...right from the farm
I make these sturdy sport socks with yarn custom spun with wool from our heritage flock of Shetland Sheep, blended with 30% nylon for added durability. The wool is undyed and is naturally processed using only mild detergents – no harsh chemicals for scouring and no chemical superwash treatment.
On shearing day the fleece from each sheep is ‘thrown’ on the skirting table. I ‘skirt’ the fleece (pick off the poopy parts, second cuts, bits of hay) while the shearer shears the next sheep. I put each fleece in its own bag where it stays until I do a second, more thorough skirting when the busyness of shearing day is past.
I send the skirted fleeces to a mill where they are washed, cards, spun and plyed into yarn. For the yarn I use to make these sport socks I have the mill blend in 30% nylon for extra durability in the yarn.
I knit the socks with an antique 1850s hand cranked circular sock knitter and I seamlessly weave the toes closed. The knitter is entirely hand operated. (In my picture the treadle you see is the base of an old sewing machine, from which I made my work table.
I machine wash on Wool Cycle in small load warm/warm, and hang or dry them flat. No bleach. No dryer. Some folks prefer to hand wash their wool socks. I find the newer generation of washing machine to have gentle enough cycles – the key with wool, for me – small loads and no sudden temperature changes – for me, I use warm/warm.