I have a sock problem. I used to knit them. I made them for a few people who loved them. I made a few pairs for myself but they wore out. Fast. I am talking aobut a hole under the ball of my foot within 6 wearings. That is too fast for the amount of knitting that is involved. I am not a fast knitter. Socks take me at least 3 weeks to make a pair and then I get to wear them for a month or so and they are broken. I had made socks with a tight enough gauge that they would stand up on their own and they still got holes fast. I never have spun for a pair because that would make me even more crabby if they wore out that fast. I decided to just give it up.
When I taught at Stringtopia in April one of my students…I have no idea who (I’m so sorry)…told me that the reason my socks wear out so fast and in the area that they do is that I don’t make them wide enough to fit my wide foot. That I should put increases starting at the arch of my foot where it begins to widen. It sounded like a reasonable thing to do. When I left for North Carolina at the end of May I started a pair from some Blue Moon Fiber Arts, Socks That Rock Lightweight. I seem to have a lot of StR because when I was in the sock club I didn’t knit any of them and I was in it for 3 years. Anyway, I have finished the socks and am ready to begin the testing.
Wanna see a couple of pictures?
I just used the pattern I remember from before when I used to make socks.
Except I added 6 stitches in the middle of the bottom of the foot. I probably could have spread the increases over 10 rows instead of 5 to avoid the crazy bump but it’s not there when I put them on.
So now I will wear these socks and see how they last and I will report back.
Also, making progress on the Jacob sweater. I have spun all of the black and know I am going to run out so I washed another fleece. I am also going to spin some of the processed black Jacob and see what happens.
The 3 black balls of yarn is all I have left from the first fleece. The fleece after washing was just about 18 ounces so I expect this sweater is going to weigh about 24 ounces when it is finished. (Yes, that’s my bed. i work a lot in my bed.)
I’ve also been weaving. Yep. Lots of things are happening around here. Weaving info to come.
10 thoughts on “Progress…”
I, too, have gotten sick of socks wearing out (narrow feet, though.) So sick of it that I’m actually switching to the Socks, Socks, Socks adaptation of Zimmerman’s totally refootable sock. A little bit of trouble, but from now on I should be able to rip out toe, sole, heel (if necessary) and just knit back that much, and even if the yarn doesn’t match it won’t show. Yowza.
There has to be some issue though. Why do some people’s socks last for years?
Mine last for many years. I’m not sure if I should disclose that when they need washing it sometimes takes a month or two to get around to it before I can wear them again…. 🙂
I actually have a theory. Like many of my theories it might be totally wrong. I think that most sock yarn isn’t spun firmly enough. My theory is that if you spin it to a much higher tpi, you can knit it a bit looser and still have a long wearing sock. I currently have a few socks (commercial and my handspun) that is testing this theory. (a pair of each for my honey and a pair of each for me to adjust for how we might wear our socks differently)
Seems like they should last longer than that if you have a good firm gauge. I usually knit my socks at 8 st per inch and they generally last for years. Do you wear holes through regular store bought socks quickly as well? If you do, you should probably add re-enforcing thread when you knit the problem areas. Some people just go through socks faster than others. How you walk, how your shoes fit and whether or not you walk around on carpet in your socks can all affect how long they last before developing holes.
Store bought socks for me last for more than a year, sometimes 2. I’m using the same yarns as other knitters who are having good results. I don’t wear shoes most of the day but think I should at least be able to wear the socks for longer than a month or two.
If your socks are wearing out in the toe or heel, you can knit those areas with reinforcing thread such as Wooly Nylon available at Joann’s. The YarnMarket carries Lang Jawoll Reinforcenment Thread that matches their sock yarn. Here is the link http://www.yarnmarket.com/yarn/Lang_Yarn-Jawoll_Reinforcement_Thread_Yarn-3475.html I have knit so many pairs of socks that I haven’t worn a pair long enough to wear them out!!
If you add 10% nylon blending fiber to your sock yarn it will last longer. Some suppliers sell it already blended into the roving and you just dye it to suit you. Pink of course!
I’ve knit and worn about a dozen pairs of socks, a few of them handspun. The superwash socks are the only ones that wore dime-sized holes within a few months. I wonder if removing the scales of the wool fibers makes the yarn more vulnerable to wear. And perhaps the type of wool is a factor also. My handspun Targhee or Tunis socks have been worn a lot and look brand new. I don’t think I shall be investing any more time in Merino socks–to me it’s the wrong wool for the purpose.
When I took a sock class from Sarah Peasley she told us to add Wooly Nylon to your yarn when you do the toe and heel sections. A friend of mine uses it in the whole foot. It works.
Here’s something I’ve been doing with good results. I do the “Knit one, slip one” every other row for almost the entire foot. I only leave about an inch in the arch area without it. This is the “reinforcing method” most patterns use for the heel area. I’m sure socks on the loose side also wear better than tight ones. Although I haven’t really done it, I think the nylon re-enforcement is probably a good idea too. I typically use my socks as “slippers”, as it sounds like you do. Before I started doing this I had the same results you did. I totally agree with your assessment of the problem, by the way.