Sadly, we had to retire TWO pairs of handknit socks from S1’s sock drawer at the last weekly laundering.
One pair was not a surprise. I darned these Whitby socks a few months ago and knew the yarn was becoming perilously thin. I didn’t even try to darn them further. This yarn didn’t wear well from the very beginning, and it was 100% superwash merino, so really, you get what you get. I still really like the Whitby pattern, though, so I’ll have to reincarnate these socks in a different yarn.
A reminder about fiber content: this is a 2-ply 50% super fine kid mohair, 50% fine wool, spun here in the U.S. from U.S. fiber. I got it at MDSW ‘09. It was beautifully dyed and it was pretty spendy, but I was happy to pay for it because of these special qualities. Yeah. BOTH socks popped holes in the heel, all at once, with no warning. The yarn doesn’t really look thin to me – it just broke. My first reaction was to make an accusation about proper foot care, but the accused protested – so much that I actually checked her heels – and they are smooth. So much for that theory.
I’m left not knowing why they popped. The 50% mohair should act like nylon or polyamid and really hold the wool together. You can see that there is some felting action going on, too, which also should strengthen the heel. I wonder if the 2-ply construction had anything to do with it?
These socks were probably worn half a dozen times. I’m not inclined to even try darning since the first pop was so extreme.