Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sunday Knitting

I'll be posting about my knitting every Sunday in hopes that it won't fall by the wayside again. Now that there's so little daylight I usually have to wait for the weekend to take photos anyway, so it should work out.

Today I want to show you part of an orange sock.

This is the Milo sock from Sock Innovation by Cookie A. I really love the cables in this pattern and I think it will look smashing in orange. It's fun to knit and the Lorna's Laces sock yarn is quite lovely to work with.

But I'm a little worried.

I had to throw away a pair of hand-knit socks recently because the holes were, in my opinion, beyond darning. They were my clown barf socks, so I wasn't terribly sorry to see them go. But now I'm afraid I may also have to discard my Pomatomous socks as well, and that is a shame.

This has got me ruminating on ways to make my socks a little sturdier so as to prevent such tragedies from occurring in the future. You know, people have been knitting socks for centuries and many of them must have hated darning as much as I do, but I have yet to see a sock pattern written with any sort of reinforcement.

There are a few things that seem to help:

1. Use yarn with a decent amount of nylon in it. Pure wool is a disaster waiting to happen. It's unfortunate, because I love me some Smooshy sock yarn but I don't think I can knit socks with it anymore.

2. Knit at a tight gauge. At one point I decided to ALWAYS knit socks on size 0, but every time I start a fancy pattern (like the one above) I'm right back to using a larger size in the interest of having the socks come out the right size. Using multi-size patterns like those from Sensational Knitted Socks allows me to knit at any gauge, so I may try to fill in my sock wardrobe with more of these. But I still like the fancy ones.

3. Reinforce the heels by knitting a strand of reinforcement thread with the yarn. I don't have reinforcement thread but I'm thinking of just knitting double-stranded with the yarn when I do the heel. I will also make the gauge much tighter on those parts. I may research this a bit more.

What do you do to prevent wearing holes in your socks? And what about Fair Isle patterned socks? Does the extra yarn you carry along the back of the knitting help with the wear?


Gecika said...

Everything you've mentioned does help with how long a sock can go without darning, but it's still a skill that's worth learning.

I keep an eye on my socks every time I wash them, if I notice they're getting a little thin, I beat the hole to the punch and weave in another strand of yarn with the duplicate stitch

3goodrats said...

That is what I should do as well. In fact, I do look at them every time I wash them in hopes of beating them to the punch, as you say; but I so hate both darning and duplicate stitch that I keep putting off the repairs. I think a two-pronged approach is best: prevention as well as upping my darning/duplicate stitch skills!