Monday, March 31, 2008

base yarns

a lot of talk has be done on ravelry regarding base yarns that indie dyers use. I am sort of at an impasse here. I personally like my current yarn I dye. It isn't anything fancy, just bare from KP. Very soft, takes dye beautifully. Others dislike it because it's plied twist is a little loose, and since it is soft, it tends to wear a bit faster than other more tightly spun yarns.

I understand the desire for handknit socks to last and last. A few weeks ago, a knitter at the knit group I attend, brought her darning basket. She had at least 3 pairs of socks from a well-known dyer, and the wear was a tad surprising. Even she was a bit ticked, concerning one pair was recently cast off and hadn't seen an unusual amount of wear. So, i am writing to ask what makes a good base?

I love the KP bare, but might have the opportunity to pick up some Louet Gems and use it as my base. It has a tighter ply, and should knit up into a smooth sock. I just need to know! As i haven't personally knit up a lot with either yarn, i figured I would ask my readers (are there any out there??) and sort of garner a more general opinion. Thanks!!

ETA- I just had a thought too, what about Treadsoft (scroll down the page) as a base?

quickie yarn Specs (from the ravelry entries):

Bare (I like that this has nylon)
Yardage-462 yards (422 meters)
100 grams (3.53 ounces)
7.0 - 8.0 = 1 inch
Nylon, Wool, Merino
Machine washable

Gems (fingering)
(also, this could be made into 100 gram skeins if I buy it by the cone)
185 yards (169 meters)
50 grams (1.76 ounces)
6.0 - 7.0 = 1 inch
Merino, machine washable

-490 yards (448 meters)
113 grams (3.99 ounces)
Gauge- 24.0 - 30.0 = 4 inches
Needle size- US 2 - 4 or 2.75 - 3.5mm
merino, machine washable


  1. I have not knitted with either yarns but I am looking to buy some Louet Gems as well and posted a question on Raverly in the yarn forum and have gotten some very positive answers. maybe you should check it out.

  2. Carrie (Socks in the City Podcast) is going to do an episode on the wear on socks.

  3. thanks 1to1, i be sure to listen! (off to add it to my itunes list :)