TracyKM makes a couple of excellent points in a comment on a recent post.... she suggests that the real way to inhibit wearing out of your hand-knit socks is to have a drawer sufficiently well stocked so that you don't have to wear any given pair too often... an admirable goal!
She also says that based on her reading of vintage sock pattern books, she thinks nylon first appeared in blends for sock knitting in the 1950s. That makes sense to me, based on what I've seen, and the age of the knitter with whom I had the original conversation.
And here's a question for my readers out there... does a separate nylon thread actually help, or does the wool wear down at the usual rate and just leave the nylon there? And is that comfy? Does the nylon thread rub against the wool thread and cause it to wear down faster? Interesting questions, that I don't know the answer to.
Perhaps a science experiment is in order!
Yeah, that's just what I need. An excuse for buying more sock yarn.