Darning holes in knit socks
Recently my favorite pair of hand knit socks blew a hole, saddest day of my life untill I found this tutorial! YAY for the web!!! Will come in handy for me for years to come as I am working on knitting my own socks, its a slow process, but I am finally at the heel!!Darn holes!
If you do get holes in your socks (or on the elbows of your sweaters, or the fingers of your gloves), you can fill the hole with darning. Darning is a technique of sewing running stitches across the hole, then weaving the yarn across in the opposite direction.
Here are some tools you might find helpful:
From top left: darning mushroom, darning egg, sharp embroidery scissors,
tapestry needles and darning thread.
Darning mushrooms or eggs are used to support the area where you’re repairing a hole and make it easier to sew. I found these darning mushrooms and eggs at an antique fair, but they’re readily available – just search Google for “darning mushroom”. And if you don’t have one, you can substitute a plastic Easter egg or an incandescent light bulb. The yarn you choose to darn with can be the same yarn you used to knit the sock – but if it wore through once already, it’s likely to do so again. Darning yarn comes in a wide variety of colors to match your sock yarn, but contains that magical nylon that gives strength. It is, however, quite thin, so you may have to use it doubled.
First insert your darning mushroom into the sock, right under the hole.
Thread your mending yarn onto a tapestry needle and – working several rows into the “healthy” area of the sock on all sides of the hole, begin sewing a running stitch across the hole. (I’m using a contrasting color yarn here so that you can clearly see the process.)
Continue until the entire hole is covered with parallel threads.
Then turn the darning tool 90 degrees and weave the mending yarn under and over the parallel threads, back and forth until the entire hole is covered. Be sure to keep working several rows past the hole on all sides in order for the darning to have a solid anchor.
(Again I’m working with yet another yarn to show the process.)
Since the white mending thread was thinner than the working yarn, I’ve turned the darning mushroom 90 degrees again and worked yet another pass in the darker yarn.
And the hole disappeared! (Try to imagine this without the white yarn showing through. Fortunately for my socks, but unfortunately for this issue, I didn’t have a whole bunch of holes to work with… and cutting holes in my socks is a bit further than I was willing to go.)
Maintaining and repairing your hand-knits is a labor of love, but so is knitting. I think of mending as yet another effort to be mindful about taking care of things in a world where so many things are disposable.
- Folk Socks by Nancy Bush – this book contains a wealth of information about socks!
- “How many stitches are in an average pair of socks” is from Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Meditations for Women Who Knit Too Much.
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