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I have these socks my mother-in-law knit for me. I love them. They are the perfect around the house socks: too bulky for my boots but just right for winter mornings. Last year, I wore them constantly until one day, I grabbed them from my sock drawer, yanked one on, and instead of my foot being all warm and cozy, there was a frigid draft right around my toe region. I had a hole in my sock. A hole to end all holes. And, I was sad. So sad. My morning was utterly ruined and I was faced with two choices for my poor air-conditioned sock: 1) roll the socks back up and relegate them to the very back of my sock drawer to languish, or 2) repair the hole. Guess what I chose??
Repairing a hole in a sock is easy. Really. You don't have to be an awesome seamstress and you don't need specialized equipment. It takes a few minutes, and your sock will be almost as good as new. Plus, your big toe will be nice and toasty again, and no one except you will ever have to know that you rarely make time to paint your nails.
Now, I'm sure you're thinking: socks are pretty inexpensive. I can replace them whenever I want to!! Sure, you can just toss the sock with the hole and grab a new pair from the mall. But repairing a hole or tear is so easy and gives an otherwise perfectly good pair of socks a second life. I'm not suggesting that you repair moth-eaten, tired, permanently smelly socks that have lost any elasticity they ever had. But mending a small hole or wear mark is like giving yourself an eco-high five. You get points for taking care of what you have, it saves you some cash and makes you feel like a real live pioneer, which is pretty cool, in a school-marm kinda way.
Repairing socks, or darning, as it's called, was something that most homemakers just did. It wasn't weird or special. It was just a part of maintaining clothing. They would stitch up little holes and wears with the help of a darning egg or a darning spool (both of which are typically wooden tools that fits inside a sock to keep the fabric nice and tight while you stitch up the hole). But you don't need a darning egg or spool: just use something with a rounded end, like a cup or beer bottle, that can fit inside a sock. Or even one of those cute little round lip balm containers. Double duty, amiright?!?
The goal of darning a sock isn't necessarily to repair and repair and repair until there's more of your own handiwork than there is original sock. It's about making small fixes when necessary to maintain your clothes instead of just discarding them. Go team green!
Here's what you need:
Here's what you do:
Turn your sock inside out and insert the darning egg into the sock, centering it on the hole. Tighten the sock fabric around it a bit, not stretching it, but just enough that the fabric stays fairly taut.
Using a running stitch, start at the bottom of the hole, about 1/2" away from the edge and run stitches horizontally across until you are about 1/2" on the other side of the hole. If there is no sock fabric to stitch to, then just make longer stitches, from one side across to the other. Continue, going back and forth, until you've reached the top of the hole.
Once you've reached the top of the hole, turn your sock 90 degrees, and now run stitches from the top to the bottom, which will create a weaved effect. Tie off the thread and trim any extras, turn your sock right side in and get ready for some toasty warm toes!
That's it. Way to go, sock fixin' pro star!