Lots of people, myself included, love to knit socks. We love knitting socks so much that there are entire websites, facebook pages, blogs, pattern books and designers that are devoted to nothing but socks. There are even beautiful little wooden boxes and chests made especially for keeping our treasured, hand knit socks. I am a sock knitter. When ever I have knitter’s block, I will reach into my stash and start a pair of socks. I love knitting them and I love wearing them.
Inevitably, there will be a day when you will get that funny feeling on the sole of your foot or on your toes. Something isn’t right. You look and lo and behold, there is a hole. You contemplate all of the hours that you’ve spent making your beautiful socks and how thrilled you were when you purchased the exquisite, artisan dyed merino/nylon blend. You are filled with dismay and sadness.
Not to worry. Your socks are about to gain some character. They can be the proud bearer of a scar that only comes from a life well lived. They can, and should, be darned.
I am going to show you how to do the good old workhorse method of darning a hole. In later posts, I will show you how to reinforce weak spots, but let’s assume that your sock is too far gone for that.
Step 1: Put the darning tool into your sock and position it underneath the offending hole. Grip the sock underneath the tool to put a bit of tension on the sock.
Step 2: Thread your sock yarn onto a blunt tapestry needle that is just fine enough for you to get the yarn through the eye. Sew around the hole, catching all the loose stitches and going about 1 stitch in from the side edge. This perimeter line of stitches should be a rough square. Trim all loose bits from the edge of the hole.
Step 3: Make long vertical stitches that span across the hole. Make them as close together as you can and anchor each stitch with a little stitch on the edge of the hole, catching the perimeter stitching as you go.
Step 4: With the needle, weave over and under each vertical strand, catching the edge of the hole after each pass. Use the needle tip to pack down each row of weaving as you go.
So there you have it. It’s a simple thing that can keep you wearing your hand knit socks for decades, in some cases. Now go and give your socks some love.