Published On: February 8, 2010

After my shameless whinging about sock blow outs, someone asked how I wash my socks.  It’s a totally valid question.  There is a special washing regimen for fancy socks at Chez Violence.  (Fancy socks are both the hand knit ones and the cashmere/alpaca/angora/generally spiffy ones from the store that I buy The Boy to make up for my inability or unwillingness to knit him work socks in the quantity he needs.  The first hand-knit socks got him addicted to awesome socks, and this is a quicker way to feed the addiction than actually knitting a whole sock wardrobe.  Yes they’re a bit expensive and require special washing.  On the other hand, they don’t cost any more than the knit ones, and I’m doing special sock washing anyways.  It’s a good compromise for us at the moment.)  They all go in the washer together, and nothing else goes in with them.  The washer is set to use cold water and run the gentle cycle.  Then, and this is the bit that makes me think this is basically the same as washing by hand, I leave the washer’s lid open.  On my washer, this prevents it from agitating.  So basically the washer fills and sits there for a while.  Then I drain it, it fills again, and I drain it again.  If something was extra filthy I may do it once more.  Then the socks get strewn all over the basement to dry. I’m fairly convinced that this is just a larger and more convenient version of washing them totally by hand in the bathroom sink.

I know that nylon is the secret to longevity, and I’m trying to buy only nylon-fortified sock yarn.  Alas, sometimes I’m overcome by the pretty and succumb to temptation.  I also have a fair amount of nylon-free yarn that I purchased before the realization of nylon’s importance had properly sunk in.  I can’t quite bring myself to toss it.  I have procured great quantities of wooly nylon (I am still overly entertained by the name and take unreasonable joy in saying it aloud at every opportunity), and am using it for socks knit from nylon-free yarn.  It’s easy to work with and doesn’t really show, so I’m pleased so far.  I’ll report back on its success once I’ve worn the socks using it enough to know how it holds up.

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