Are Hand-Knit Wool Socks Too Warm?

December 20, 2013

While I was knitting my first pair of socks, a friend told me about her experience with knitting socks. She knit a pair for her first husband. when he put them on the wear them, he found he could not wear them. They were too warm. She did not knit another pair of socks. Part of me felt sorry for her, for I found socks challenging, and a bit fun.

Since I require challenge in my projects, each tends to be a little tougher than the last. But, are they too warm for wear? Another friend who knits her own socks (and is addicted), admits she cannot wear socks in the summer months and mostly only wears them in the winter on hot chocolate snow days. I admit, the wool socks are warm, and the acrylic feel too plastic on my feet, though I do wear them when I am in a pinch.

I honestly don’t think knit socks are too warm for wear, and I find I wear mine a little more often than Liz seems to wear hers. But Liz grew up in a slightly colder climate and may be made of slightly hardier stock than me. Personally, I put my socks on as soon as I give in and turn in my heater. Usually, I wear them at home on weekends, so if it is not cold enough for warm, woolly socks; I may change them. However, I have begun wearing them to the preschool class I’ve been teaching in for two reasons: 1) I love them, 2) We go outside for recess with the kids, and you want the gift of warm feet when their is six inches of snow on the ground. You especially want this if you’ve forgotten your own boots that day. I have.

I do find as we put the kids down for rest, or as I get more active in the classroom, the socks can get a little warm. But I have not been so uncomfortable that I must remove myself from the classroom to take them off. I am also grateful for their warmth when I am outside, as I mentioned before. I do not think knit socks are too warm, but I will make concessions.

I do believe that if you are the person others cuddle up to when it gets cold in the room, then knit socks may be too warm for you. There still may be days you can wear them, such as to shovel 8 inches of snow that fell overnight. I do feel that if you always have cold feet and hands, you will appreciate most anything knit, especially socks. I do expect one would have less use for knit socks in the south of the U.S., such as Florida, where my brother currently lives. However, there were days in Virginia Beach that I would have worn the knit socks and appreciated them. If the heat goes out, you know exactly which socks to grab now, right?

However, I like to wear my socks often and for as long a season as I can. So, after I received the generous gift of Sock Knitting, Master Class, by Ann Budd, I have chosen a lacy style of sock that should be able to be warn on simply chilly spring and fall days. “My love for openwork patterns is often apparent in the socks I knit. I find such patterns an appealing alternative to the more solid foot coverings. Especially during periods of transitional weather, a little openwork can go a long way in making sock fabric breathable and comfortable.”

While the knitting of the sock is coming along a little slower than I expect; I can hope to have these socks finished by Spring, so that I may test this theory. I’m hoping I find it to be a working theory as well. For now, my latest sock photo likely has an inch added to where I was before, and in another inch, I’ll look at beginning the heel. This heel looks like a simple ribbed heel pattern that shall match the ribbing in the cuff and the lace. I hope it looks as good as I expect.



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