aren’t always in the same yarn!

    Non-Superwash

    To talk about non-superwash, you have to define superwash first. Superwash is any chemical and/or physical process that makes wool machine-washable. Generally, it means that the little scales on the fibers that felt wool have been removed and/or a chemical coating has been applied.

    A non-superwash yarn is any yarn that has not been made machine-washable. That’s the primary con for socks – you won’t throw them in the washing machine. Superwash yarns also often take dyes differently. For example, speckles of dye may be appear blended and watercolor-esque in a non-superwash yarn. 

    There are many pros to non-superwash yarns! Often, non-superwash yarns have a more woolly feel because they still have their little scales and have not been chemically coated. Stitches tend to mesh together more and form a more cohesive fabric. Because the wool is left in a more natural state, many people also find them to have more of wool’s natural anti-microbial (anti-stink!) properties, making frequent washing less necessary. I have also find them more breathable and comfortable to wear for the same reasons. There are also environmental considerations – non-superwash yarns have not been subjected to chemical processes so they are often more environmentally-friendly. 

    Tukuwool Sock is an example of a non-superwash sock yarn with nylon.

    No-Nylon or Low-Nylon

    While superwash and nylon often come together in a yarn, they are different considerations when selecting your yarn. Nylon is a durable man-made filament that is spun with wool (or other fibers) as a percentage of the total yarn weight. For example, the shorthand 75/25 generally means the yarn is 75% wool and 25% nylon. Many sock yarns have between 10% and 35% nylon.  

    A no-nylon sock yarn is, as it sounds, a yarn without nylon! Some are 100% wool, while others add silk or plant-based fibers like bamboo, Tencel (which is eucalyptus-derived), or mohair to add durability. Often, no-nylon sock yarns are twisted more tightly and/or have more plies to add durability to the yarn itself. The con is primarily durability. While no-nylon sock yarns try hard to be more durable, natural fibers will never be as durable as plastic. You can also improve durability by knitting at a very tight gauge – even up to 36 stitches to 4 inches!

    Why choose a no-nylon sock? Some people choose no-nylon yarns for environmental reasons because nylon is a plastic. Others just like the feel of no-nylon yarns better. Some choose no-nylon for historical accuracy – nylon was only invented in the 1930s and yarn has been used for thousands of years!

    Garthenor Snowdonia sock knit in the Bala colorway.

    Rauma Gammelserie and Garthenor Snowdonia are two examples of non-superwash, no-nylon sock yarns. Pictured here are Kia Socks pattern by Dawn Henderson knit in Garthenor Snowdonia in the Bala colorway. 

    A closeup photo of a sock knit using Garthenor Snowdonia in the Bala colorway.

    Kelsey Peterson is a knitter, eager student of yarn construction and sheep breeds, and employee of TWT. She is on Instagram as @kcrp.making and on Ravelry as yellowpaperfish.

    Shopcast 145: Chatting Socks with EarthTonesGirl Denise plus More Misadventures in Cardigan Knitting

    Shopcast 145: Chatting Socks with EarthTonesGirl Denise plus More Misadventures in Cardigan Knitting

    Shopcast #145: Chatting Socks with Earth Tones Girl Denise plus More Misadventures in Cardigan Knitting

     Thank you for joining us.  If you are enjoying this Shopcast, please subscribe & share it with a friend! Join our email list so you’re always in the loop with our weekly Shopletter: https://thewoollythistle.com 

     Email: info@thewoollythistle.com

    Ravelry Group: The Woolly Thistle

    Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/145314146875309

    Ravelry, Corinne: thewoollythistle

    Instagram: @thewoollythistle

    Facebook Page: The Woolly Thistle 

     

    Skip to Chatting Socks with Earth Tones Girl Denise 35:18:12

     

    What am I wearing?

    Autumn’s End Sweater by Alanna Dakos @NeverNotKnitting  

    What am I knitting?

    The Vams Cardi (not it’s final name!) has been teaching me a lot! Knitted in Rauma Vams, of course. 

     

    FO:

    Balvraid Hap by Rita Taylor 

    Knit in Birlinn Yarn using 7 balls of the Peaty Brown

     

    I’m also knitting Bluebird Cafe Sock by This Handmade Life in Exmoor Sock Yarn by John Arbon

     Our Sock Sprint is coming in July!

