Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wear Report - Sundara Socks

You've surely seen Theresa's new feature on her blog, Time Machine Tuesdays? She is updating previously finished knits, on how frequently she wears them, and how the garments in general and the yarns in particular have held up. Theresa is encouraging other knit bloggers to do the same on their blogs, so that we can share each other's collective wisdom about the habits of our knits in the wild. I'd been considering posting Wear Reports myself, so with Theresa's encouragement, perhaps it will induce more frequent, less-just-the-FOs blogging.

Wear Report: Sundara Superwash Merino Sock
Pattern: Calla Lilly Socks (Ravelry link), knitted in June 2006, original blog post here, flickr page here.

I'm going to start right in with the bad news. These socks have worn holes in both heels. I was a beginning sock knitter when these were made; I didn't have a lot of socks in the rotation at the time and they saw fairly regular use. The first hole came rather quickly, within months., so I darned it and relegated them to very light wear. The second one only got its hole in the last month and is set to be repaired soon.

Now that I have knit many more pairs of socks, it makes sense that a soft merino with no nylon would be more suitable for light wear only, but I didn't really know that when I first knit these. I also want to point out that both socks wore out along the purl seam that bisects the heel. This Welsh Heel construction was a lovely design choice, but I have to wonder if this created a weaker point in the fabric, or maybe just a convenient seam for the worn stitches to run. I haven't made other socks with a welsh heel, so I won't make a generalization. Just an observation.

The good news about this sock is that the amazing colors that Sundara is known for are still vibrant and true, and that there has been minimal felting, pilling and shrinking. I do carefully handwash these socks in Eucalan and hang them to dry, and would recommend careful laundering, but I was pleased to see that the colors did not run or fade, and that the socks did not become a mass of pills and felt like other non-nylon merinos.

I have other Sundara socks that have held up better, again, with light wear. They are far too pretty to throw away, and the first darned sock is holding up beautifully. The holes in the heels of these socks are emblems of wisdom learned the hard way, that unless the yarn has nylon, wear the socks gently and infrequently!

I'd love to read other wear reports on other blogs, so please do let me know if you plan on revisiting any of your knits for a quick review!

14 comments:

Ann said...

Yet more reasons for me to knit more socks -- I need to wear some of my handknit socks a bit less! When the weather turns cold it's hard to put on much else. I love the idea of the "wear report!" Thanks Liz!

Mandella said...

What a shame that those socks have holes. That's a painful lesson to learn.

Love the Time Machine Tuesday idea. Might try it myself - if I can find enough old knits.

Theresa said...

The more socks you have, the longer they last. Sad but true.

It's great to see how all the old knits are faring - too often it's all the FOs and then nothing after. Thanks for joining in!

punkin said...

I really appreciate hearing the 'Wear Report'. Thank you for sharing. I hope there will be more.

SockMama said...

what a great idea... I'll be on the lookout for more reports and will contribute myself.

Kristy said...

This is a great idea! I have Sundara socks, and I'll have to keep an eye on them :)

Elinor said...

Hmmm, I hadn't given much thought to the problem of over use. I need more hand knitted socks to avoid that. If you darn, take photos! I have some to do and I'd love to see how it's really done!

Teresa said...

The wear report is such a great idea. I have wondered about some of the yarns and how well they have held up.

Annie said...

That is a good idea, check in on the ol' knits. But hey, a hole is a compliment. Well worn and well loved, and isn't that ultimately what we want?

Mintyfresh said...

It is interesting that the holes grew out of the purl "seam" on both--i think your theory was correct. good to know!

tiennie said...

This is a great idea! I secretly don't wear my hand knit socks anywhere but bed. I'm worried that they'll wear out.

savannahchik said...

interesting about where they wore out. i suspect if that seam wasn't there they would have found another place anyway. you're right - no nylon has its pitfalls.

and like your other commenters said, it's also a great excuse to just knit *more* socks!

Laurie (Moo!) said...

Poor socks! :-( Beautiful colorway. :-) Glad you were able to fix them. And thanks for the report on how nicely the yarn wears.

Jill L said...

That is why I now do an afterthought heel so I can go back and reknit it. Now if I could keep track of my leftover sock yarn stash!