Oh D*** It

No, I haven't resorted to profanity on my blog and this post isn't even about profanity - not really - but do you remember a time when "swear words" were spelt with asterisks in books and newspapers and no man would swear in front of a lady? I don't remember the latter but I do certainly remember the former.

But that's a little aside. This post is actually about darn-ing: as in fixing that pair of socks that Son#5 managed to get holes in and which DH assured him his Mum could fix!

I've never darned a pair of socks in my life. Tiny holes in knitted items where the stitches are still basically all there, yes, but restoring a pair of socks, no.

DH talked about things like darning mushrooms and eggs and whatnots. I thought we were darning, not cooking. It seemed that DH had more knowledge than I did on the skill in question, and even that was sketchy.

Enter search engines. There are a number of tutorials out there including some videos but I chose to use this one. Somehow I just work better when I can print the instructions out with photos and keep referring to it as I go along.

There are a few essentials that you need to darn socks. Firstly, a pair of socks with holes is mighty handy. As already mentioned, Son#5 willingly obliged.

Second, some yarn - either matching or similar or apparently there is also something called darning yarn - and a darning, tapestry or wool needle (you have to be able to thread the yarn through the eye so keep that in mind). Third, a darning egg or mushroom which, if you're fortunate, you might find in your grandmother's work basket. Failing that, you can use a light bulb apparently (I didn't dare go there) or something else that is round and smooth and will guide the needle. I used a cricket ball. Strangely enough, not one tutorial that I read suggested a cricket ball. Tennis ball, but not cricket ball. Perhaps most of the tutorials were American and perhaps Americans don't play cricket? I don't know, but here the sun still shines on the British Empire so a cricket ball it was. (A hair tie to keep the sock firmly in place on the cricket ball I also found helpful when I got to the second sock - which is the one I've shown. The first sock had a much smaller hole which was a good place for me to start learning a new skill.)

Next, a well-lit area and, if like me you can't see to do close work without them, a pair of glasses.

Finally, and this is optional, a cup of tea and a slice or two of Welsh Tea Loaf. (Actually this loaf was still in the oven while I was darning but had it been ready earlier it would have made a great addition to this particular activity.) By the way, if dressing in an Anne of Green Gables dress or a 1940s-inspired pencil skirt and button-up cardigan makes it easier to carry out this chore, then please don't let me stop you. In fact, I might even join you!

Then you simply follow the instructions of whatever tutorial you've chosen, and after a while, you realise you've gotten into a rhythm and that it has become very relaxing - far different to mending clothes or sewing on wayward buttons.

So, they're done. Not the neatest job in the world but I don't think I did too badly for a first attempt. Besides, I have a sneaking suspicion that before long I'm going to be mending another pair of socks. Just next time it would be nice if I could get the socks while the holes are still tiny. Please.


Jen said…
I actually remember my mom using a light bulb when she darned socks. I have never done it, but have thought about it to save money. We usually use our old hole-ridden socks as doggie chew toys :).

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