While I love my handknit socks, I really don’t want to spend a lot of time reknitting a heel, nor can I bring myself to embrace Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s method of darning: standing over the garbage can shouting “Darn, darn, darn” while dropping them into the wastbasket.
Exhibit A: a pair of socks knit with Koigu 100% merino yarn in 2004, worn once a week for three years straight. I’m surprised they held up as long as they did. I took them out of rotation before the heel blew away completely, intending to darn them, but they sat in my project basket for six months, untouched.
The good folks at Arbutus Farm on Lopez Island displayed this brilliant solution to fixing thinning heels. Needlefelt them!
Stuff your felting pad, foam or brush inside the sock. Then place a little roving over the thin spot and start poking.
Turn them inside out to poke the roving back through, and then turn them over one more time. There will be fuzzy bits left on the inside of the sock, and this section will feel a little stiffer than the rest of your sock, but to my mind this is a better solution than throwing them away, or reknitting a new heel.
Voila! A perfectly wearable, if inelegant, handknit sock repaired.