Recently someone on Ravelry fell in love with a tightly-twisted Louet base and was desperate to know of some other yarns that were “soft and squishy” like it. Since that’s my favorite type of sock yarn base, I was only too happy to oblige. But I realized after helping her out that perhaps there are a lot of people who can’t understand why some yarns have more bounce and squish-factor than others, or why they like some yarns so much better. So I thought I’d help with some identification tonight.
Here are a few of my favorite tightly twisted yarns:
Now, this is not an extensive list. Since most in the industry use similar bases, especially indie dyers, it would grow too long. I just am telling you the top, most distinctive ones, in my opinion. However, here’s a little picture diagram to help you differentiate between the two.
Here is a “regular” plied sock yarn base. Notice that the plies (those are the separate strands twining the yarn together) turn, but just look rather, um, like normal yarn. The strands lay flat against one another. This is a nice, solid yarn base and there isn’t anything wrong with it; it’s just not one of those tight twists that we are looking for.
Here is the more exciting “tightly twisted” sock yarn. The plies of the yarn have been slightly overtwisted, making the strands in between each twist appear to plump up. This creates a beaded effect that, once you know to look for it, is very easy to spot. Some call it “pearls” and others simply refer to it as a “twist” but the effect is the same.
The first time I held a twisted sock yarn like this I nearly cried with happiness. Now, there is nothing wrong with non-tightly twisted sock yarns, lest you think I am prejudice. There are some absolutely wonderful sock yarns that have a more normal twist, such as Wollmeise and Patons kroy. So naturally, I have plenty of sock yarns that have a more normal twist to them. But nothing gets between me and my twisted sock yarns. Yum yum!