Where growing, making & good living come together

Do you darn?

Posted by on Friday 20 January 2012 in frugal, making | 15 comments

These are the socks I’m wearing today:

(Well, the “undersocks” I’m wearing today – I’ve got some big fluffy ones on top – I feel nude if I’m wearing less than two pairs of socks in winter :) )

I’m good at stitching up small holes in socks but when it comes to threadbare patches like these … well, there’s a reason why these threadbare bits are so big!

I’m always more inclined to fix thick socks than this thin sort as I don’t think my needle skillz could manage a very good job on these. But a whole load of my socks have gone this way recently (especially “novelty” ones like these, which I got as Christmas presents when I still got Christmas presents a decade ago) and I’m thinking I need to do something about it — because my sock drawer is rather depleted and I’ve used up all my old worn-out sock reuse/recycling ideas for the time being.

So do you darn? How easy is it to learn how to do it properly/neatly? Would you darn this type of sock or save your time for better quality ones?


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Chiot's Run

    I usually darn more expensive wool socks but skip it on the cheapies (which I actually don’t have any of any more). I usually darn if it’s a small hole. I’m more likely to darn my favorite jeans than socks. Ones like you have pictured I wouldn’t though, too much time/trouble. I’d cut them up and use them for something else (if they were wool). Socks make the best dusting rags and you can make sure great crafts out of them.

  2. Attila

    I’m with Chiot’s Run on this. In the past when really, desparately poor I have darned socks like these but nowadays, seeing as I normally stock up on socks in sales at the place where my DH works, thus getting 10% discount,it doesn’t seem worth it. Last winter, I knitted enough wool/nylon socks for me and I haven’t needed to darn any yet, but I will when theyy go holy. I think the idea behind the 50% nylon is that they wear very well. My size 6 feet require 50g sock wool for a pair short socks so cost as little as £3 a pair.

  3. Attila

    I think I mean “When they go HOLEY”!

  4. Su the Bully

    I’m with the others on this, good wool socks are worth darning but not thin, synthetic types. I actually don’t think that darning these types of socks would be terribly effective anyway, you would probably have to use wool to do the darn, which would wear differently to the actual sock.
    Oddly, I bought a darning mushroom only a couple of weeks ago (& a very beautiful object it is too) & have darned some wool socks. I plan on knitting some socks soon,having found a couple of patterns that don’t require kitchener stitch etc, so those I would darn.

  5. Jo

    I’m with the others – I only darn thick socks. My reason is that the darning is lumpier with thin socks and I then get blisters. However, they still get used as bedsocks or , like you, as undersocks.

  6. louisa

    Hi guys, everyone seems to be on the same page about this – I’m glad I asked! I was worried that I was very much out of step/being super wasteful by not darning these type of socks but now I feel reassured. I’ll save my limited skills for better quality, woolly socks – and make sure that my sock drawer shifts that way in general.

    These socks will go into the rags drawer instead and I’ll stop feeling guilty about that :)

  7. Attila

    I just remembered; I had some very pretty stripy, dotty, cotton socks that I used to make lavender bags.

  8. Clare

    I have several pairs of thick 40 denier tights mended with darns. It annoys me that they can be perfectly good apart from a tiny hole in the toe — and they are quite expensive, too.

    I wouldn’t bother with socks (unless it was a pair that I really, really loved) or had knitted myself.

  9. Karen

    If you have a young child in your life who plays with dolls, the top part of the sock can be used to make dresses and tops. The cheap ones don’t even have to hemmed, they just curl up. Ribbon can be used to make strappy sundresses and so forth so it is easy for the kid to make the clothes themselves. This was a rainy day activity that I did with my much much younger sister. We also made sunhats and bonnets using the paper egg cartons sections as a base.

  10. lasse

    Tried to repair but no good results. ‘m Used to have to go with worn and often broken socks. My parents think that the sock hole is not visible unless you look. Has the moment not a single sock that is great. All have holes in the toes and heels. only small luftål as mother. Ashamed when my friends comments the holes in the socks :(

  11. Tascha

    Hi, it seems to be that I am the only one but I darn my threadbare socks. Sometimes they look much more threadbare but they are my favourit ones so I darn them. Only if the hole is too big I use them for cleaning or something else.

  12. PipneyJane

    Funny you should post about darning. I don’t do traditional darns but I’ve been working on a post describing how I knitted patches into the almost worn-out soles of my husband’s alpaca socks over Christmas. (I originally knitted the socks.) Except for weaving in ends, no sewing involved. I have all the photos just need to finish writing the text, which I’ll do this weekend (probably). If you like, I’ll post up a link here when it’s published.

  13. PipneyJane

    As promised, here’s the link to my non-darning sock repair blog post: http://www.pipneyjane.blogspot.com/2012/01/non-darning-sock-repair.html . Hope this helps someone.

    • louisa

      That’s a great idea! Again, possibly not for these little silly dress socks but definitely something to consider for the better quality woolly ones. Thanks PipneyJane! :)

  14. Em

    I don’t darn, but I do cut my old socks into strips and french knit them with a large dolly made out of a cardboard tube and icy pole sticks. When I have made enough lengths I sew them together into rugs, kind of like the American braided rugs. I hope this translates into other countries. I am not sure if what we call french knitting in Australia is the same elsewhere.

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