Thursday, October 13, 2011

Darn Socks!

No I'm not mad about something...I have a pile of mending that needs to be done. Mending a sock is called darning.

We still have 4 kids at home and as you can imagine, there are lots of worn out hand-me-down clothes that need the occasional stitch or 2 to keep them usable for a little while longer. Why throw them out if you can use them again? Our grandmothers knew how to keep things going and then get more life out of clothes until they were only fit for the rag bag. Socks had their heels and toes mended often but of course today in the age of 'Walmart' socks which are super cheap and of poor quality it's not really worth fixing them in most cases. But good woolen socks and tights are definitely worth it. And it's so simple, taking at most 10 minutes per hole and usually closer to 5.

How To Darn A Sock

Get some thread or wool that's close to the same thickness as your sock. Choose thinner rather than thicker if you can't match it. You can use the thread doubled up too. Trim off any loose threads but don't make the hole any bigger than it already is. Pass your wool through the eye of your darning needle in a long length but do not knot (that makes an uncomfortable lump) and you're ready. Place your sock over a darning egg or mushroom if you've got one or an old rounded light bulb will do (but be careful), really anything that will round out the area will work. Take your needle and start sewing! You need to use a running stitch, it's the basic over under stitch you learned in Kindergarten and using long stitches cover the hole in one direction with a bunch of parallel stitches and having a few stitches either side. Start wide of the hole so that you're anchoring your repair into some good unworn wool, going over and under the existing threads. Don't attempt to draw the sides together, just cover the hole in stitches. Next you do the same thing but in the other direction so that you're going left and right instead of up and down. This time you want to weave the thread over and under the existing threads. Does that make sense? You're essentially weaving wool to fill in the hole. Most holes in socks are round so if you draw the edges together you get an uncomfortable lump in the sock that can rub your foot. This way you're filling in the hole by essentially weaving a patch while maintaining the thickness of the fabric. This might not be a skill you ever use but if you take up knitting socks and realize how much time they take, you'll definitely want to keep them going for as long as possible.

Oh my goodness, it's true that you can find anything on youtube! I found a tutorial on darning socks! She is using a wooden mushroom and you can see that it's handle is helpful to keep a good grip on the project. And since it's the same method I use and described above, it gives you an idea of what I'm talking about. Happy darning! Oh, and do you mind if I change the font again? How's this one?

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