Lately I have been wearing "church socks", that is, they are holy….full of holes, and not just the one big one on to that fits around my ankle.
So, I decided to DARN a few of them, and thought I should share with some of you who have never done this. Simply darning your socks will fill in the worn and torn places and let you keep wearing them. I know, socks don't cost much, but these days every penny counts.
It's easy really, and you'll have a sense of accomplishment when you are done.
First, for beginners, choose your sock with the smallest hole. Get a plain lightbulb even if you need to borrow it out of a fixture, like a desk lamp. Then, push the bulb into the sock, to give support and slightly stretch the damaged area of the fabric. I'm using plain cotton "kite string" here and a rather large needle. We used to buy "darning cotton" at the Dime Store, but those days are gone. For men's work socks, kite string works well. Some embroidery cotton will work. Plain sewing thread on the spools does not work well. In a pinch, use a couple of threads separated out of the kitchen string you use to tie up a roast…but new and clean is best.
First, sew the longest way over the hole. Just closely spaced parallel lines are the best, until the whole hole is fairly well covered with string or cotton.
Then, turn the work and WEAVE your cotton string up and down, over and under across the hole. Turn at the end and come back, alternating each crossing. So, if you went under a certain string the first time, then go over it this time. What you are doing essentially, is creating a woven fabric in the hole. Continue until the missing space, the old hole, has been filled with lines of cotton or string going back and forth, and up and down.
When you have lots of lines, at about 90-degrees to one another, then you may choose to fill in a little more with a series of diagonals. For these start at a corner and continue to weave over and under the newly stitched lines of the work. Turn at the ends and come back, next to and parallel to your previous line. Usually , these three layers of new cotton are sufficient and will extend the life of the sock several times.
Here are two views of the sock I was working on here. No, it's not beautiful, but it's better than a hole. It looks bulky but will settle in with just a little wearing. Now, take the money that new socks would have cost you and put it in your cookie jar for a rainy day.