I have made numerous pairs of socks and they all seem to wear at the bottom of the sock around the heel area. My floors are porcelain tile and I think they might be catching on the tile edges. Does anyone have a suggestion for extremely tough yarn? Right now I am making socks with an acrylic sock yarn to see if acrylic holds up better (even though I love wool).
Have you tried the afterthought heel? One of the advantages is that it can be replaced if worn out.
Yes I thought about that but it’s not the heel part that wears out. It’s the bottom of the sock that gets holes. I have some old sock patterns that have a refootable sole that I will try next. But I would still like to find a sturdy yarn for that project.
Yes, I was going to suggest that if you like the look. My concern is the join of sole to instep but there are several patterns out there, some with interesting variations.
What’s often used is wool with about 20% nylon (Regia 4-ply, Turtlepurl).
@engblom sock knitter par excellence, do you have any recommendations?
No, I am sorry, but I do not have any good yarn recommendation. I knit a lot of socks exactly because they get worn out so quickly. I also use yarn with about 20% nylon and it will make them last a bit longer than pure wool, but still they will get worn out.
Advice that I’ve heard from “sock experts” in my knitting group (aside from the 20% nylon): high twist yarn if wool, and/or add a mohair to the problematic area.
I’ve heard good things about Lang Jawoll sock yarn, the yarn is supplied with reinforcement yarn.
I realize you are talking about the sole but just to throw out my idea - I use dental floss in my heels. If flavored -there is a nice scent
Waxed or unwaxed floss?
I picked up a few balls if Coboo yarn because I liked the color and thought I could use it for socks. But I now can tell it doesnt have any stretch.
Is stretch or elasticity required for a good sock yarn?
This is a great question for @engblom
Also from my knitting group sock experts (that question comes up a lot) - yes, elasticity matters. For instance, you’d have difficulties knitting socks with a 100% cotton yarn. The socks will slip off your feet after you wear them a few times, because unelastic fibers get stretched but don’t come back into shape like wool or other elastic fibers do. It’s good to experiment with blends though!
I’ve been wondering why it is that socks made by industrial manufacturers can be 100% cotton but we can’t handknit them with that fiber.
As someone who knits a lot of socks, I have noticed that the stretch is directly proportional to how tight/loose the sock is knitted. A tightly knitted sock will keep the size longer. Even store bought 100% cotton socks do stretch, but they are usually with even smaller needle size than what can be hand knitted.
I have noticed that socks made with some heel types are more prone to slip off than other. For some reason Fleegle heel never slips for me despite that I always have positive ease (which I really prefer over negative ease).
There are a couple of patterns with a replaceable sole. They might be more like slipper socks, but you mentioned you were wearing them around the house so maybe these would be suitable.
One is by Elizabeth Zimmermann, the other is by Anna Zilboorg:
I find Opal sock wool is pretty good. I knit the heel and foot on a smaller needle to get a nice dense fabric.
You can also try adding Kidsilk Haze or reinforcing yarn (beilaufgarn) with your main yarn in the problem area. Regia has beilaufgarn on little cards.
Durability is always a compromise. You could make super durable yarn, but then it would resemble string more than yarn.
Most sock yarn has nylon blended in for strength. But I often borrow from commercial sock manufacturers & add another, thinner strand of nylon to the heel section and the toe section. Those are the areas that wear out first.
I knit a lot of angora socks & I add a strand of silk to the heel and toe area.
Angora socks sound lovely – very luxurious!
They are. And even those that are sturdier are still a lot warmer than regular wool for the same weight.
I kept bunnies for about 10 years & have more angora fiber & yarn than I could use in a lifetime. Most of it is white & I hate to dye.
I think yarn is best when it is as natural as possible, so nothing wrong with leaving it as it is.
I was wondering if crochet thread can be added to the heel flap to both increase the density and lessen the stretch so the heel has a longer life/wear time.
Try a swatch first. A lot of crochet cotton biases when knit (ask me how I know). But the other yarn might balance it. Especially if one is z twist & the other s twist.