Those Darn Socks

I had a little interlude from knitting yesterday after I found this post by Theresa from Knitting Underway. She has a series of posts about darning socks, and why you might want to do this. There is a “Part 1” and a “Part 3” as well, so check them all out.

I just happened to have a pair of holey socks in the basket by my sink in the bathroom, waiting for a decision. These happen to be one of my favorite pair, though they are nothing special. They are plain ribbed socks that were knit out of heavy worsted Peace Fleece, but they are great for wearing around the house, and with Birkenstocks. (Yes, this is considered “fashionable” in the Pacific NW, if not anywhere else in the world.)

Several weeks ago I noticed a big hole in one heel, and the other heel was on the way out as well, so I tossed them in the basket. I’m fairly brutal on my socks, both handknit and otherwise, as I hardly ever wear shoes in the house. To darn, or not to darn? I am not much for sewing, and was mostly tempted to toss them in the trash. Then I found Theresa’s posts, and she inspired me to give darning a try.

Here are the socks pre-darning:



Sad, eh?

First I gathered my tools. Yes, I have a darning egg, doesn’t everybody? And I went rummaging in the boxes in the yarn closet and found the leftovers of the Peace Fleece yarn. I knew there was a reason that I never throw anything away.


Then I made myself a cup of tea, because I can’t imagine Great-Great-Grandmother darning her socks without a cup of tea. That, and it was too early in the day for a glass of wine.


Notice the Cinnamon Graham Cracker from Trader Joe’s. Best partner for a cup of tea that I’ve ever found.

Here’s how it starts:


Now go back over and visit Theresa and follow her instructions, and check out her links. I didn’t take pictures while I was actually darning, but it looked like a real mess while it was in progress. Apparently that’s how it’s supposed to look.

Here’s the finished socks. I did a combination of duplicate stitch and weaving on the one with the big hole, and duplicate stitched over the bare one.



And there they are, good for another couple of years!

About Lorette

My name is Lorette. I learned to knit in 1999, and took up spinning in 2009. I'm a physician specializing in internal medicine, and live in the Pacific Northwest. Enjoy my blog!


Those Darn Socks — 17 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for the link. My very first pair of handknit socks will probably need darning after one more winter. They are alpaca and the heels are wearing thin. You did a great job.

  2. They look great! Good to go another year or two! Good to know I’m saving all those leftover little pieces for something…

  3. Yes, I too darn like the Harlot but only if the sock is 5 years old or more. You are very smart and brave. (I need an egg darner.)

  4. Wow. You never would have known they had any holes. Good work.
    And way to go for restraining yourself with the yarn purchases. After not buying any for so long, I would have been a little buying demon.

  5. Love your teapot, I just adore my cast iron teapots, they keep the tea so nice and warm for so long.
    Thanks for the link.

  6. Isn’t darning fun? I recently darned about a dozen socks. Still more to do, unfortunately πŸ™ Your socks look good as new!

  7. Great darning!! I also darn and darn my socks. But, I use a strand of wooly nylon on the bottom of the heel and the ball of the foot. I hold the nylon with the yarn when knitting the bottom of the foot, then strand it loosely over the instep. Later, I simply cut the nylon close to the stitches and this fuzzes up and is undetectable when wearing. this way, if the wool wears out, I have a framework for doing the duplicate stitch, which is a much nicer darn than weaving–in my opinion. I get the spools of wooly nylon from a sewing store (it is used for serging) and the thread is so think that you do’t notice it if you have a color that is somewhat close to the yarn color. Works every time!!

  8. Wow. I’m impressed. I have several darning eggs, although I’ve never used them. I bought them because I love old needlework tools, now I have to give darning a try. I love your cup and saucer, so just right for tea. I love Trader Joes, when I moved back east there were no Trader Joes, so every trip to California entailed a run to Trader Joes just before the return flight. More that once I boarded with a shopping bag full of “goodies”.