Author Topic: Socks  (Read 10222 times)

Debbie M

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Socks
« on: April 21, 2013, 11:29:29 AM »
Socks!  Mine knee socks are always wearing out.  They are rare in thrift stores.  At least they are available again in regular stores.  Recommendations on how to find durable ones and make them last?  Here's what I know already:

100% cotton = quicker holes than with blends.

100% wool shreds right away.

Some polyester means you just end up with transparent bits that aren't holes, but you might also get major pilling.

"Trouser socks" are super thin (more like tights than socks) and therefore much less durable than regular socks.

Don't put them in dryer--I hang dry mine.

Small holes can be sewn up.

I probably shouldn't walk around in just socks--I should probably get slippers or something.

My best socks (though they were ankle socks)--soft, long lasting, thick--had tiny green sewing across the toes on top, but I don't know what company makes them though because I got them at a giant garage sale.  Do any of y'all recognize that brand?

Banana Republic argyles - look good, wear okay, but are smaller than usual.

Some socks are always falling down, sometimes all the way into my shoe, wadding up under my arch.  This isn't as common as when I was a kid, but I don't know why that happens, so I don't know how to prevent buying those.

People can knit socks--how hard is it to make them fit?  Do those last?  I know it's super time-consuming, but you could do it while doing something else if it's not too complicated.

Any favorite brands?  Favorite fabrics?  Favorite sources?  Favorite techniques for helping socks last?

shadowmoss

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Re: Socks
« Reply #1 on: April 21, 2013, 11:44:40 AM »
I plan to learn to knit socks as soon as I finish the sweater I'm working on.  Do a youtube search.  You want toe-up magic loop instructions.  At least to me they seem the fastest and easiest.  Don't worry about it looking complicated, it works itself out when you have it in front of you.  Get circular needles.  The magic loop method means you can use longer circulars for smaller tubes.  I haven't had internet access for awhile, but hopefully I can find more specific resources if you are interested.

As for making socks last...  wear slippers?  At least if you knit them yourself you will a:  take better care of them :) and b: know how to fix them if/when they get holes.

arebelspy

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Re: Socks
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2013, 11:59:31 AM »
I use Smartwool Liner socks.

Basically these: www.amazon.com/Smartwool-Unisex-Hiking-Liner-Crew/dp/B0000DYND8
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mc6

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Re: Socks
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2013, 02:32:53 PM »
I'm very particular about my socks.  I can't stand pilling, walking on pilled up socks causes friction that inflames my soles...and other people have thought I was weird because of this! 

I like World's Softest Socks in black, for when I'm wearing my clogs, boots, ballet flat type work shoes.  They are good for winter but not so comfortable in warmer temps.  I also have some lighter Fox River socks I wear with boots that I had to use while working in the desert.  Thorlos were okay too.  Good, hard-living socks can be expensive for sure.  I've had the Fox River and Thorlos a long time. 

85% of the time I am wearing black opaque tights at work.  I wear slippers at home. 

arebelspy

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Re: Socks
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2013, 02:40:06 PM »
I like World's Softest Socks in black, for when I'm wearing my clogs, boots, ballet flat type work shoes.

I would never wear World's Softest with shoes, only as a sort of "slippers" at home.  Too thick otherwise. 

Interesting the variations of thought.  :)
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pbkmaine

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Re: Socks
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2013, 04:51:57 PM »
Everyone in Maine seems to wear wool socks, with Smartwool being the favorite.  I went to the Sierra Trading Company website when they were having a big sale and bought several pairs of various brands. (I looked at price and customer reviews to make the decision.) I wash them in cold water and line dry. Looks like they will last just about forever. 

AboutTime

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Re: Socks
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2013, 07:30:46 PM »
I'm a die hard trail runner and was doing about 50 miles/week last year.  I noticed my socks seemed to be disintegrating.  I purchased some drymax trail running socks from Roadrunnersports.com.  The breathe well and seem to be virtually indestructible.  They look and fit as good as the day I bought them.

