I'm often asked, usually at this time of year, for a recommendation for a thick sock yarn.
There seem to be two common motivators: knitters are seeking a yarn that will make warm boot socks for the encroaching winter. And they are also seeking a yarn that will knit up quickly, for gift knitting.
Briggs & Little Tuffy. Briggs & Little, based in New Brunswick, is the oldest continuously operated wool mill in Canada. Operating for over 150 years, they produce classic wool yarns and blankets woven from their wool.
Now, here's the thing about Tuffy: It's hard-wearing yarn spun tight and blended with nylon for long-lasting socks. It's machine washable, and very easy-care. And it comes in a wide range of classic colours. But soft it is not. It's woolly. Boot-sock woolly.
Also in its favour is the unbelievably low price: $5.99CDN for a skein, purchasable online from Ram Wools in Winnipeg. 1 skein will make a pair of women's medium socks; anything larger requires two skeins. Still a bargain. And they will last you a lifetime, I guarantee it.
I'd heard rumours about the wonderfulness of this yarn, but was having trouble finding it in Toronto. A couple of years ago a student found me a couple of skeins at Spun Fibre Arts in Burlington. I was easily able to get two pairs out of those two skeins, and wore them to death in my boots last winter. My feet were warm, well-protected and comfy.
Prompted by a student in a recent sock class, I've written up my pattern and made it available for free. Download now, from Ravelry. Naturally, there are multiple sizes: Women's S, M, L, covering US shoe sizes 5 to 10, and Men's S and L, covering US shoe sizes 6 to 12.
So whether you're in a rush to finish up a holiday gift, or just need a pair of socks for the oncoming snow, your needs are taken care of.