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Old 02-26-2011, 01:09 PM   #1
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Socks - Reinforce toes/heels Option
I would like to reinforce the toes and heels for socks. Can I knit these two areas with two strands of the same yarn? If you did this, did you knit with the two strands only on one side or both sides.
If you did this and think it is a bad idea, also let me know.
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Old 02-26-2011, 01:33 PM   #2
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I haven't done any reinforcing yet, but I have made socks. I think using double yarn would affect the gauge. I've heard that using "woolly nylon" is good for reinforcing.

Read this first though..Here's another article about a different way to reinforce.

When asking questions ALWAYS post the name and a link for the pattern if you have it.

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Old 02-26-2011, 07:49 PM   #3
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I've carried a fine yarn with a heavier yarn with no problems, and have used sewing thread to reinforce also. I haven't worn that pair of socks enough to know how well it works long term, but the contrasting threads made a nice texture. Mostly, I'll knit the toe and heel or even the whole foot on smaller-than-called-for needles to make them sturdy.
Using yarn that is at least 15% nylon helps A LOT, too, and there's no law against having a contrasting toe/heel that's of stronger yarn than the rest of the sock. If they're similar weight, the gauge isn't an issue, or you can always add or decrease a stitch or so to adjust.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:59 PM   #4
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Reinforcing yarn...

I love to knit socks and those I give as gifts are always treasured by the recipients, so I really want them to last and last!

To that end I always reinforce the heels and toes on any socks with no nylon content in the yarn. A 25% or so nylon content is a pretty strong yarn so I'll sometimes skip the extra re-inforcement but even then it wouldn't hurt to use it.

Here's a great inexpensive source for reinforcing yarn that works very well. I always buy two of each color I order so that I don't run out and also because I usually knit 2 at a time on one long cable needle. (Melissa Morgan-Oakes book, 2-at-a-Time Socks)

Also, I use the slip stitch heel stitch or maybe the partridge eye stitch (Ann Budd, "Getting Started Knitting Socks") which also gives a lot of extra protection.

Re-inforcing yarn is particularly important when using a soft luxury yarn since the pressure of foot against shoe will drastically wear on the soft yarn.

Hope this helps!


PS. Jan, thanks for the Knitty article, it's super!
In progress - designing, knitting and writing a knitting book, "Design Your Own Gourmet Kitchen Cloths and Accessories".
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