A couple of weeks ago I posted an article on Facebook that was written by Kate Atherley titled How to Make Socks that Last. I found the article on the Mason-Dixon Knitting website, check their site out if you get the chance!
One of the great points Kate wrote about was reinforcing the areas of wear on your socks. As we all know, the most loved hand knitted socks wear the fastest in the toes and heels, well, most of them. So to be a bit more proactive and help protect these areas so the socks will last longer (which will mean less darning for you!) one of the suggestions was to add a fine silk/mohair blend when knitting those areas. Some of the members of our sock club decided to give this a go and I thought I would share a bit of the experiences we had.
Everyone enjoyed the feel of the yarn. I mean who wouldn't want to work with mohair/silk. So soft, so lovely. Adding it to the toes and heels wasn't too much of an issue except if you are not comfortable with the heel technique you are using, adding in mohair/silk may not be recommended. If you make a mistake, it is difficult to tink or work back and even more difficult to rip out. The mohair/silk attaches itself pretty good to the yarn which is probably why it works so well as a reinforcement.
The addition of the mohair/silk also changes the look of your sock so be aware of that. As you can see in the pictures, the mohair/silk actually lightens the colours of your yarn, blending well, but make sure that is the look you would like to see before you begin. The one comment that was shared that was a plus for adding this yarn was "knitting with mohair hides a multitude of sins." This is true, if you do make a mistake just keep knitting because you won't be able to see it anyways!
One of the not so positive experiences came from a knitter who was bothered a bit by floating fine fibres (say that 10 times lol!) from the mohair. She came into the store with a nose covered in heavy make-up to hide her red nose. She had rubbed here nose so much while using the mohair that she said she looked like she had one too many drinks! This wasn't experienced by all of the knitters but it may be something to keep in mind.
We have yet to have the socks worn long enough to see if the the mohair/silk makes a big difference in the wear of the toes and heels but the overall opinion was that we liked it! Two thumbs up on Kate Atherley's suggestion, our beautiful socks will hopefully last that much longer!