Wednesday, June 13, 2007

On reinforcing heels & toes

I received this e-mail from the designer of "bmp":

Hi there Sarah! Your bmp's are looking good! :) I don't reinforce heels & toes. Its mainly an issue that I never have the correct reinforcing thread available to me, and until very recently I was knitting in mainly handpainted, variegated yarns-- the colored nylons would never match quite right to my eye. I have knit with reinforcing thread before-- once, when I knit my very 1st pair of socks out of Rowan Calmer (not a great choice!). They were given away so I'm not sure how they held up, but I used the reinforcing thread from fortissima socka. I've read that wooly nylon (used for serging when sewing, I think-- I can't sew :)) is a great choice since its stretchy. The nylon type (sort of like really fine fishing wire) isn't so great-- when I 1st started knitting socks, I bought some of that but more experienced sock knitters told me it wasn't a good choice (wouldn't stretch).

There's also a camp of knitters who don't use reinforcing thread, saying that it can actually cause more wear-- the thread rubs against the yarn, causing it to lose its hold more quickly. I don't know what I think about that, but its out there :)

Mainly though, as with most things I knit-- its a laziness issue... I don't have it around, so I don't use it. If I did, I probably would use the wooly nylon over the fortissima socka reinforcing thread-- from what I remember, the card w/ the thread cost somewhere around $3-4, making the cost for a pair of socks much more, relative anyway. Wooly nylon (or, wooley nylon?) is about the same price and you get tons, Joanns/Michaels carry it so you can get a 40% off coupon most Sundays as well.

I also think that reinforcing thread's true worth isn't for helping stave off wear, but that when holes do wear into socks, you have a vertical set of remaining stitches in nylon to follow when darning socks. Most of my socks right now have holes in the toes (actually, the area under my little toe, where my foot is widest) from wear on the side of my shoes... I need to darn them, but trying to line up the stitches has me ... not wanting to and to wear sandals :)

Have a good one!


PS! I recently realized that the "repeating invaders" chart of the bmp pattern has the last 2 invaders reversed from what is shown in the photos. It was my error, I sent the transposed chart to knitty-- they've been notified, but I don't think its been changed yet. Of course, the design still works, but will look slightly different from the photos. You could easily switch them back to the photos as seen, though. Good luck!

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