Thursday, January 14, 2016

Sock Mending

Apparently this the week in which I decided to finally tackle my mending basket. By yesterday I had gotten 8 pairs of socks for me back into rotation, all of which had been resting there for more than a year. Even given how long they have been in time-out, I did get some good use from them and am looking forward to more. And the weather in Boston seems to have just turned the corner into wool-socks-everyday season.

Left side (top to bottom):

Self-striping Socklets (7/2015)

Coral Snake Socks (3/2007)

Astronomy/Astrology Socks (11/2008)

Holly Berry Socks (5/2008)

Right side (top to bottom):

Ember Socks (3/2007)

Twisted Flower (8/2008)

Cozy Socks (4/2014)

Thick Camo Socks (6/2011)

I like to take mending time as an opportunity to revisit how well things had held up and learn from it. I can't complain too much about the holes in the Cozy Socks and Thick Camo Socks, both of which were made from heavier, merino yarns. They were designed to quick, cozy knits around the house rather than something more hard-wearing for use with shoes.

Similarly the Holly Berry Socks were a 100% merino socks yarn from Knit Picks that was long discontinued, even before I knit them. I am not terribly surprised they developed a weak place at the toe, and it was an easy repair.

The Ember Socks were knit in Koigu and Silky Wool, and I remember thinking when I made them that I was not sure that the Silky Wool would make good socks. It doesn't have quiet the same elasticity of some other sock yarns, but actually it worked out pretty well. The hole that developed was actually in the middle of one of the Koigu stripes on the ankle, perhaps from it rubbing against my shoes? More disappointing is that the Koigu has faded so much. I totally admit these have been washed many times, but since the colors palette is one of the major differentiators of Koigu for me it is a little sad.

The Self-striping Socklets repair was totally not due to wear, but rather knitter error. The first time I wore them I noticed that I had missed/dropped a stitch in the bind off. It was super easy to fix once I got around to it, and I expect a long time of wear out of these in the future.

The Coral Snake Socks were the first of several pairs of socks in this yarn base that are in my mending basket. The Minds' Eye sockyarn base was a merino/tencel blend and sort of on the fine side. Ultimately I do not think the tencel content was necessarily to blame, but at this point I would still prefer a wool/nylon blend.

The hand dyer who was making it is no longer producing, and I am sad that this base has been so problematic for me as I have a bunch  more in my stash. Given that I have had problems with it in socks, I had even tried making accessories out of it instead. But even that apparently had weak spots that I couldn't see as it developed holes with relatively little use.

The Astronomy/Astrology Socks developed a weak spot in the facing yarn I had used in the hem edge, which was strange. I attribute this to a weak spot in the Louet Gems fingering that I didn't notice when knitting, since I had noticed other weak places in it. Similar to the Mind's Eye sock yarn of the Coral Snake Socks, it is a little on the fine side with occasional thinner places.

I have fond memories of knitting the Twisted Flower socks while traveling to Hong Kong and Germany, so even though they are impractical I was ready to repair the thin places. I knit these to pattern, so the lace panel extends down the back of the heel. It is super pretty, but I would not do that again. Unsurprisingly they wore weak spots at one of the open lacy parts. I was pleased by my ability to darn roughly in pattern though and am glad to get to wear these longer.

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