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Old 01-23-2008, 12:17 AM   #1
redheadrachel
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Reinforce merino socks?
Hey everyone! I just got beautiful, sweet new sock yarn (posted with pics!) Every other sock yarn I've knit with before had at least some nylon content, or was 100% regular wool. Now I have superwash 100% merino wool, and it's deliciously soft. I'm excited to make some Monkey socks from Cookie A!

But do you guys think that I should add something reinforcing to the toe and heel since it's 100% merino? Do you think it will pill terribly? Instead of reinforcing it, do you think I could maybe go down a needle size? Or should I just leave it?

Thanks :D
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:58 AM   #2
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You could go down a needle size which will make the fabric more dense. Or, a better choice, you could use nylon thread as a carry along while knitting (the whole sock or just the toes and heels). If you use a contrasting color, it'll give the toes and heels a slight tweedy look. You can pick up nylon thread at the fabric/sewing store near you.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:18 AM   #3
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Actually, this isn't a response to the initial question but rather a tag on question to Silver's answer. I have some nylon thread at home that was supposed to be for a sewing project that didn't work. ANYWAY... how do you know when you should add this reinforcement? Should you reinforce on ALL socks to prevent them from wearing out as quickly? I am knitting my first pair of socks out of some GORGEOUS yarn and I want them to last as long as possible.

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Old 01-23-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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I used to do some leather work and have spools of light weight harness thread and a heavier saddle weight thread both nylon and have used them for years in reinforcing the heels of my socks. My husbands workboots are terribly hard on socks and storebought worsted wool didn't last long. My handmade worsted wool lasted a couple of winters until the heels wore through and with the harness thread in there it made darning so much easier.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by astonh View Post
Actually, this isn't a response to the initial question but rather a tag on question to Silver's answer. I have some nylon thread at home that was supposed to be for a sewing project that didn't work. ANYWAY... how do you know when you should add this reinforcement? Should you reinforce on ALL socks to prevent them from wearing out as quickly? I am knitting my first pair of socks out of some GORGEOUS yarn and I want them to last as long as possible.

Thanks.
You should add reinforcements when:
-the yarn is very thin, soft or delicate (angora, cashmere, any non-"sock yarn" laceweight)
-you plan to wear the socks with any regularity
-you want them to last a long time without darning

Basically, it's never a bad idea to add nylon to socks. It will only make them stronger and more durable. But it's not always necessary either. Most "sock yarns" already have a bit of nylon in them for durability. You also don't need to add nylon to thicker and/or tightly spun yarns.

Generally, I only add reinforcements if I'm knitting socks with a laceweight other than a "sock yarn". But then, I don't actually wear socks very often.
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Old 01-23-2008, 06:47 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Silver View Post
But then, I don't actually wear socks very often.
The Sock-Knitting Goddess who has taught thousands of us via her tutorial to knit socks doesn't wear socks very often? Silver, I am aghast! For some of us, socks have become a reason for living!
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Old 01-23-2008, 07:51 PM   #7
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Look where she lives. I wouldn't wear socks if I lived in Fl either. We poor northerners have to have them to keep our toes from breaking off from the cold.
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Old 01-23-2008, 09:14 PM   #8
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I know, ironic, huh? I LOVE knitting socks, but rarely ever wear socks, handmade or not. I would wear thong sandals everyday if I could, and I'm almost ALWAYS barefoot in the house. Actually the only times I wear my hand knit socks is around the house when it's cold inside. And I wear socks with my running shoes when I go for walks in the mornings, but those are store bought athletic socks.
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