"Her hands are busy spinning thread, her fingers twisting fiber." Proverbs 31:19 NLT

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mending Those Darn Socks

My favorite pair of hand spun socks are so warm and cushy, spun with merino wool. Well, I mean, my only pair of hand spun socks. I have made others but I only have one pair of them. But by the end of last winter, I was a little desperate, wanting to wear them, but not wanting to wear them out, because the heels have been wearing thin. So I think I've invented a cure. I'm sure someone else has done the same thing and has likely put it on the world wide web, but I have not seen it anywhere so in my own mind, I invented it. I basically did the first step of darning and then needle felted all the new yarn I inserted. I will try to show it with pictures, some fuzzy (for which I apologize.)

Here is the first heel before the mend with my fingers inside it to show the wear. It appears that I almost waited too long to do the repair - there's not a lot left. But there are no tears or broken yarns. ~whew~

I had found this darning ball in my husband's late wife's sewing basket. I believe it is a vintage one made of maple. I saved it but rather doubted that I would ever darn a sock!! At that point I hadn't even made any socks.
← I proceeded to insert the darning ball into the heel and then, with a tapestry needle and some of the original wool yarn, I picked up some of the worn stitches, starting a row or two above the damage. (If your socks are wool but not hand spun, just use wool yarn, in order felt the patch.) I continued weaving in the yarn until the entire damaged area was covered. And I went down into the insole, which seemed to be weakening, too. I attempted to weave, as in over-under and then under-over. I believe that is what you do when you darn.

Not sure you can see it, but I left a loose loop on each end, just as you must do to weave, to make sure the patch did not pull or pucker.

Here is a look at the entire weaving before I cut off the ends.
Because I have done a bit of needle felting, I have a set of the needles. They are formidable - avoid fingers and legs! OUCH! (Needle felting needles are easily obtained in fiber shops, such as Susan's Fiber Shop. And if you don't live near there, check at your local fiber shop or on-line.)
You take a piece of foam rubber, ~ an inch thick or more, and stuff it into the area you are going to felt. Be sure to have lots of layers between the sock and your legs. If you don't at first, you will. And you'll be glad you did. (Words of wisdom from experience.)  :^)

You then simple poke the needles into the entire area over and over until you have felt. If you've needle felted, you'll know what I mean. If you haven't, just do it until you wish you were done. And then maybe you will be...or soon thereafter.

And here is a picture after I finished. A bad picture, I might add. But maybe you get the idea.

Now it is ready to wear for a lot more cold days - once I do the other sock.

I'm pretty pleased with myself. Someone's got to be. :^)

NOTE: From now on, I'm going to reinforce heels and toes while I knit, as in this video.


  1. HA! "...until you wish you were done." :D

    Nice job! I wonder if my darn slippers could be fixed this way. Maybe you'll have to have a darning class. ;o)

    1. I think they could - I just may still have the yarn - or I gave it to you. They are wool, I'm quite sure. And guess what, you can use a light bulb instead of a darning ball.

  2. I didn't think anybody darned socks in this day and age except me!...I've darned my fingers numb over the years repairing the kids and husbands socks. I've still got bags and bags of children's socks that I never even got around to doing. If I ever find where I stashed them, they'll be going into the trash.

    1. I feel that way about patching the knees of my husband's work jeans. He buys cheap ones but still wants the knees patched until the whole thigh and upper calf are patches. One pair in particular is going in the trash with the next whole. I should blog about them. haha


Thanks for the encouragement of your comments.