In the age of heavily discounted and mass market merchandising where one can get a pair of wool socks for less than $7, most people would think circular sock machine owners are somewhat eccentric. We pay $1,000 for the machine, $6 to $25 (gasping!) just for the yarn, spend countless hours to learn how to make a decent pair of socks, and more countless hours to crank a perfect pair (yipee!)
When I first ventured into buying a sock machine, I had a perfectly rational excuse that I could never hand knit fast enough to dwindle down the piles of sock yarns that accumulated in the stash. Well, three sock machines later and my stash is twice the previous size, plus another pile of finished socks waiting to be given away. Instead of being elated to receive socks for Christmas, my friends and relations feign surprise and happiness.
So for the last few years, I’ve been buying reasonable priced yarn from cones to knit for charities. My favorite source for reasonably priced cone yarn is at angoravalley.com, either the angora/merino or the wool/nylon. I put up 3 plies, and crank them on the 72 or 64 cylinders and toss in the washer. The merino/angora socks come out soft, fluffy, warm and luxurious. The wool/nylon isn’t as soft but more durable. They will be heading to The Ships Project later this year.
Merino/Angora on a 72 cylinder, heels and toes in Wool/Nylon.
Wool/Nylon on a 64 cylinder, heel and toes in MCN.