    Find more info here: https://thewoollythistle.com/pages/twtmittenkal2020

     Just in! Inkling by Katie Davies 

     

    New Yarn! Jagger Spun 

     

    The Thistle Knitter’s Socks Bag is going live TODAY!

     

    Sock Rulers are here.  

     

    The Woolly Thistle Gauge Swatch Ruler by Katrinkles

     

    Corgi Needle Gauge by Katrinkles

     

    Denise @EarthtonesGirl interview TC: 38:33:14 (TC can be added to YT to let viewers skip directly here!!)

    https://earthtonesgirl.com/

    EarthTonesGirl Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTOHLh3DIKPMy0to3hrkJhA 

    https://www.instagram.com/earthtonesgirl/ 

     

    SOXPLORATION: Shadow Wrap Heel Course & Pattern 

     

    Shadow Wrap Heel YouTube Tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDw7RSmxVxs 

     

    No Fear Sock Knitting Playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCZwTjf0a7DHx4GmgjQ1sjqIWczcSmWoz 

     

    Woolens & Nosh, Percolated colorway

     Garthenor Snowdownia Sock Yarn, Tryfan colorway: 

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLCZwTjf0a7DHx4GmgjQ1sjqIWczcSmWoz 

    The Knitter’s Book of Socks by Clara Parkes  

    Rauma Gammalserie 

    Winter’s Frost by This Handmade Life

    Agatha Sock Pattern 

    Agatha Sock Set 

    West Yorkshire Spinners  

    Be sure to tag your knitting with #thewoollythistle to have your FO included in a future shopcast!

     

    Thank you for watching!  If you go out, take your knitting!

     

    Corinne's gold bangles from yearlyco.com

    Video editing:Erika Jones www.helloerikajones.com

     

    How I Came to Live in Orkney & A Visit to North Lincolnshire by Isla

    How I Came to Live in Orkney & A Visit to North Lincolnshire by Isla

    The sun setting in a cloudy sky over a lovely grassy field with trees in the distance.

     Swans swimming in a stream along side grassy fields.

    A look up at the sky through the tops of the trees.

    Hello, how are you?  I hope you don’t mind but this time I am writing, not from Orkney, but from North Lincolnshire, England nearly 600 miles away.  I know many of you have asked why I moved to Orkney.  This month I hope to share with you a bit about my past and my move to Orkney.


    As I mentioned in my first post to you, I moved to Orkney three years ago.  However, before making the move north, I lived here in the county of North Lincolnshire for many years and before that in South Yorkshire (the county to the West next door). My move came after making the extremely difficult decision to separate from the person I had shared all of my adult life with (and remains to this day the closest of friends). It was an incredibly difficult time as I grieved for my old life while making plans for the future. Having been to Orkney I was captivated by it and I bought my house and moved north. Leaving my beloved rescue dog Fizz, my best friends, family and everything I knew was the hardest thing to do. My mental health suffered as a result of all the changes in my life but I felt that moving away and following this notion to move to Orkney was what I needed to do.


    My amazing rescue dog Fizz would spend the spring and summers with me in Orkney enjoying the beaches and walks down the marina in Kirkwall and she would spent the dark winters with her Dad cosy by the fire in North Lincolnshire.  Sadly Fizz passed away last December after being with us for just over twelve years. Both myself and her Dad miss her enormously.


    So this brings us to the present, and my long over due trip south to see family and friends. Last Wednesday night I caught the overnight ferry from Kirkwall to Aberdeen and drove down in Tam the Van to North Lincolnshire. It has been a busy but wonderful week so far. I spent the weekend a few miles South of the city of Lincoln catching up with my Auntie and then my brother and family whom I have not seen for two years. It was a fantastic few days and wonderful to spend time with my nephew and nieces again. I can’t believe how much they have grown and changed. We enjoyed walks to a nearby bridge and played Pooh Sticks and generally just chilled out and enjoyed each others company. I did my first driveway camp at my brothers too! 


    Despite the iffy weather (I had been hoping for, and packed for, warm sunny weather!) I have explored new walks and revisited old ones along with spending time with my parents and my closest friends. I head back to Orkney in a couple of days and while I hate goodbyes this time it won’t be for so long. 


