From Sock to Bulky – spindlewise!

DIY Sock to Bulky YarnLike many knitters, I faced the fact long ago that the amount of stash I have is beyond what I should. But acknowledging the fact and actually making a dent in it are two different things. I’ve been knitting almost exclusively from stash for the past year. I started with over 100 skeins, knit up 39 in 2012, made 6 skeins of handspun, bought 5 irresistible skeins and have a net decrease of 28. Wah wah. Not so great.

So when I set out to make Holiday slippers for the family, I dug into my worsted and went to town, wiping out another impressive 4 skeins. :-/

Clearly – it’s going to take awhile to bust this stash of mine. In the meantime, I can hardly justify buying more yarn – even when I don’t have what I need for the pattern I want to knit!

Time to get creative!

DIY Sock to Bulky Yarn

Needing a bulky-ish yarn for man slippers, and having only girly colors in said weight, I broke out the spindle and navajo plied a sock yarn skein, (Noro Kureyon sock in this case), into a lovely spindle full of fat squishy yarn just the right size to knit up some man sized slippers.

DIY Sock to Bulky Yarn on the spindle

DIY Sock Weight to Bulky YarnSince navajo plying, (or chain plying as I’m told is the correct term), is essentially a 3-ply yarn, expect your available yardage to shrink to about one third of the original amount. So my 460 yard skein of sock yarn became about 150 yards of a bulky or heavy worsted.

Considering that I have an extensive stash of sock yarn – beyond what I could use in the next five years, I consider it a merciful act to transform the weight to something I can use now.

DIY Sock Weight to Bulky Weight Yarn

Said skein is fat, happy and useful knit up in the nonfelted slipper pattern – achieving life satisfaction  – or whatever the yarnie equivalent might be.

Yarn-arva. :-)




  1. says

    Did you have any tricks for keeping the yarn balanced? Did you Navajo ply straight from the skein? (I’m asking because the other day I tried a bit of core spinning and it was WAY out of balance. Had to ply it back on itself to even come near balanced.)

    • Mom says

      Hi Avlor, I didn’t have any real problems with it being out of balance, especially once I washed and thwacked it, (which I did before knitting with it). I did use kuryeon, which in my experience has had alot of energy, so maybe the plying partially balanced that? Not sure. At any rate, it worked like a charm and yes – I just plied straight from the skein. I plied rather loosely also since I wanted maximum bulk and loftiness.

      • says

        Thanks for the response! I was really curious. I’m very tempted to try it. I’ll see what my single ply zauberball is like for “energy”.

    • Elizabeth Beattie says

      I have read that if you spin more opposite twist into your core yarn that it will help balance it out when you core spin. Whatever you are using for your core, spin it onto a bobbin the opposite direction that you are going to core spin. This will add a lot of extra twist, which will release when you core spin it in the other direction. Learned this from Jacey Boggs’s book Spin Art. It’s not really possible to have a perfectly balanced core spun yarn, but this will get you close. :)

  2. Elizabeth Beattie says

    Love this pattern and how you got your yarn! How creative!! Did you add extra twist into your yarn and then ply in the opposite direction? Or did you just ply it as is?

    I think I know my next project!! :)

    • Mom says

      No, I didn’t add any extra twist yet, but that’s a brilliant idea. I’ve always found kuryeon to be a bit twisty though, so maybe there was already some extra twist built in.

  3. Tammie says

    What a fantastic idea! I bought a number of skeins of lace weight yarn before I’d ever knit/crocheted with it. I love the way it looks in a finished project, but found that I’m not crazy about working with it because it’s hard on my old eyes. The idea of turning it into a heavier weight yarn is very appealing. :-)

    • Mom says

      Yes! I wonder if chain plyed lace would turn into dk or worsted? Interesting idea….I have some I wouldn’t mind trying with!

  4. Maggie says

    This is such a great idea. I am also guilty (or lucky) to have a nice size stash that I am trying to work my way through. But I haven’t counted it! Eek! The thought frightens me a little. It’s one of my new year goals to really work through what I have and try not to grow the stash this year, unless it’s from spinning the fiber I already have on hand. I’ll keep this idea of plying up in mind!

  5. says

    GENIUS! Why have I not thought of that before. Those slippers are amazing and that idea is too. I need to learn some chain plying now :)

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