My son-in-law likes 100% alpaca socks - yes, I know, the worst possible yarn for socks - looking for some advice. I know there are special threads you can knit in with the yarn to strengthen heels and toes but I don’t live near a yarn shop and I don’t do online shopping (there are such people out there still). Can I use ordinary sewing thread - polyester, poly blend, or cotton?
I’ve heard (i.e., no personal experience) that some people hold “woolly nylon,” which is the thread put in the loopers of serger sewing machines, together with their sock yarn. YMM definitely V!
I’ll have to research that - thanks!
So there’s alpaca and then there’s alpaca. By which I mean the more plies there are in the yarn, the better it will hold up to hard wear like socks. So if you are going to use a pure alpaca yarn for socks, at a minimum it should be a 4ply sock weight, with a string-along nylon for toes and heels. And you must knit at the tightest gauge you can manage if you want to have them last. When you take that sock off the needles, it should be so stiff it holds its shape.
Wooly nylon is the go - to if you cannot get sock yarn reinforcing threads designed specifically for this purpose.
Any 100% I’ve used has been worn through quite quickly - I tried one that had a nylon addition and it just didn’t feel cushy like the 100% - so will look into the wooly nylon. The yarn I currently have is quite local and not spun all that tightly. I’m hoping a 2.25 mm needle with some addition to it will do the trick. The weight of it I would normally use a 2.75 mm or a 3.00 so figure a tighter gauge will work.
All you can do is try!