Worn Out Socks

Some time ago, I realise almost all of my socks had worn out. Yes, all of them. I had two pairs left that weren’t worn through just like this. I don’t wear out my socks in the heels or the toes, just right near the end, under the pads that are down from my toes. Foot anatomy is not my strong suit. What do you call that part? Anyway, they all wear there, which is perplexing.


I’ve wondered if the problem was not a tight enough gauge but some of my socks are not made by me – they are made by people who I know who have really firm gauge and they’ve worn through there still. I wear them with various pairs of shoes so it’s not just one particular pair that’s the culprit. I’m at a loss.

I could have darned them long before they got to this point because RoseRed gave me a wooden darning mushroom which I have had for over a year and have been too afraid to use. Afraid? Pfft. What’s that about? I knew I’d get around to it. Just wasn’t sure when. And so when recently a pair of socks I’d been wearing for only two months, my Election Socks, wore through in ridiculously little time, I knew the time had come to either learn to save my socks or give up knitting them because who can afford to have socks wear out so fast? And who can knit swiftly enough to keep up? Sock wool isn’t cheap!

I found tutorials and pictures online and set about having a crack at it a week or so ago. Ok so it’s not the most thrilling exercise ever, and I think it looks pretty ugly but if it means I get to wear them longer, then it’s worth it. With some socks I’m trying to find scraps of the original yarn, with others, I’m not bothering. It’s the bottom of my foot. Who cares if it doesn’t match? In some instances the sock yarn I’m using is sturdier than the original anyway.

darned sock

But I’d be interested to hear from others who’ve had socks wear through – anyone else had them wear through on this part of the foot or nearby? And who’s got solutions for prevention?

In the meantime, I have a big bag of new sock yarn to get excited about! From Blue Moon Fibre Arts, a delicious array of goodies, thanks to the Aussie dollar and the US dollar being so close. For Jody, since she asked. The Jasper will be a lightweight cardigan, most likely a Bellevue Cardigan, the Dilly Dilly is for a gift pair and the Valkyrie is for Sean. He chose it himself, being a love of dark Norse stuff.

Sock yarn - Socks that Rock

1. jasper, 2. dilly dilly, 3. valkyrie

They’d better not wear through!

Oh and my deck? It’s totally underway. Here’s a preview of the guys who are outside right now banging up a whole lot of noise in the sun!

deck day 2

I’m so excited!



22 thoughts on “Worn Out Socks

  1. What a gorgeous sky behind that deck!

    I can’t speak to wearing out socks – I still have a couple of pairs I know are from just after high school. I walk around in winter stocking-footed, so it can’t be from going barefoot in the summer.

  2. Impressive darning! My sock also wear out on the heel. My darning skills, like my sewing skills, are non existent but fortunately I have a friend who is usually willing to darn my sock in exchange for chocolate.

  3. I have the same problem with my husband’s socks until I used yarn with more nylon. Opal is the best sock yarn & my husband has a pair that is 3 years old! I hate darning & usually throws out the socks when they are worn out.

    • It is funny how everyone wears out socks in different places. I haven’t been knitting socks long enough to have a pattern yet. I do worry about the 100% wool socks, though, so I’m not going to knit anymore of those! When I do wear holes, I just hope they are in an inconspicuous place like yours so I don’t have to worry about the darning showing!

  4. Wow! Those workers make progress fast! You must be so excited!
    I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sock wear out under the toes like that before – I can’t imagine how it happens. (And definitely if you do figure it out, you need to tell us!)

  5. My theory is that we love knitting with beautiful, but perhaps not so sturdy, wool instead of the somewhat less gorgeous “blends” and such. I’m pretty sure it’s a rule that the uglier the garment the longer it lasts, so perhaps an investment in something tacky is the solution? 😉

  6. You might try duplicate stitch BEFORE the sock wears through. It’s easier than darning, and will make a smoother feel under the ball of your foot. Your socks wear out there because you keep your weight forward, so you are always, “on your toes.”

  7. My socks tend to wear out in the heels first. I know that’s because of the shoes I wear everyday. I wear danskos which are really just closed back clogs so the backs rub up and down. I can darn heels but toes are a bit harder.

    The deck is really moving along! Will you plant vines across the top?

  8. Is this your first purchase of Blue Moon Fiber Arts? I’m sure you’ll love it. It’s my favorite yarn for socks. Not only are the colors vibrant and gorgeous but the yarn is so nice and soft. Can’t wait to see what you make with all that lovely stuff!

  9. I’ll second or third the way you walk causing the holes. If the darn is not smooth you may feel it with your foot which would sort of confirm our suspicions.

    That deck looks really great even now. As I looked I thought of those heavy clear plastic blinds which many Sydney cafes use in the winter. That and one of those outdoor gas heaters might make it usable even in Canberra in winter.

  10. If you’re worried about the ugly factor, I saw a video tutorial somewhere that recommended doing a little duplicate stitch over the darn, which, when you think about it, is actually going to make the sock stronger in the very place where you put the most wear on it.

    The deck looks very promising. You must be so excited!

  11. Wow the deck looks stunning. G&T’s on the deck for Friday night drinks methinks!

    I love the colours of your STR. Valkyrie is stunning.

    Re what Amy said
    My STR Didn’t wear through but I do knit quite tightly.
    I have used wooly nylon to reinforce the toes and the heels and that seems to work wonders for some of the lighter weight yarns.

  12. My socks wear through in the same place, so I assumed it is something to do with the way I walk.
    It also depends on the yarn they are knitted with; I have some pairs of socks that are 15 years old that aren’t worn out, and others that are much newer that are.

  13. darning is a great art to master to lengthen the life of your lovely socks. so much better than just using bought ones and throwing them away when they get holes (like i’m afraid i do). the deck looks like it is going to be fabulous!

  14. I haven’t had my socks wear through, but all of mine are heavier than sock weight yarn. I have some STR medium weight, and they’re holding up nicely. I do have shoes that are a half size bigger that I wear with my hand knit socks. Good on you for darning them!

    Oh, wait; I had some KnitPicks worsted socks wear through. It wasn’t sock yarn, though. I did darn them and they’re fine again.

  15. I think that’s the ball of your foot. Maybe you put more pressure on that part of your foot when you walk?

    Darning is not that bad, is it. Worth spending 10 minutes on to save socks that took many many more minutes than that to knit. But annoying nonetheless!

    heh heh, I thought we were only going to get an “after” shot of the deck!! I think you’ve just made this is “renovation” blog!! 😉

  16. Oh, my STR wore through so quickly. It made me so sad. I did try darning, mostly Nicholas’s socks, but I just kept darning and darning those suckers, until we got to spring and I put them aside, knowing they won’t fit him this year anyway. This year I’ll knit him socks out of yarn with nylon in them. My wool/nylon blend socks don’t wear out. The pure wool does. I also get holes in that spot–I think we talked about this before once! I think I would probably call that the ball of the foot?

    I plan to (gasp, shh!) buy some more wool socks this year.

  17. Your deck/pergola is looking good!! It is so exciting.
    Love your new wool and that Bellevue cardi is just gorgeous!!
    Maybe you should knit in some reinforcement thread in that part of your socks?? But darning works too!!

  18. im so excited by the deck! i cant believe how quickly they are working! just fantastic! i have had only one pair of socks wear through, they were knitted on baby wool tho, not sock wool, so perhaps not surprising, and im used the yarn harlot method of darning for those. so i have no light to shed on foot anatomy and sock wear at all! im glad ive figured out how to do it though. and that selection of STR is just fantastic!! i have some valkyrie somewhere, must go dig it out. that jasper is a perfect colour for you.

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