Thursday, November 08, 2007

Sock Maintenace Schedule

Magnusmog asked: "How much after care is there in darning the socks? I've still got my first socks ( ok, sock ) on it' needles and I know that as well as fear of heel turning, one thing that puts me off is the idea of making something only to see it develop holes......"

Well as with so many things, that depends. Everything following is just my experience, so if y'all have additional input or alternate ideas, please chip in.

I get about a year to a year and a half of frequent wear out of socks before they start to go. This includes much walking around the house with no shoes, and a couple of holes happened when I snagged the socks on something.

I find that yarn with some nylon content wears particularly well and tightly plied yarn wears better than loosely plied. A tight gauge also contributes to wear.

Even though my store socks used to wear out first at the toes, I've never had a hand knit pair go there. I attribute this to the store kind being too short. When the size reads "8-10" you know they are under some tension to fit my 10.

I've never had socks wear out at the back of the heel, because I always wear clogs, so there is no rubbing against the back of a shoe. If I did wear them in regular shoes, and had yarn with no nylon, I would probably use woolly nylon to reinforce the heel flap.

The place my socks always go first is under the heel. I am starting to think this is partly because my knitting is a bit looser where I work back and forth for the heel turn. Logic would indicate that I should switch to a smaller needle for that area.

"A stitch in time..." Personally, I find it easier to reinforce a worn area with duplicate stitch/Swiss darning, than to work a woven darn on an actual, gaping hole. So if I'm paying enough attention to catch it in time, that's what I do. If I were very conscientious I would probably reinforce this way as soon as I finished knitting them.

In the case of actual gaping holes, I have been known to resort to applying knitted patches.

All that said, I like wearing hand knit socks so much (and enjoy knitting them so much), that the maintenance issues aren't a big factor for me.

Other tips or insights, anyone?

1 comment:

YarnThrower said...

Thanks for the good information. I have yet to wear through a pair of nylon/wool blend socks, though I don't wear hand knit socks every day...but I'll definitely try to notice any wear under my foot and duplicate stitch as a preemptive strike against any potential holes...