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Old 06-03-2008, 06:28 PM   #11
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I used nylon harness thread to reinforce the heels in the socks I knit for my husband many years ago. He still wore holes in the socks, but it made it easier to darn the socks and we still have one pair left that are wearable. Eventually from so many washings and him sweating in his work boots the socks started to felt and got too tight for him to wear.
I no longer reinforce heels, but then I am knitting for myself and am not that hard on my socks.
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:08 PM   #12
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As I said previously, I always use reinforcement of some kind when knitting socks - particularly in the heel and toe area. Another person on the board mentioned using the reinforced stitch - which is fine as far as it goes! Unfortunately, when dealing with soft yarns, that may not be nearly far enough. So, I feel that always reinforcing heels and toes with a nylon or other strong thread is the best approach - and, of course, best of all is using a yarn which already has that reinforcement built in. Once those socks are knitted, trust me, it's too late! How do you feel about darning!?
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Old 06-03-2008, 09:16 PM   #13
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Many high quality yarns intended for sock knitting these days are manufactured with reinforcement threads built into them. They will, of course, be somewhat more expensive that yarns which don't have that. Usually it's a polyester fibre or some version of nylon - and it isn't usually a very high percentage of the fibre of the yarn. But it is enough to give at least some hope of warding off the dreaded holes in heels and toes. Plus, of course, if you have that kind of yarn you avoid the issue of having to carry an extra thread while you are knitting in those areas of socks. I might add that I've never had a problem with the extra thread being carried causing extra wear and tear on the finished socks.

The thread recommended for its strength can be found sold separately on cards in your local yarn shop. Just ask and I'm sure they will be able to find it for you. I, personally, would always do this because I really don't like having a pair of socks ruined by having them develop holes. For the extra little bit of effort involved, it seems to me that taking this precaution is well worth it. But, of course, that's strictly my opinion and I would always defer to the opinions of others whose experience may be different than my own.
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:36 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Mirl56 View Post
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.
This is where mine wear out too: the balls of the feet and bottom of the heels. I haven't been able to figure out how to reinforce these areas other than using reinforcement thread or reinforced yarn. Since I prefer worsted weight socks, most is not reinforced.
I will say that it is not quite as much of a problem since I now force myself to wear slippers with my socks, rather than running around the huse in my sock feet. I rarely wear them with regular shoes.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:41 AM   #15
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How do you darn socks?
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:52 AM   #16
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just go to www.google.com and type in 'how to darn a sock' - you will get quite a few sties to look at.
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Old 06-04-2008, 10:00 PM   #17
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What I did would be more like weaving. You insert the yarn on one side of the hole and run it back and forth across the hole. Then go 90 degrees and weave the yarn in and out of the horizontal strands you put in. That's where the reinforcing thread helps as it helps space and support the strands or darning yarn. I used a light bulb as a darning egg to hold the shape of the heel so the yarn strands wouldn't be drawn too tight and shrink or wrinkle the heel.
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