Monday, October 15, 2018

Speaking of Handknit Socks . . .

Below is the first pair of socks I knit for my husband.

These are the gargantuan holes in the heel of one sock. 

This was after last week when I meticulously darned a hole in the toe of the same pair of socks and accused him of not cutting his toenails short enough.

The yarn was (what I thought) a good quality, but you can see it's already started to pill more than one would like.

It seems that this pair of socks held up for about two months, being worn once a week, but is now rapidly falling apart.

The other two pair I've knit him he wears regularly (different yarns) and seem just fine.

I don't know how you tell, but beware of sock yarn that doesn't hold up.  Or perhaps I should say beware of sock yarn that does hole up.  (Haha.)

Drat and darn.  (Pun not intended as I'm not going to waste my time darning these socks anymore.  For all I know, the way things are going, next the cuff may fall off.)


Goatldi said...

Well Mama Pea “Darn it!”

Sorry I couldn’t resist. I would be interest in what brand of sock yarn and what fiber content.
There may be a mystery a foot. 😱 Sorry. 😂

Michelle said...

That's why I don't knit socks. It takes me longer to knit them than it takes me to wear them out.....

The Wykeham Observer said...

I don't know a thing about sock yarn, but is it possible for it to actually deteriorate before they're ever made into anything? Sounds like a dumb question, but it makes one wonder if there is a shelf life for yarn, ha! Phil

Vera said...

Oh that's annoying. I would bin them toute suite!

tpals said...

That must be frustrating. I still haven't attempted socks, but I can imagine how I would feel after all that work.

Mama Pea said...

Goatldi - I've made the mistake in the past (no more!) of not keeping the label from all skeins of yarn from which I knit each pair of socks . . . just for instances like this. Needless to say, if I knew the brand of yarn used for these socks, I'd not use it again! (Sometimes we grow too soon old and too late smart!) I do know any yarn I've purchased for socks definitely has some "reinforcement" in it, along with the wool, like rayon or nylon or cotton or some mixture of polyester. And I've made about 8 pairs of socks for myself that I've worn and worn with never a hole in sight. Sigh.

Michelle - 'Tis a mystery. As mentioned above, I've never (not yet anyway) had a problem with the socks I've knit for myself which have had much wear. But I do fully understand why it would be foolish to put so much time into socks if they didn't wear a long time. A long time!

Phil - No, not a dumb question . . . and that makes me wonder. I do know I was shocked when I learned a few years ago that thread does have a shelf life! I had partial spools of thread I'd had for 30-35 years (!) that all went in the trash when I found that out. And perhaps that just could apply to yarn also.

Vera - The socks are sitting right here on my desk staring at me as we speak. You are right. I should not hesitate to toss them RIGHT NOW. Why am I having a hard time doing that?

tpals - Methinks if it happens to a second pair of socks I've taken the time to knit . . . well, it won't be pretty! ;o}

wisps of words said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wisps of words said...

If you know the yarn maker.... You can avoid such, in the future.


Rosalea said...

I cut off the foot, pick up the stitches and re-knit the foot with yarn of similar weight that you know wears well. After all, the leg is the most time consuming and sometimes boring bit! I have 're-soled' several pairs of my husband's socks this way over the years, as he also is hard on the toes of his socks.

Mama Pea said...

wisps of words - Now that would be a sensible thing to do! As mentioned above, I've failed to keep a record of what yarns I've used on what pair of socks. Not very bright of me, was it? But you can bet your bippy I'm going to be doing it from now on!

Rosalea Hunter - That's why the socks are still sitting on my desk top. I could cut off the feet, pick up the stitches and re-knit from the heel down through to the toe. (With something like steel-reinforced baling twine!) But will I do that? As of this moment, I'm still so mad at the existing yarn I used that I don't want to touch them!! ;o]

Sharon in Surrey said...

I have 15 year old socks without any darns that I'm still wearing & a recent pair that shredded in several places in the wash!!
Beware of any yarn without at least some nylon/silk/mohair in it for strength!!
Old yarn will sometimes deteriorate in the wash!!
I'd cut off the foot & either reknit it or use the leg part as winter wristlets.
You could knit his next socks with replaceable heels & toes.

