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Old 06-02-2008, 10:25 PM   #1
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reinforcing thread on sock heels
Experienced sock knitters, please weigh in -- what's your opinion on using reinforcing thread on the heels and toes of socks? Does it make them stronger, or put more wear on the main yarn sooner?
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Old 06-03-2008, 12:54 AM   #2
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I always use reinforcement when I am knitting socks - in both the heels and the toes, as a matter of fact. And, sadly, the reason I always do this is that I have worn holes in my beautifully - and expensively - hand-knit socks! That is not a fun thing to have happen, believe me! My mother probably would know how to "darn" socks (which means repair the holes), but I don't - and besides it's not something I really care to do! The best approach, probably, is to buy yarn which already has reinforcement threads built into it. For example, I am currently knitting a very beautiful pair of socks - for my son's girlfriend, by the way - which is merino and silk! Absolutely beautiful and warm yarn - but quite soft. So it also contains some kind of polyester fibre. For that reason, of course, it would NOT be a yarn that could be felted, so you have to knit it to the right size. So, my answer is, yes, indeed, always reinforce natural fibre sock yarn or you will end up with holes in your socks!

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Old 06-03-2008, 01:24 AM   #3
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I generally don't use reinforcement thread. as when I get to the heels, unless the pattern says otherwise, I'll usually make the heel denser than the rest of the sock by doing a s1, K1 on the public side and s1 then purl back on the private side.

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Old 06-03-2008, 02:04 AM   #4
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good question
I had not before my DH wore a hole in a heel or two..
what is the best thread fiber to use? I tried quilting thread...too soon to know if thta works... Ideas??
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:15 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rorshach View Post
I generally don't use reinforcement thread. as when I get to the heels, unless the pattern says otherwise, I'll usually make the heel denser than the rest of the sock by doing a s1, K1 on the public side and s1 then purl back on the private side.
I do the same heel.
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Old 06-03-2008, 06:26 AM   #6
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I've only reinforced once, when using Jowel yarn that comes with reinforcing thread. I did both toes and heels.

I'd have to say for me it is more likely the heel turn/bottom of the foot and the ball of my foot more likely to wear on socks.

I've read you need to be careful what you use to reinforce - some fibers will put more wear and actually tear/cut thru the sock yarn then help strengthen/reinforce it.

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Old 06-03-2008, 06:27 AM   #7
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I haven't tried it yet, but I read that one should use wooly nylon.

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Old 06-03-2008, 08:22 AM   #8
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I want to thank knovice and all the members who replied! I am about to start making a pair of socks for my son, Alex. He wears holes through the heels all the time. I want these socks to last for him and not be gone before winter.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:16 AM   #9
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I agree with Boo and the rest - I've been making socks for over 40 years, and have never used a reinforcing thread. Never had one of the heels wear through. Have had several pairs where the toe has developed a hole, though. [note to hubby: Cut Toenails!!!!]

But by all means, do your own thing. Try this for yourself - especially since your son develops holey heels. Make a pair with the reinforcing thread... and another pair without.

Hey, once you start knitting socks, you just can't do it once - right?


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Old 06-03-2008, 05:51 PM   #10
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I've never used it, but I wanted to try so I ordered some from Schoolhouse Press. I like the look of the Joanns wooly nylon better, but too late now.
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