Choose your friends by their character and your socks by their color. Choosing your socks by their character makes no sense, and choosing your friends by their color is unpardonable. - Proverbial
Refer to yesterday's post for a scintillating discussion on the whys of sock darning. Today we present the wherefores.
Recall our favorite wool socks from yesterday. These are definitely favorite socks, and, in the interest of full disclosure, let me tell you that they've been darned before and they'll be darned again. At this point, the heels are almost entirely darned. So it goes. I. Love. These. Socks. And today, they will allow us to demonstrate two things: a thinning heel on sock #1 and an actual factual hole on sock #2.An Important Note:
Always darn a larger area than is actually affected. The darned area is thicker and stronger than the surrounding fabric. Your next holes will
be right next to the area you've already darned. Trust me.
Let's start with the thinning heel. This is simple to fix. If I had leftovers of the same yarn, I'd have used it. Instead, we're developing a lovely patchwork here.
While you can reinforce thinning sections from the wrong side by weaving back and forth or duplicate stitching, I like the look on this pair. Adds to the charm. Plus, who's looking at the bottom of my feet? So from the right side, I duplicate stitched
over the entire heel area, weaving in the ends at the end. It looked a little lumpy bumpy in such a thick yarn, but smoothed right out after being washed. Who doesn't want a nice padded heel on their thick woolen socks? And here's where I left them. The odd shape has to do with the important note above - I had previously reinforced some of this heel from the wrong side, and now my weakened and thinned areas surround that stronger area.
So, what about the actual holes? You know, that moment of epiphany when I stepped from a carpet onto the cold kitchen tile and realized that there were, in fact, holes in the bottom of my socks. Right under my heel. Brrr . . .
See that big, gaping hole? I used the traditional method of darning by taking my yarn
and using a running stitch to sew a square around the hole, making sure that the square was entirely on stable stitches. I sew through half of each stable stitch (see above photo), which makes the weaving easier later. (Notice that the hole was bigger at the top, so my square encompassed more "good" stitches at the bottom.) Then I simply created a simple weave inside the square. First, do all the vertical ones, then the horizontal, or vice versa. Knitter's choice.
More knitter's discretion: You'll notice that there are places of "good" stitches where I'm merrily weaving in and out of actual
knitting, and other places where there are long strands flapping across the gap. That's the point, because that's where the weaving will keep your feet warm. I often "short-row' my weaving over the hole to make it as thick as humanly possible, but there is a downside to that. It's a little lumpy when first done, but it smoothes out as soon as you walk on it, and then I couldn't even feel the difference between the darned and knit areas.
Here are some great tutorials on the web on darning socks - way more complete than my show-and-tell:
1. "If the sock was worth knitting, it's worth darning."
All duplicate stitch method, no weaving, but good stuff here. Good photos.
2. This is how I do it
, but read "yarn" where they say "thread." No photos.
3. Another description of how I do it
. No photos.
4. Not a tutorial, but a comment
on how not darning our socks means the downfall of society.
5. The most recent Knitty tells you all about knitwear repair
I have a small collection of darning eggs (these things are fun to search for, hard to find - anyone know where to get any nice ones?), but unfortunately they are in storage for the moment. The darning eggs facilitate this process in two ways:
1. They conveniently hold the fabric you're working on away from the other fabric and make it easier to stitch.
2. It makes me feel as if I am living in colonial times
. Hey- I take my thrills where I can get them.