    Take care

    Isla

    x

    Isla sits with her niece and nephews stuffed toys in a car wearing a knit hat.

    A brick bridge perfect for playing Pooh sticks.

    A girl standing on a bridge holding a stick over the side playing Pooh Sticks while her family walks ahead of her.

    A tree alongside a stream on a cloud day.

    A deer spotted in the woods.

     

    Shopcast Episode 144: Cardigan Design, Steeking & Our NEW Thistle Knitter's Sock Bag!

    Shopcast Episode 144: Cardigan Design, Steeking & Our NEW Thistle Knitter's Sock Bag!

    Thank you for joining us. If you are enjoying this Shopcast, please subscribe & share it with a friend! 

    What am I wearing?  My Star Cardi!

    Star Cardi Kits by Donna Kay
    The pattern is free when you purchse $85 of Jamieson & Smith https://thewoollythistle.com/products...

    https://thewoollythistle.com/collecti...

    What am I knitting?

    The Vams Cardi (not it’s final name!) is nearly finished!
    Knitted in Rauma Vams, of course. https://thewoollythistle.com/collecti...
    We’re hoping to have the pattern ready to release in late July! In time for…
    Our annual sweater KAL is coming in August.
    We are also considering a course for this Cardi, and the garment construction.

    Let us know if you’d be interested!

    Our Sock Sprint is coming in July!
    The Thistle Knitter’s Socks Bag is coming in June.
    We’re still waiting for a few pieces.
    Leave a comment suggesting a name for our knitter!
    Join our waitlist for the Thistle Knitter’s Socks Bag today!
    Pre-orders open June 18th! https://thewoollythistle.com/products...

    To enter the giveaway, leave us a comment suggesting a name for our knitter on the Thistle Knitter’s Socks Bag, Give us a Thumbs Up & Subscribe.  It helps other people find our podcast!

    If you were named as the winner in this episode, email info@thewoollythistle.com with Subject: WINNER & we’ll mail you your $25 Gift Card.

    FO: Balvraid Hap by Rita Taylor https://www.ravelry.com/projects/thew...
    Shetlands Wool Adventures Journal Vol. 01 & 02 are available https://thewoollythistle.com/search?q...

    Pom Pom 37-Summer is now available. https://thewoollythistle.com/collecti... Marie Wallin is in stock! https://thewoollythistle.com/collecti... Use “Notify me” if you want the Primrose: https://thewoollythistle.com/collecti... OR Primrose Eau de Nil: https://thewoollythistle.com/collecti...

    Rauma Finullgarn was just restocked https://thewoollythistle.com/collecti... If you’ve been waiting for a Vanilla Sweater color, it should be here now!

    Be sure to sign up for the Thistle Knitter’s Sock Bag! Coming soon! https://thewoollythistle.com/collecti...

    Be sure to tag your knitting with #thewoollythistle to have your FO included in a future shopcast!

    Thank you for watching!
    If you go out, wear a mask & take your knitting!

    Blacker Lyonesse: A knitters delight!

    Blacker Lyonesse: A knitters delight!

    Every year as we head into the warmer months, the same question comes up for knitters everywhere: what do I knit in the summer? Even if we knit heavy sweaters year-round (guilty!), another question arises: what do I knit with so I can wear my handknits in the summer?

    One answer we have at The Woolly Thistle to both of those questions is Blacker Lyonesse. Blacker Lyonesse is a blend of 50% Falklands wool and 50% linen that comes in both 4-ply (fingering) and DK weights. What you get in the blend is the best of both fibers. The wool adds flexibility, bounce, body, and (some) warmth. The linen adds shine, strength, and coolness. 

    I swatched with the Blacker Lyonesse 4-ply (190 yards per 50g) in color Quartz. The color is a light tan with a grey heathered fiber. The yarn feels a little grassy and fibrous from the linen, but the wool gives the yarn more give than a 100% linen. It is a 2-ply construction, with a moderate twist, and a surprising roundness given the two plies. 

    In stockinette, the yarn is smooth and even with strong stitch definition. I got a gauge of 25 stitches and 36 rows per 4 inches on a US 3 (3.25mm), when the ball band recommends 28 stitches and 30 rows for the same needle size. Because it is less fuzzy than a 100% wool, the little gaps between stitches did not fill in much with blocking. 

