Mending Day


Yesterday my mother-in-law taught me how to darn my socks.  It was exhilarating.  For reals.

My first and only pair of handdyed, handknit socks were unwearable because of holes at the heels and heavy wear at the balls of my feet.  But, of course, I couldn’t bear to throw them away.


But we darned them and now I can wear them.  The darning doesn’t look all that pretty, but I think the mending and reinforcement made the socks stronger than they were before.  That’s good enough for me.


My mother-in-law knows how to darn because she used to mend her family’s socks when she was a child.  She says the last time she did this was when she was eight years old.

mendingShe’s using a shoe polish tin, like her mother used to.

The darning took us about an hour and we each did one sock.  It takes a while, but definitely not as long as knitting a replacement pair of socks.

I have gathered up all my holey handknit socks and will be teaching my knitting friends how to darn.  I’ve never been so excited about holes in handknits.

What about you?  Do you mend your socks?  Take the poll!!  If you have other answers, leave them in the comments!

[polldaddy poll=1360573]

0 thoughts on “Mending Day

  1. my mum had a special tool in the shape of a mushroom. growing up in england during ww2 it was something you knew how to. my grandmother knew too, having 5 children. and she also knew how to use all scraps of yarn when knitting striped socks. why bother if the heel and toe was of a slightly different colour. and i think i agree. i think that is a bit zimmermannly.

  2. You’re making–I mean teaching–us to darn socks tomorrow????

    There’s going to be a new revival of sock darning as you teach the triad to darn!

    Shout out to Noreen for the darning action!!

  3. i wanted the voting thingy to have this choice:

    “when i have holes in my socks i send them to my sister to darn.”

    you are a smart lady for not including that one…

  4. I don’t technically darn them. I try to catch them before they completely blow out, when they are literally hanging on by a thread, then I duplicate stitch over the entire area, going well into the sound stitches. It takes a bit of time too, but let’s face it: everything about handknit socks takes a bit of time. I have also been known to lop off the entire foot, and reknit it from the ankle down. But only once. They look like Frankensocks, but I never worry about them under my mud boots.

  5. I don’t wear my handknit socks often enough to have had this problem yet, but I’m sure it’ll crop up eventually, and I’ll come back and pester you with questions then! I took a class from Merike Saarniit last year and she said that her darning classes at Stitches are always full. Darn that SW merino sock yarn! Ha. Pun intended. ;o)

  6. My mom uses a “darning egg” that my dad made for her when they first got married! I think it might create a battle as to which of us gets it one day! I learned your MIL’s method of darning many years ago, but recently the owner of my fav LYS told me her way … when she notices that the yarn is thinning, she does duplicate stitches over the thinning area (or you could do this on the new socks to reinforce them right away) 😀 I’ve started carrying the slip stitch reinforcement from the heel placket down along the foot of the socks as I knit them … helps reinforce the soles as well!

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