Saturday, June 11, 2016

Yarn Review - Lion Brand Sock-Ease

Awhile back, I posted about knitting my Circus Socks, following the free pattern "Outside In" available on Knitty. The pattern is lovely and I had a lot of fun knitting my socks, but that's only half of the equation. The other half, of course, is the yarn. 

For these socks I used Lion Brand Sock-Ease in the colorway "Circus Peanut" (hence the name of my version). It's a fun color, and I like how a solid shade brings out the raised ridges of the traveling rib. 

The Big Skein

Sock-Ease is sold a little differently than most sock yarns. It comes in larger, 3.5oz/100 gram balls like most worsted weight yarns so that, as the wrapper claims "one ball makes a pair." The full price listed on Lion's site is $10.49 but I paid about $7, making this a pretty budget friendly yarn, which of course I like. I actually had about 30 grams of yarn leftover - 30% of the original ball -  after making these, so it would be possible to knit a longer pair and still only use one skein.

The Material

This is a machine washable yarn (yay!) that's 75% Wool and 25% Nylon, a pretty standard composition for sock yarns. The feel is rather less woolly than other yarns I've used, though, with very little fuzz. It's quite smooth and sleek and feels a bit more summery that other superwash wool yarns. I thought that would make it a good option for me as I live in New Orleans, where "winter" means highs below 70 degrees.

I found the yarn very pleasant to work with, smooth and soft with no splitting or breaking and no fuzz, so it's still nice to work with for summer knitting when you don't want a huge woolly project laying in your lap.

The Wear

The final product is a pair of cozy knit socks that feel nice and soft on the feet. The only issue I've found with the yarn is that it doesn't quite bounce back and retain its stretchiness like I'd hope.

In this photo, I'd been wearing the socks around for a bit and trying them on with different shoes. As you can see, I ended up with some sag at the ankles and also a bit around the top edge just below the ribbing. Though I won't normally be wearing them with high heels, I do worry that over time they'll get saggier and I'll be pulling them up all day.

The Verdict

The price is nice, it's fun to work with, and the texture feels good against the skin. If the regain memory stays the way it is, I'll be pretty happy with this yarn, but it remains to be seen how well the socks will keep their stretch after multiple washings. For a time-intensive item like knitted socks, I'm not sure the little bit of savings is worth potentially saggy socks.

Would I buy it again? Maybe. But, I'm going to wear them through next winter first and see if they hold up or fall down. 

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