Thursday, March 05, 2009

Darn Socks!

The socks I made for Ben for Valentine's Day a year ago had gotten pretty worn. One of them had developed a full-fledged hole, and the other was just a few thin strands away from the same fate. Then, I saw this youtube video. And I set to work.

First I got out my darning egg. This belonged to my Great-Grandma Shukait, and my Grandma Trudell (her daughter and my mom's mom) gave it to me. I honestly have been keeping it for sentimental reasons. And because I love vintage needleworking tools. I didn't really think I'd get the chance to use it.

But use it I did! I used two different techniques to darn the two socks. The one on the right is the one that had the true hole, and I used the traditional darning technique shown in the video to fix it. The one on the left was the one with the badly worn patch, but since the yarns were pretty much still intact (just barely!), I decided to use duplicate stitch to reinforce it.
This is the traditionally darned one. I had to use blue yarn because I wanted to make sure to use wool, and that was the only spare wool I had. These socks took up exactly all I had of the original yarn. I wanted to use wool, because, with use, the strands will mat together, and for one cohesive fabric, drawing the weaving tighter.

I think that I like the duplicate stitch one better. It's definately neater looking when using a non-matching yarn, and seems like it's good and sturdy. I'm planning to keep an eye on his knit socks and try to catch them before a true hole forms, while there's still yarn to follow for the duplicate stitching. Or maybe I should just reinforce these sections from the start, so they're double stranded from the beginning!
So, darning socks is not that hard to do, and you can definately use it to fix holes in store bought socks as well. One tip is to use a light bulb or any wooden ball as the base if you do not have a darning mushroom or egg.

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Bonnie Story said...

How neat that the darning egg made it forward through the centuries to find you, and be useful again. I really enjoyed the family pics the other day. Yet another advantage of handmade knit socks: You can fix them! Storebought socks not so much, I think. I'd love to know more about your needlework pieces from "back in the day". That's a great collection and so useful. -- Bonnie

Alison said...

this is another one of those moments when I just want to call you Ma Ingalls

Bethany said...

Bonnie, I don't really have a "collection" of vintage tools. I just like them. In general, they're too hard to find or expensive for me to actually collect, lol. I do have a few fun old buttons around that I could showcase and some heirloom (read: rusted) scissors. :)

Ali, I knit them! I couldn't just throw them away! I wish I could be half the homemaker Ma Ingalls was.... sigh... :D

Blue Castle said...

How interesting! I love that you used your great-grandma's darning egg.

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