View Full Version : How long do your hand knitted socks last?

Lisa R.
01-23-2010, 08:38 PM
I just found a hole in another pair of socks. I was extremely disappointed, but then realized they're a whole year old now. I've darned two pairs that are over two years old, and have decided that the next time they go, it's time to retire them.

I realize that it varies according to yarn, gauge, type of wear and any number of other variables...but I wondered what is the average life expectancy of socks?

As a side question, I know that some yarns come with (or you can purchase) reinforcing threads....but is there any sort of generic (clear??? :)) reinforcing thread?


01-24-2010, 08:52 AM
Clear thread is basically fish line and will cut through the yarn even faster.

Nylon reinforcing threads can be purchased in basic colors. Wooly nylon that's used for serging is another option.

I have never darned any of my regular socks, only one pair of house socks. And I only wear them for 5-6 months out of the year. I have many pair so rotate through them quite a bit.

However my sons go through them in a few months.

01-24-2010, 10:30 AM
I rarely wear socks, only during the coldest days of winter that we get, so mine tend to last forever. I have pairs from an aunt in Holland that I've had nearly 10 years now... however, the ones my husband gets are lucky to last a year.

Toenails should always be neatly clipped at the end of the toe and one should not walk outside in their socks. Most of my darning and re-weaving come from those two problems.

01-24-2010, 10:45 AM
My husband wears his socks to work, he basicly walks the whole 9-12hrs hes there and i havent had to darn a sock of his yet..I belive the oldest pair he has is 6 years.

my son has a pair 2 years old and i have many pair i have made since i started knitting..6 years ago.

I made some socks one time outta woolease and those didnt last long but i wear socks constantly in the wintertime and i have many pair so i think its just a matter of what you make them out of.


01-24-2010, 10:47 AM
Mine last a pretty long time...and it varies with the yarn. I do hand wash all my socks even if they can go in the washing machine...I lay them out to dry...I don't use the reinforcing thread but for heels and toes I knit a tighter gauge :thumbsup:

01-24-2010, 11:42 AM
The socks I have made from Sock yarn, are all still in tact! Some of them for years, with regular use in the fall/winter

The socks I have made out of acryllic (I started making socks out of DK acryllics) and they didn't last more than a year or so.

01-24-2010, 03:40 PM
I use the thin, fine wool from Germany(from a friend) and knit one pair each year. I only wear them in the winter and wash them in the machine in a mesh bag.....NO holes yet It's been a few years for some(knock on wood)!! All is good. Hubby has two pairs and he doesn't wear them a lot but all are holding up!!:)

01-24-2010, 04:18 PM
If you want your socks to last use good quality yarn. I found this out the hard way. Knitted lots of socks (also hats and mitts) from Woolease yarn. None of them lasted even a year without holes and falling apart to the point where i threw them away. People I gave them to told me they were worthless. I have made a few with Encore Worsted, a wool/acrylic machine washable yarn that have so far lasted me two years. I like Kroy socks, Lornas Laces, and Opal. These have worn well. In this case cheap is not better. Haven't tried the reinforcement thread but would like too. Have seen Jawoll advertised.

01-24-2010, 07:22 PM
People I gave them to told me they were worthless.

That seems a little harsh...

I understand the message...but wow...worthless...nothing knitted is worthless! :star:

01-25-2010, 12:20 AM
Here's another idea....just add the same yarn you are knitting with. It works really well. When I learned to knit socks my friend taught me this simple trick. This also will depend on the type of heel flap pattern you use: if it's not too bulky.:p

01-25-2010, 02:25 AM
My feet can chew through any sock in a few months.
I don't mind with the cheap packs of summer socks but expensive thick wool winter socks were nuts (about a month). The ones I make last longer and can be fixed.

01-25-2010, 07:14 AM
Woolease doesn't make good socks. I think the acrylic cuts through the wool if there's lots of friction.....Encore doesn't make good socks, either.

01-25-2010, 07:59 AM
I only use sock yarn that is reinforced with nylon or similar to make it last longer. Once or twice I used 100% wool and those socks quickly developed holes and felted a bit just from wearing them - never again.

I've used the Jawell yarn that comes w/reinforcing thread twice. the most recent pair w/that yarn I forgot to add the reinforcing thread - opps. They are only a few months old but just fine so far.

I wear socks every day in the winter, not so much in summer. During sock seasons, i could easily go over 2 weeks before wearing the same pair twice, however my favorite pairs will be worn more often.

01-25-2010, 10:37 AM
I'm making my first pair of "real" socks (made some slipper socks for practice) out of real sock yarn an am anxious to see how they hold up.

01-25-2010, 01:41 PM
:cheering: yae wandaT I too made slipper socks before knitting the real deal, it helped alot. All the best to you!

Lisa R.
01-27-2010, 11:40 PM
Thanks, all! I've been offline and nearly forgot about this thread.

I definitely think the yarn is the big key. My first two pairs of socks were not made of specifically sock yarn, and clearly didn't have a chance at holding up! The one that just got a hole in it was sock yarn, and advertised to hold up well, "even in hiking boots!" I do wear them often, but still....

I have another couple pairs from different sock yarns that are going along quite well with no signs of holes.

Interestingly, mine don't ever get holes in the heel flap, but underneath my heel, where I walk. I don't usually walk around in them without shoes, but occasionally.

Anyway...thanks for all the advice. Seems like finding and sticking with good yarn is going to be worth the effort.

01-28-2010, 02:18 AM
I plan on putting in a new heel, when they get holes. Since I have to wear socks 365 days a year, it pays to do it that way. After thought heels might be old fashioned, but nothing is more comfortable than hand made socks, especially on damaged feet.

01-29-2010, 07:01 PM
If you want your socks to last use good quality yarn.

So true :thumbsup: for just about every kind of knitting that will be put to the test! But especially anything on the foot...that will have to take the beating!