Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Darning socks

I've learned to darn socks and did a pretty good job of it - as in it looks ok and feels ok.

I noticed when I washed my socks, that the first one I made (and wore with a slipper for the other foot, was looking a little thin in spots. I realized that if I didn't do something NOW, I wasn't going to have that sock in a wearable condition for much longer. And since it took me NINE months to get knit, I wasn't giving up on it and toss it.

So...I Googled "darning" and found several websites that showed or told how to darn.

I started out using an egg. No, not a darning egg. I don't have one of those. I went to the fridge and got...an egg. Worked pretty well for the smaller areas, but I had the sole of the foot that needed major work. So...I got a burned-out lightbulb and hey, that did the trick and it has that "neck" on it that made a really good handle.

I guess I should have taken pictures, but I forgot. Again. sigh

I used a mixture of methods. On some small areas, I did a "swiss darn" aka "duplicate stitching". On the larger, really thin areas, I just "rewove" the missing yarn, over and under or along side the existing stitches.

Also, since these were 100% wool, I left a short bit of wool on each end of length of wool I was darning with and didn't make any knots. I didn't want to be walking on knots or hard spots and knew the wool would felt. The darning felt weird next to my skin for the first day I wore them (worsted weight socks that I wear around the house), but then it packed down and feels fine now. I had enough yarn left over to make another pair of socks, so there was more than enough matching yarn to darn with.

If my darning hadn't worked, I was looking at just knitting another bottom for them. I've done that with a slipper-sock I knitted for my son. It didn't look pretty - most of the bottom was missing, but it's good enough for him to wear to slide around the house in and he said it didn't feel uncomfortable. But then again, it was a double-soled sock and it was the bottom sole that he wore through, with some help from a certain puppy dog who will remain unnamed.

Here are the websites I used:





I also used this technique:


And then here's a good video of how it's done. Make sure you watch to the end, they have some tips in there on what to do and also so the finished darn with a nearly matching color.


I'm sorry that I don't have live links. Today, for some reason, I can not get the hyper-links to set up correctly. Either the published blog give me a blank spot where the link should be or it won't publish at all with the html code. sigh

Happy knit repairing.


Lib said...

Hi Darlene,
I had to smile when I read this post!I was taught to darn with a light bulb.:o)
Hope you're having a good wk.

Anne Bradshaw. said...

Great post! Good for you, getting back to basics and being economical with socks.

You might be interested in a new book contest running on my blog today. Helps us all when it comes to economizing. It's a good one :-)

mens socks said...

Hm. You are really excited with the socks I guess. wish you the best with the time.

Pokeberry Mary said...

Hmmm. I may have to call you the culprit in my little accident last weekend. I was showing off my darned sock when I lost my balance and fell on the ole tailbone.

Wish that was as easy to heal as a sock!

Darlene said...

Oh, I'm so sorry. (ok, I'm still snickering, but I AM sorry you got hurt! And it sounds like something that would happen to me.)

I'm glad that your darning project went so well that you were proud to show it off.

Here's hoping that your tailbone heals quickly.

Pokeberry Mary said...

Darlene--did you know that historically Darning was a needle art? There were specific stitches used for it. I saw some 'real' quality darning once, it was lovely. I used to work in a wonderful needlework shop in Fargo, all kinds of stitchers would come in, some of the very old ladies knew how to 'really' darn.

Darlene said...

Wow, no I didn't know that. Sure wish we had someone to teach us these things. Well, at least we have the internet to help us out, so I should be grateful for that fact. But there are times that I really wish that I had a "mentor" on these things. The only reason I know as much as I do is because I would tuck myself up under the older folks and listen to their talk. I still listen to the older folks I know, trying to glean the "how-to's" from them.

Here in north Ga, the old ways hung on longer than in many places, so at least there's SOME knowledge left with the elders.
Don't know about you, but many times I feel like I'm trying to re-invent the wheel!

Pokeberry Mary said...

Yah.. that's so true. We haven't learned so many things that it used to be much more common knowledge. Its so fun to try though to get new skills.

LizBeth said...

Darlene, I was just on Rhonda Jean's blog (Down to Earth) reading up on chickens when I noticed a link on darning. Thought of you.



Your post brought back memories of my grandmother. She used dried gourds for darning socks. She taught me to crochet when I was little, but I can't knit worth a flip.

You were in Misawa? Ever miss the Japanese ladies at the Pack 'N Wrap by the base exchange? I could have watched them for hours . . . . . I sure miss good curry and soba noodles.

Enjoy your site. LizBeth

UGG BOOTS said...

Its amazing the things folks used to do for themselves that they rely on others to do now isn't it?

Anastasia said...

Thanks for the tip. I do this and it has worked out great for me!

LizBeth said...

[Left you a note at the friendly beans.]

Doug & Laurel said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

Quite ingenious efforts, but I have seen a darning tool which I beleive out does any others (Diana Patent (147825 ?)).
Unfortunately can't find any info on them or where others are in existance.
The one I saw would been purchased at least 80 years ago.

Anonymous said...

we have a diana patent 147825 but no idea how to use it been in the family for generations no idea how to use it though

Darlene said...

I've Googled all the keywords I could think of to try and find out something about your tool. I couldn't find a thing about it. The only other info that shows up is a prior post on my blog about the Diana.

If you can email me a photo of it, perhaps I can give you some idea of how it's used.