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February 15, 2010



I have wondered the same thing, so a couple of years ago I knit one pair of socks with and one without. I blogged about it here:
For the record, I rarely reinforce anymore...


I have used wooly nylon in the past but also heard that it can cut the wool - I no longer use it but do knit the foot area more tightly than the leg- I do get holes on the well used socks but not right away


Wow Dianne's blog post seems to tell it all- perhaps I will go back to using it??


Oh, my gosh, Dianne, I love your experiment- that really fires up the scientific knitter in me!

Michelle Peace

In one of Cat Bordhi's sock classes she suggested using a twisted stitch in the heel area. It makes the fiber smaller and tighter and therefore will wear better. I haven't used this since I received the advise so I can't say for sure if it's a good thing, but I will be giving it a go in the future. I hope this helps.



It makes sense to me that the nylon could cut through the wool yarn - I tried to snap a piece of nylon thread in half once & ended up with a deep groove in my fingers - had I tried harder, it might well have punctured the skin. Nylon is a much tougher stronger fiber than wool so I wold expect it to do the same to 100% wool yarn. Most of my socks are knitted from commercial sock yarn - generally Regia or Opal which have a substantial percentage of nylon blended into the yarn. I have some socks that I've been wearing for 8 or 9 years that do not have any holes in them although some are wearing thin over the entire bottom of the foot [they are still intact - just thinner fabric so not as warm] probably because I generally wear them with clogs around the house. The only socks that I've ever knit that seemed to wear thin faster than I would like (still not holes but very close) were knit on size 2 (2.75 mm) needles with the old put up of Kroy which is 85% wool & 15% nylon. They did wear far more quickly than any other socks - probably from the combination of being knit on larger needles than usual (I usually use 1 [2.25 mm] or 1 1/2 [2.5 mm] & the lower nylon content. They are very nice & soft & snuggly feeling (I really like the feel of the higher wool content) but they have worn much faster than I'd expect & they have also pilled a lot. If I make any more socks from it, I'll definitely use much smaller needles (at least a 1 & maybe even a 0).


I don't use reinforcing thread in my sock heels. I knit with both 100% wool yarn and wool with nylon and have never had a hole in a sock heel (I just jinxed myself, didn't I?).

I knit my socks at a very tight gauge and do a padded heel flap. Maybe that helps?

Virginia S Accurso

I've knit a few socks with reinforcement thread. Its okay and all but a pain to have to remember to add it. I much rather prefer to knit socks with a wool, nylon mix and go down a needle size. When I first started knitting socks all I used were size 2 dpns. I didn't know I had some size 1's in the house until I was packing things up for our move to AZ and back to MA. Now I knit most of my socks on size 1's.


I use it occasionally. I was told a thin Mohair is excellent -


I don't use any reinforcement thread and I haven't had any problems with the heel. I tend you wear my socks out on the sole, lol. (guess it doesn't help I run around in my stocking feet)


This last December, my favorite Monkey sock knit feom my favorite Dream in COlor Smooshy, developed a wear hole at the bottom of the heel. Horrors! At the same time, another favorite sock, Hedgerow, developed a hole in the toe. Unbearable! In examining my socks (and I have tons of them), I concluded that the 100% wool or natural fibers socks wore out more quickly. My socks knit from yarn with a wee bit of polymide or nylon showed little am now sparingly wearing my 100% merino socks and knitting any new socks out of yarn with the added nylon or polymide. The other gorgeous sock yarn I have, it's going for shawls, mitts, etc.

Susan Roberts

I've successfully reinforced heels and toes with serger thread, which is stretchy. One little spool goes a long way. I usually use white or black depending on the color of socks.

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