    A swatch of stockinette stitch in Blacker Lyonesse.

    In lace, it is crisp with little to no halo and holds lacework open well without having to block it aggressively. You could push this yarn to a very open lace pattern and still have a sturdy-feeling fabric with little collapsing on itself.

    A swatch of lace knitting knit with Blacker Lyonesse.

    On one half of my texture swatch, the woven stitch (made with slipping stitches with yarn in front), the pattern is very visible and the fabric has little stretch. On the other half, the two braided cables are relatively low relief, but still appear clearly in the fabric. The effect of cables will be more subtle than some wool yarns, but I was actually surprised at how prominent they were, even after wet-blocking. 

    A swatch of textured stitches paired with cabling knit in Blacker Lyonesse.

    Blacker Lyonesse has more flexibility of use than some summer yarns that are 100% plant fibers. It maintains some characteristics of the wool while utilizing the best aspects of linen: strength and coolness. I would love to knit a lace shawl in this yarn, but I’d also use it for a summer-weight cardigan, especially in a slip-stitch texture or mosaic colorwork. I’d also love to see how it knit in a spring/fall cabled hat! 

     

    Blacker Lyonesse 4ply Linen/Wool Blend Yarn Blacker Lyonesse DK Linen/Wool Blend Yarn
    Buy here Buy here


    Support yarns with a story today!

     

    Kelsey Peterson is a knitter, eager student of yarn construction and sheep breeds, and employee of TWT. She is on Instagram as @kcrp.making and on Ravelry as yellowpaperfish.

    Shopcast Episode 143: When a Cardigan Fits!

    Shopcast Episode 143: When a Cardigan Fits!

    Shopcast #143: When a Cardigan Fits plus Sharing My Design Process, Yarn Info and Knitting Books!


    Thank you for joining us.  If you are enjoying this Shopcast, please subscribe & share it with a friend! Join our email list so you’re always in the loop with our weekly Shopletter!


    What am I wearing?

    Balvraid Hap by Rita Taylor 

    Birlinn Yarns Coming Soon!


    What am I knitting?

    A new design!  A raglan cardigan out of Rauma Vams


    Star Cardi by Donna Kay The pattern is free if you buy $85 of Jamieson & Smith.  

    Pewter Buttons are also yours to choose for the Star Cardi!  

    Rauma Vams 

    Shetlands Wool Adventures Journal Vol. 01 & 02 Live May 28th

    Pom Pom 37-Summer is on pre-order. Live on June 2nd 

    Shepherd’s Life 

    Beatrix Potter A Life in Nature

    50 Ways to Help Save the Bees

    Patterns for Guernseys, Jerseys & Arans 

    Frangipani 

    Sign up for our free Knitting Buddies Program


    Biches & Bûches more is coming!  

    Lichen & Lace 

    Knitter’s Nail polish.  We are out of the purples!  

    Blacker Jacob in 4-ply & DK.

    Salt & Pepper Sweater by Emily Joy Rickard 

    Blacker Lyonesse 

    Marie Wallin British Breeds (Wood is out, but more is coming) 

    Primrose Yarn set.

    Henrietta (and Myrtle!) 

    Fancy Hen Pattern by Ella Austin.

     

    Lopi price increase coming June 1st. 

    The Knitter's Book of Socks by Clara Parkes.

    Harry Potter Knitting Magic by Tanis Gray 

    Star Wars Knitting the Galaxy by Tanis Gray 

    Tukuwool 


    Check out our guest bloggers, Rachel & Isla, and our series on Rauma https://thewoollythistle.com/blogs/the-woolly-thistle 

    The Border Mill North Coast Tweed Box!

    Email us: info@thewoollythistle.com

    Join our Ravelry Group: The Woolly Thistle

    Join our Facebook Page: The Woolly Thistle 

    Ravelry, Corinne: thewoollythistle

    Instagram: @thewoollythistle


    Thank you for watching!  If you go out, wear a mask & take your knitting!


    Corinne's gold bangles from yearlyco.com

    Video editing:Erika Jones www.helloerikajones.com