WIP: Fair Isle Made Easy socks

These are going to be my first Fair Isle socks. The yarn is recycled thrift-store-sweater wool, half of it hand-dyed. The Fair Isle part is going to be on the cuff. My construction: 2AAT; toe up; ML; toe, sole, and heel reinforced with a strand of wooly nylon. I really like 'em so far. :knitting:

I think you should call yourself SOCKjunky! :wink: Those will be so cool. Please tell me about the wooly nylon, is it the serger thread? I have sock yarn waiting patiently, I really want to get another pair started but priorities say I must do something else.

Pretty! I like stripes!

Sockjunky. LOL. I’ve never used wooly nylon on a serger, but yes, it comes on cones that would fit on a serger. It’s super thin, so it doesn’t affect your gauge, but it adds a lot of strength. After I did the toes with the wooly nylon, I wanted to reinforce just the soles but still keep knitting in the round. So I carry a strand of nylon across just the soles and simply snip it at the end of each row. When I’m all done with the socks, I’ll turn them inside out and snip the nylon ends pretty close to the fabric. Since the nylon will be knitted all the way across the row, it should stay in place. The operative word being “should.” So far, the reinforced parts of these socks feel very sturdy but still soft and flexible. I tend to knit my socks bullet-proof.

So what are you knitting instead of socks? BTW, I’ve already got my next pair of socks picked out: a pair of tabi socks out of silk. Silk is very strong, so I might not have to reinforce them. I have to read more about the properties of silk.

These are going to be lovely. I really like the stripes, too!

Maybe your reinforcement ideas will help other knitters who make socks for people who wear them out in a matter of [U]days[/U].

I meant to get some wooly nylon at JoAnn then forgot to stop at JoAnn. Maybe Walmart has it. I’ll have to check. They have some sewing stuff. I made a shawl and need to do another. I do have a sweater going too. I will start another pair of socks soon but I think I’ll wait till I can call in reinforcement. Your yarn, is it all wool and no nylon?

Perhaps. There are other ways of reinforcing socks, e.g., using linen st. for the soles, but I think the nylon thread is going to make more of a difference. I had a couple of pairs of handknit socks that lasted about 2 years, but considering how much work goes into them, I’d really like them to last much longer. Once I have a sock wardrobe in place (14 pairs), I’d like to knit only 2 or 3 new pairs a year, so I have lots of time to knit other things.

Yes, my wool yarn is 100% wool. A wool/nylon blend in fingering weight would have been perfect, but I didn’t have any. And I’m using stash yarn this year and (hopefully) buying little or no new yarn at all.

Stash Socks. You should copyright it! LOL

You’ve given that thrift store sweater a happy second life. These socks are going to be lovely and strong. Thanks for the tip on the nylon thread. Looking forward to the finished pair!

Looking good and great to reuse something. Thanks for info too!

You’re welcome, everybody. I can’t take credit for the technique of reinforcing with nylon thread. I’m sure I read about it on Ravelry. I think it might have been Cat Bordhi who suggested I reinforce the sole by carrying short lengths of the thread across it.

Everybody’s welcome to try it!

It occurs to me I should look for a cotton/spandex blend sweater at the thrift store and make summer socks with it.

I’m having trouble finding wooly nylon. It seems JoAnn doesn’t carry it. Where’d you get yours?

Hmmm…the idea of a cotton sweater for socks, I like that.

That’s weird, because I got my wooly nylon at JoAnn’s. Did you ask for it, and they said they didn’t carry it? Were you looking in the yarn section or thread? It would be with the sewing threads. Maybe even with serger supplies. I checked the label on mine to see if perhaps it’s called something else. Nope, the only difference I see is that it’s actually spelled “woolly.” Sorry, I don’t know what else to recommend, except maybe online sources. JoAnn’s has stuff online that they don’t sell in their stores. And Amazon has plenty of sewing supplies, too.

This what you’re looking for? There are lots of colors, too. I just ordered a spool of black and white. That should cover my sock and darning needs for the rest of my life. :lol:

Type in wooly nylon in google, too. It’s made for sergers so maybe that will help, too.

Almost done, so I thought I’d post a new pic. Fair Isle doesn’t stretch as much as stockinette, let alone ribbing, so I might have to keep the cuffs pretty short or they won’t fit.

That’s fair isle? Looks like stripes… I like them though!

Very nice! I like the colors you’ve chosen!

Oh, I like them.

The entire foot is striped. The Fair Isle part is only on the cuffs, which you can’t see in this pic. I’ll take a new one and post it in a minute.

P.S. Here’s the Fair Isle part so far. At the bottom, you see the top of the heel section, and you can just make out the reinforcing woolly nylon thread (the thin orangey tan).