Unexpected Sock Yarn: A Silver Lining
Editor's note: In the Spring 2014 issue of Sockupied we review five yarns with sparkle and shine. After the review was completed, we came across a brand-new yarn.
Until recently, Laurie Gonyea ordered silver yarns from Turkey. She grew tired, however, of missing deadlines while waiting for their arrival and missing deadlines. "I decided, 'I'm just going to make it myself,'" Laurie said, and she founded the Feel Good Yarn Company to do just that.
She took this idea to NC State University's Spin Lab at the College of Textiles, which helped her develop the yarn that met all her desires: 87% North Carolina-grown cotton, 11% pure silver, and 2% Lycra. In April 2013, she introduced SilverSpun at the Carolina Fiber Fest, where eager knitters snatched up half her stock in less than two days.
SilverSpun is ideal for gloves and mittens for two reasons: Silver is a conductor, meaning you can text or dial on your touch-screen phone while wearing mittens made from SilverSpun. And silver is said to have therapeutic benefits that reduce the symptoms of arthritis.
We may not normally think of cotton first as a sock fiber, but SilverSpun has surprising qualities that make us reconsider.
- The silver and cotton blend achieves warmth, while the Lycra content gives the yarn the elasticity and memory that cotton lacks. Lycra is used because the silver is thin and needs to be wrapped in order to keep it from breaking.
- Silver is reported to have antimicrobial properties—no more smelly socks (we love that)!
- The silver in the yarn won't tarnish if used often, just like your grandmother's silver platter. Washing and wearing your finished garments likewise keeps the silver from tarnishing.
Each 50g skein of SilverSpun contains about 173 yds. Using a small needle (US #2) creates a very dense fabric with about 8 stitches per inch, appropriate for socks, but a larger needle (US #8) yields a soft, chenille-like hand and about 4 stitches per inch.
Have you tried cotton yarns for socks? Tell us in the comments!