Friday, October 31, 2008

Darn! More Frugality and Trash Prevention

I've learned a new skill this week- darning socks! It's been on my list of things to learn, and a drawer full of holey socks coupled with the price of new ones and my desire to keep things from becoming trash forced my hand.

To darn a sock, you need a darning needle, a darning egg or other smooth round object, and darning cotton or embroidery thread. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that my grandmother's sewing kit included 4 balls of darning cotton. It's apparently not made anymore. I found this ceramic egg at the Habitat ReStore for $.50.


I've been carting a bag of socks around with me all week, darning when I have 1o minutes to wait here or there. It goes quite quickly once you get the hang of it. Here is a video on how to darn socks. It shows darning wool socks with wool, but the technique is the same for cotton and silk socks. Just use a matching thread, and a needle about as big as your threads.

Anyone else darn their socks?


Christine said...

Well I'll be darned, I might have to try that! I actually have some of that darning cotton. It came with the house.

Jayne said...

I've never tried it, but my mom has some darning cotton at her house. She knows how, but I don't think she does it anymore. Mom used to own a knit shop and give knitting and crocheting lessons, so I bet she can teach me. I have a really nice pair of winter socks with a hole in the heel, too. Just right for darning.

Robj98168 said...

Darn it! I have darned socks before but decided it's easier to re-use them as dust clothes or dog sweaters. Great for the guy who brought you the Make Do and Mend Challenge huh?

Chile said...

Great video. THanks for linking to it. I use a lightbulb for sock mending, but have no "proper" darning cotton. Could any yarn be used or is darning cotton special?

Jennifer said...

Christine~ How lucky! Funny what you can find in an old house.

Jayne~ I think nice socks are perfect for this... no sense in throwing out favorite socks!

Rob~ I have so many rags right now... and they might make a tail cover or bootie on my dogs. If I'm lucky. Plus, I'm REALLY cheap!

Chile~ I don't know what is "special" about darning cotton... it appears to be a loosely woven cotton thread, and it is four threads thick. I do know that many use embroidery thread instead. Basically, you want a thread that is approximately like the one the sock is made out of.. .so for thick wool socks, you want a nice thick wool yard... for thin socks, you want a smaller thread. I'm doing black cotton dress socks mostly, and the darning cotton/embroidery thread thickness is just perfect.

Chile said...

Well, I've got an assortment of materials* from yard sales and craigslist so I'll just make do with something I already have.

*Cheap imported thread, organic cotton thread, quilter's thread, blue denim thread, tailor's thread (not in spools, but in set lengths), embroidery thread, and tons of yarn even though I don't yet know how to knit or crochet. Oh yeah, we also have the waxed thread for mending camping supplies, plus the heavy duty awl-needle thing for that. Works great for mending daypacks!

Barbara said...

I have been searching everywhere for darning cotton but cannot find it--I have diabetic socks that I really like but have holes in the heels. Good to know that it's no longer manufactured, so I won't search any longer.