Lynne said...

That's a shame, all that work. So far I have never had that happen, yet. When I make socks for my son, I always use a nylon thread along with the sock yarn I'm using. The socks seem to last. It,s easy to use. I got it on Amazon. One spool last forever or seems to. Love your humor!!!!

Goatldi said...

You know after seeing Phil's comment he could be onto something. If it is wool that is not treated for moths and you have them and it was an old ball it could very well have been an issue. But one would expect to see big breaks in the yarn long before now. As when you were knitting. I have seen moth eaten alpaca it isn't pretty . Also if it is really old but knit up fine it could just not be up to wear and tear.

Also your remark about the wool/alpaca/yak whatever being paired with nylon for extra strength is spot on. That began to happen in roughly 1995 + or so. When the sock rage first took hold that was not the case and quickly worn socks were not uncommon.

Lastly it may be a combination of how the boots/shoes he is wearing hitting the right spot and perhaps you nail clipper comment is more likely to be correct.

I will crawl back under my rock now.

abbeysmum said...

Oh dear, that's unfortunate. I would definitely keep track of the ongoing nail clipping ...but the yarn may not have been a strong sock blend of wool and nylon or whatever else is added for strength and durability.
When I knitted my first pair of socks they were boot length, I had to really concentrate on the pattern and they were not a quick I then knit 8 more pairs because if I put that much effort into them I did not want them wearing out anytime soon ! Didn't realise I was much fantastic yarn to try,the self striping are fun.
I stopped counting at 40 pairs, mostly gifts, some were cotton comfy house socks,some were commercial yarn from a big franchise shop and most now are amazing, beautiful, special, indi dyed yarn that I can't resist.
I usually stock up at craft fairs, markets etc. As I found online colours can be disappointing.
I also live nearly 2 hour drive from a decent yarn shop.
If you watch podcasts, check out Fibre Friends, they are good fun.

Mama Pea said...

Sharon in Surrey - I'm thinking seriously of obtaining some "heel and toe" reinforcement yarn to knit into his socks. Although I'm still thinking this must have just been some inferior yarn as none of the ones I've knit for myself have shown any wear. Sigh.

Lynne - I'm going directly to Amazon to see if I can find that nylon thread you use. Thank you!

Goatldi - The yarn was purchased recently from a well-known yarn store, but of course we can never know how "old" it really is. No moth problem here, so I don't think that's it. As far as the too-sharp-too-long toenail problem, that wouldn't account for the big holes in the bottom of the heel. The back of the heel on my pattern does have a kind of a doubled-up reinforcing pattern. Appreciate all your info so don't hide under your rock!

abbeysmum - Yes, I find knitting socks addictive, too. Not as much as a friend who probably has you beat in the number of socks she's knit. Never looks at the pattern anymore and can knit away at the same time as doing most anything else that doesn't require both her hands!

If anyone knew how much sock yarn I have stashed . . . well, I'd be embarrassed! On the other hand, knowing I can knit socks (pretty necessary for one's apparel!) gives me a certain peace of mind. Except for this darn pair of my husband's!!

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

I need to learn how to knit socks! For some reason the concept of knitting socks "scares" me. I don't even know why. Perhaps its getting the size wrong? Not sure. But shucks for those ones that aren't holding up.

Mama Pea said...

MrsDM - Honestly, knitting socks is NOT hard. All you need is a pattern and follow it carefully the first few times through.

Sizing for different feet does take time. I've often had someone slip on a sock (still attached to the needles and all!) to see if it's tall enough for them, or if the foot is the right size or needs to be made longer before I start the decreases for the toe.

This pair of Papa Pea's is the first of many, many pair I've knit that is self-destructing. I can only blame it on a wonky skein of yarn! (But I still have the enjoyment I had while knitting them.)

Rain said...

The slippers I knit myself last winter had holes in them a month later lol...I was hoping they would last a little longer!