Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Darn It!

I knew this was coming, but I held out hope.

I knitted and blogged these socks last May, shortly after Noro had introduced a new sock yarn. At the time, I speculated (okay, ranted) that the yarn construction was pretty useless for socks and that holes would appear. Here we are, 10 months later, and lo and behold:

Yep, The dreaded holes in the heels.
Now, you may say, "Gee, Michelle, most socks will get holes in the heels after being worn for nearly a year". And my reply would be, " Not my handknit socks!" But, to put things in a little better perspective, I will give you a brief history of these socks.
I put the socks into my sock drawer in May 2008. It was warm and I felt no need to wear big old boot socks anywhere. And in the sock drawer they remained until November--a time lapse of 5 months.
Now, November in Northern Alberta can get mighty chilly, and this winter seemed to be especially harsh. Putting on a thick pair of woolly socks under my boots seemed just the ticket. Out from the drawer came the Noro socks.
They were actually quite warm and cozy, in spite of the scratchiness Noro yarns are infamous for. And they softened (and pilled like crazy) after washing. Maybe they weren't as bad as I thought....
The socks went into regular rotation, meaning that they were worn and washed about once a week. From November to early March, they held out okay, though thin spots were showing up, and I occasionally had the thought that I should keep an eye on those.
Then, the first holes appeared. But, March being the insanely busy month that it was for me, I ignored them. So the holes grew.
It took me nearly an hour to darn the holes up. The big hole got a patch darn, and the thin spots got a Swiss darn. Unfortunately, I couldn't find my leftovers of the original yarn, so I had to sub another sock yarn, meaning that there was no hope of matching the colors.

On the other hand, considering how unhappy I was with the original yarn, it was probably a good call to darn them with something sturdier. Sadly, though, I suspect the darned patches will far outlast the socks!
In 20 years of sock knitting, I have had to darn 3 socks. The other two belonged to young men who did not necessarily feel that wearing shoes in parking lots was a part of daily life, and that handknit socks were indestructible. (I don't know where they would have gotten that idea!)
All of the other socks I have made have been outgrown or passed on until I don't know where they are anymore. I have heard of a few toe repairs done to gift socks, but I blame those on folks who have not yet discovered the joys of a good pedicure.
So, all in all, these socks did live down to expectations. Cool to look at, cozy and woolly for winter, and not the least bit durable under pretty light wear and tear. (Remember that I sit on my bum, spinning or knitting, for the large part of the day!)
I hate it when I'm right.
(On the other hand, I wore them last week, after they were darned, and I couldn't feel any unevenness where the darning had been done. I'm just that good!)

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