No-nylon sock yarn review: West Yorkshire Spinners Colour Lab DK

As we're fast approaching the end of the year, I wanted to tell you about one last pair of no-nylon socks that I knitted to try out.

The yarn is West Yorkshire Spinners Colour Lab DK which was launched earlier this year to offer a 100% wool alternative to their nylon-containing Aire Valley DK which has now been discontinued.

A photo of a pair of feet wearing hand knitted socks taken from above with the sides of the feet showing.  The sock yarn is stripes of yellow, maroon, dark blue, light blue and green.  The background is a wooden floor

Before I start the review, there are a couple of things that you need to know:
  • I used to be really tough on my no-nylon socks because I felt that they should be able to stand up to the rigours of being worn as well as socks containing nylon. My view on this has changed - my belief now is that no-nylon yarns have their own qualities which make them different from commercially-produced yarns and to try to compare them as the same thing doesn't work. I have learnt that no-nylon socks just don't last as long as ones with nylon in (on my feet anyway - I have pokey toes!) but the pleasure of knitting and wearing them is different to other yarns and they should be appreciated for that.
  • I still expect no-nylon sock yarns to be good value for money - after all, it's no good saying a yarn is suitable for socks if it wears through after one outing!
  • Being tough with my socks means that they'll get worn for a few days at a time; there's less need to wash natural fibre socks anyway even though we're in the habit of wearing our socks once and then washing them - you don't see sheep showering all the time, do you? It also means they'll be worn in boots on long dog walks whatever the weather and will probably go into the washing machine because that's how most people choose to wash their socks - although painful experience has taught me that the dial goes no higher than a 30 degree hand wash! (No point in experimenting unless you learn something, eh? )
  • I've got pokey toes so unless I reinforce the toes of my socks, there's a good chance that I'm going to go through them faster than many other people - this isn't always helpful in a yarn trial but on the plus side, I can test that aspect out more quickly!
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