People have often asked me how long a pair of hand knit socks will last. I've always said I have no idea. Now I know! Back in March of 2007 (while we were all going through a rough time during sweet Melanie's final weeks of life), I made this pair of Jaywalkers as a little experiment.
Back then, there was some discussion at the online sock knitting forum www.socknitters.com regarding using reinforcing thread in the heels and toes of your socks. I mentioned that I use sewing thread to kind of beef up the heels and toes. One of the knitters mentioned that she heard that sewing thread can actually increase the wear and tear on the socks because of the rubbing of the thread against the yarn.
In the interest of scientific experimentation, I knit up this pair of socks using Grumperina's Jaywalker pattern and Knit Picks' Simple Stripes yarn and included plain old cotton-wrapped polyester sewing thread reinforcing the heel and toe of one sock, and one sock without. I've been wearing these socks, summer and winter (my feet are always cold!) for 33 months now, waiting and waiting and waiting for a hole to develop. While I was folding laundry this weekend, guess what I found? A hole! Jackpot!!!
On closer examination, you can see that this hole developed non-reinforced sock, so I guess the thread helped! For this pair, anyway. In the interest of full disclosure, though, I should add that the reinforced sock shows wear, also.
Maybe I should darn the hole and continue to wear the socks so I could keep track of how many additional wearings it takes until a hole develops in the reinforced sock!
Maybe I should continue to knit every pair of socks with reinforcing thread in one sock only and track the wear of socks made with different yarn content or types of reinforcing thread.
Maybe I should have my findings published in the Journal of Sock Knitting and earn a Nobel Peace Prize in Sock Knitting! If either existed, that is.
Maybe I should get a life...