TheDude

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Re: Socks
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2013, 07:43:01 PM »
I got new cycling shoes this winter and they are colder than the ones I had before. I will probably replace all my socks with Smart Wool socks as they are the only thing that will keep my feet warm. I also have some smart wool cycling socks I found pretty cheap and I have loved them during the 100deg days.

Paul der Krake

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Re: Socks
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2013, 08:58:50 PM »
I got new cycling shoes this winter and they are colder than the ones I had before. I will probably replace all my socks with Smart Wool socks as they are the only thing that will keep my feet warm. I also have some smart wool cycling socks I found pretty cheap and I have loved them during the 100deg days.
Have you tried shoe covers? Basically a piece of neoprene that fits over the cycling shoe and acts as a windbreaker. I think I got a pair for $15 when I was living in a colder climate, and immediately saw my winter rides in a different light.

MountainFlower

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Re: Socks
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2013, 02:31:50 PM »
Costco sells 4-packs of Kirkland brand wool socks in the fall and early winter that are fabulous!  Similar to Wigwam, but they are something like $10 for 4.  That's crazy cheap compared to smartwool.  I like them.  I actually throw them in the dryer too.  They seem to last. 

yolfer

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Re: Socks
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2013, 02:52:07 PM »
Costco sells 4-packs of Kirkland brand wool socks in the fall and early winter that are fabulous!  Similar to Wigwam, but they are something like $10 for 4.  That's crazy cheap compared to smartwool.  I like them.  I actually throw them in the dryer too.  They seem to last.

+1 for the Costco socks! I bought a 4-pack over a year ago and they're still holding up well. I also wash/dry them with the normal laundry.

OP used the word "trouser" so there's a chance she is from a land that doesn't have Costco.
« Last Edit: April 23, 2013, 11:47:15 AM by yolfer »

KimPossible

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Re: Socks
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2013, 07:52:01 PM »
Another vote for Costco.  I love the K Bell brand for women's socks.  They sell wool ones for winter--I've got a few pairs that have lasted for three winters now.  And they have ankle socks in white and various colors, which come in sets of 9 pairs.  I'm on my second set now--the first set lasted several years, but the socks disappeared little by little, so I was down to about six pairs.  No holes in any of them.

The prices are good, too.  I think about $10 for 9 pairs of ankle socks and about $12 for two pairs of wool socks.

I like Gold Toe for trouser socks for work, but they're harder to find.  I found a few pairs at TJMaxx a few years ago and bought all they had.  Still wearing them. 

Debbie M

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Re: Socks
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2013, 08:42:48 PM »
Oh, lots of stuff I've never heard of.  Excellent!

I haven't heard anyone mention knee socks.  Do crew socks really stay up?  I want something to wear with my pants to work and be able to cross my legs without flashing my blindingly pale leg skin at my innocent bystander co-workers.  And I have big calves--can crew socks really hang on to those against such odds?  Or maybe my age is showing and of course they stay up with today's modern elastic fibers.

Also, apparently most of you think it's still winter.  My condolences.  However, where I live, it's getting into the 80s pretty regularly by now.  But if Smartwool cycling socks can be good in 100-degree weather, that's good to know.

Also, some of you seem to be impressed with socks that have lasted a year or two, so perhaps my expectations are way out of line and I should just expect to replace my socks every couple-three years.

Yolfer, thanks for cracking me up.  I do live in a land with Costos, though I'm not a member.  I was referring to "trouser socks," not "trousers."

Shadowmoss, I did just learn about magic loops.  Makes circular knitting look a little less scary.  But any knitting that involves a lot of counting still intimidates me.  (Here is what I sound like doing ribbing: "Knit, knit, purl, purl, knit, knit, purl, knit, rats.")  But have you ever worn hand-knitted socks?  What are they like (besides gorgeous because you've picked out awesome yarn)?

NumberCruncher

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Re: Socks
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2013, 07:01:03 AM »
But have you ever worn hand-knitted socks?  What are they like (besides gorgeous because you've picked out awesome yarn)?

Depends - if you have slightly thicker sock yarn/used slightly bigger needles (US size 3 or something), they can feel slightly...bumpy?  But it's really not too bad and gets smoother after a couple washes. Gorgeous sock yarn is gorgeous...but also can run you as much as $20 for enough for a pair of crew cut socks. (there is always yarn recycling and coupons and shopping around, but still...)

