Tuesday, March 10, 2009

On Mainstream Sock Yarns

One poster commented on yesterday's post about "mainstream" yarn companies making sock yarns that she'd also seen Lion Brand and Paton's Sock Yarn.

I've got a ball of the Lion Brand sock yarn, which was introduced on the market last year, in my stash waiting to be knit (thanks to E. who visited their studio in NYC over the Christmas break). No comments on it as yet, but the colour is great, and it looks like a good quality blend.

For both Lion Brand and Red Heart, sock yarn is a new product, and clearly a testament to the new popularity of sock knitting.

Paton's sock yarn is a different story entirely. Paton's has been in the business of sock yarn since the dawn of time (or at least since the 1940s, as far as I can tell). Kroy. And I love it to bits. Many of my oldest socks are in good old Kroy. They used to make a 3-ply variant, with a gauge of about 32 sts, but now they only have a 4-ply version, with a gauge around 28 sts.

This is the Kroy 4-ply in "Paintbox".

And these are about 15 years old, in the 3-ply variant.

I love that yarn. It breaks my heart that it quietly disappeared from the market when I wasn't paying attention. I would have bought as much as I could get my hands on. It was high quality, well-priced, hardwearing plain and simple sock yarn.

(Anyone got any in their stash they'd be willing to part with?)


TracyKM said...

I LOVE your blue/black sock!
When I heard the 3 ply was disappearing, I had everyone I trusted buy up some. But now I have lots of dull, solid colours in my sock drawer. They also had a 4 ply version, and it's fustrating that the new Kroy is a totally different gauge than either of the old Kroys (it's smack dab in the middle, off by 2 sts either way, so I guess it's not too bad--I'm thinking the 3ply was 32, the 4 ply 28, and the new one is 30st---but I'd have to check).
Before Patons had the Kroy label, it was owned by Galt Knitting, I think. I have old books--either it was Galt or Monarch or Newlands--and I assume they were swallowed up by Patons. Many patterns used Kroy---whole dresses knitted at 8st/inch!!
LionBrand had a striping yarn several years ago that I thought was a sock yarn. Is there a new one?

mmj said...

personally, i'm surprised that you have a pair of 15-year-old socks in great shape.

Kirsten said...

I just noticed this stash, willing to sell or trade: http://www.ravelry.com/people/AlexisLayton/stash/kroy-3-ply

Four skeins! And it's purple!

I bought a ball of the Kroy 4-ply at the Michael's in Sudbury (of all places) this weekend. I've only done about an inch, but so far I'm enjoying working with it.