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Learn about Darning Socks: a wonderful Vintage Skill. Once you master this, you can mend all your wool socks!
Not so long ago, it was a necessity to knit socks and then to know how to mend wool socks. Homesteaders and villagers alike, often raised sheep or traded for the wool they needed to knit and weave warm woolen garments, mittens and socks.
Since knitting takes time. Lots of time……it is important to know what to do when your hand-knit socks get holes, it is well worth your time to know how to repair them, so read on to learn about mending socks or how to sew of hole in a wool socks.
Years ago, my mom taught me how to darn to repair holes in wool socks. Darning socks is such a useful vintage skill as it can save money by extending the life of wool socks, mittens and sweaters. Plus, it is quite fun to do! It is mini weaving project.
The dynamics of repairing woolen garments is very interesting. If the hole is large enough like in a sweater or scarf, then a patch can be knit separately and simply sewn in place.
But, for smaller holes in the toes, ball of foot or heels of socks, there is another simple darning method that works wonders. This is a simple, utility method that is quick and easy to do.
To Begin the Mending Process:
♦1. You will need the following items:
- Darning Needles: blunt tip with large eye to thread yarn Buy: Darning Needles
- Wooden Darner or Darning Egg or simply use an Orange
- 2-Ply or 3-Ply Yarn in Various Colors
♦2.To Begin Darning Socks:
First, thread your darning needle with the yarn of choice. Your darning needle will have a blunt tip and a large eye for threading. They are different from regular sewing needles that are sharp tipped with smaller eyes.
♦Do not use a heavy yarn as the bulky yarns will make a lump in the sock and could cause irritation to your foot.
♦3. Next Step:
Insert your wooden darner in the sock under the hole to be mended and stretch slightly.
Carefully weave your darning needle and yarn in and out around the edge of the hole in the sock. You are reinforcing the outer edge of hole prior to beginning to repair the hole. (see photo gallery)
Make sure to keep the yarn a little loose. Do not pull the yarn tight. It is very important to never pull the yarn tight and to never tie a knot in the yarn.
The yarn should always lie flat and smooth. Any type of knots, bulges or wrinkles in your mending and darning will cause blisters or sore spots on your foot.
♦4. Creating Warp
After loosely weaving the yarn in and out around the hole in your wool sock, you will begin to create the “warp” over the hole. The warp is the lengthwise yarn that will create the structure for the weft to be woven through. The warp yarn will go up and down, while the weft yarn will be woven over and under the warp. It is just like making those small potholders with loops on the little square looms.
Once you begin, you will slowly see how this darning project comes together to fill in the hole without creating knots, pulls or bulges.
♦5. Creating Weft
The weft is woven over and under the warp. When finished, it looks like a woven checker board. It is quite interesting how this all comes together.
To begin weaving the weft yarn, you will begin on either the top or bottom edge of the hole. Start at one end and weave your darning needle and yarn over one of the warp yarn and then under the next. Weaving over and under until you get to the other side.
At that point, you will turn around and go the other way but alternating by siding under then over, under and over to the other side. You want to create a woven effect which locks in the yarn so it stays in place.
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♦6. Stitch in Time Saves Nine
Here is a super easy way to stop from getting holes in your wool socks. When you notice a worn spot developing in your socks in either the toe, ball of foot or the heel, take your yarn and darning needle and reinforce that area before the holes works its way completely through the sock.
Insert your Wooden Darner or Darning Egg into the sock and position it under the hole. Take your darning needle and wool yarn and simply weave the needle in and out through the existing warp threads in the hole of the sock (try to catch the developing hole before it wears all the way through as this saves a bunch of time!)
Darning socks is a handy vintage skill that is still useful in today’s modern era. I hope you are able to make do, mend & darn your wool socks and mittens!