Knitting your own socks by hand also takes time...a lot of time if you're doing knee highs. If you get enough experience, you can make them just how you like (probably won't fall down, etc), but it might take a while to get your individual formula right.

Basically, I <3 knitting/crocheting to make unique works of art and for relaxation, but it definitely doesn't save me any money and takes lots of time.


anastrophe

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Re: Socks
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2013, 07:33:46 AM »
But have you ever worn hand-knitted socks?  What are they like (besides gorgeous because you've picked out awesome yarn)?

Depends - if you have slightly thicker sock yarn/used slightly bigger needles (US size 3 or something), they can feel slightly...bumpy?  But it's really not too bad and gets smoother after a couple washes. Gorgeous sock yarn is gorgeous...but also can run you as much as $20 for enough for a pair of crew cut socks. (there is always yarn recycling and coupons and shopping around, but still...)

Knitting your own socks by hand also takes time...a lot of time if you're doing knee highs. If you get enough experience, you can make them just how you like (probably won't fall down, etc), but it might take a while to get your individual formula right.

Basically, I <3 knitting/crocheting to make unique works of art and for relaxation, but it definitely doesn't save me any money and takes lots of time.

+1. It is a different experience than machine-knitted socks, they do feel kinda bumpy sometimes. I like handmade ones a lot and I appreciate that they can be darned because the heels wear out of every sock I wear within a year. But good sock yarn is expensive and the technique takes time.

NumberCruncher

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Re: Socks
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2013, 11:31:03 AM »
Just remembered this exists: http://www.knittingdaily.com/blogs/daily/archive/2013/02/13/reinventing-the-sock-free-sole.aspx

If you did want to go down the knitting route, this might be super useful in your case -- basically a way to replace the bottom of the sock. This way you can keep your gorgeous and time consuming knee high socks running for way longer. There might be another tutorial somewhere that's free, but I can't find it at the moment.

Also, for the socks falling down problem: http://techknitting.blogspot.com/2011/02/socks-falling-down-consider-elastic.html

yolfer

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Re: Socks
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2013, 11:51:01 AM »
Before I got mustachian I used to buy socks at http://www.sockdreams.com

They have unique designs and high quality. They're sort of pricey though ($15 a pair)

Every year on May 9th they have a sale for "lost sock day". Gotta check their website for the coupon code.

GuitarStv

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Re: Socks
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2013, 12:41:21 PM »
I buy 15 pairs of black socks, and 15 pairs of athletic socks every six years or so.  When doing the laundry I don't ever have to stop and try and match up pairs of socks . . . which has saved me thousands of hours over my lifetime.  All the socks are worn at about the same frequency, so they all tend to start getting shot/full of holes at the same time . . . which is when I get a bunch of rags for the garage (destroyed socks) and then start the process all over again.

tuyop

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Re: Socks
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2013, 01:45:30 PM »

N

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Re: Socks
« Reply #19 on: April 23, 2013, 09:45:22 PM »
I have nothing to add, I just wanted to post because I abhor socks of all kinds and never wear them. Even in chicago, in winter. I just cant deal with them! :)

StarswirlTheMustached

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Re: Socks
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2013, 11:14:13 AM »
Maybe it's because it was a fairly course acrylic blend, but whenever I walk more than an hour or so in hand-knit socks I tend to blister unless I have a liner. I suspect real wool, especially felted a bit, would be different.

plainjane

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Re: Socks
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2013, 11:53:50 AM »
"Maybe it's because it was a fairly course acrylic blend, but whenever I walk more than an hour or so in hand-knit socks I tend to blister unless I have a liner. I suspect real wool, especially felted a bit, would be different."

I love my hand knit socks - but:
- they are thicker than regular socks, this needs to be taken into account when you buy your shoes
- 100% wool can have longevity issues.  Consider a 20% nylon component.
- using small needles can be annoying, and means the sock takes longer to make, but the resulting fabric is less likely to cause blisters and lasts better
- proper fit is a bit more trial & error, and error can mean a sock that bunches (and causes blisters)